Ethnography and Virtual Worlds is virtually everywhere

As our existence and interactions have grown increasingly virtual, the arena has rapidly evolved into a new frontier for human life, with many of the complexities, cultural nuances and and social problems of the ‘real’ world. Several years ago, anthropologist Tom Boellstorff, arguably the first anthropologist to study this realm in its rich complexity, published his breakthrough fieldwork in Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human.  Now he has coauthored, along with Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce, and T.L. Taylor, Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method, the first ever guidebook for conducting ethnography in virtual worlds, and the book is getting a ton of attention in the blogosphere.  For some of the highlights, check out the Mixed Realities piece on the relevance of an avatar, or the wonderful excerpt from the book on New World Notes, or the authors’ Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable here. Naturally the book has gained an enthusiastic following with the Second Life crowd, popping up everywhere from Second Life News to the Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds. Boellstorff is such a natural in virtual worlds that he’s been known to throw book parties in Second Life, where he’s been virtually unfazed by his publicist’s awkwardly manned avatar.




  1. Response…Can i buy this book in Europe?
    I’m not an expert, but I’m interested

  2. Jessica Pellien says:

    Yes — it should be available via our UK distributor:
    The UNIVERSITY PRESS GROUP Ltd, New Era Estate, Oldlands Way, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 9NQ, UK; Tel: 441243 842165, Fax: 441243 842167.

    Contact Lois Edwards, Office Manager (e-mail: sales at

  3. Thanks a lot for ur response, i will see..;)