Ethnography and Virtual Worlds

Ethnography and Virtual Worlds by Tom Boellstorff, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce & T. L. Taylor “[W]e can hope that young scholars and established ones, friends and critics of ethnography alike, will read this book, take it seriously, and carry it with them in whatever world they study and inhabit.”–Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review

Ethnography and Virtual Worlds
by Tom Boellstorff, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce & T. L. Taylor

Ethnography and Virtual Worlds is the only book of its kind–a concise, comprehensive, and practical guide for students, teachers, designers, and scholars interested in using ethnographic methods to study online virtual worlds, including both game and nongame environments. Written by leading ethnographers of virtual worlds, and focusing on the key method of participant observation, the book provides invaluable advice, tips, guidelines, and principles to aid researchers through every stage of a project, from choosing an online fieldsite to writing and publishing the results.

  • Provides practical and detailed techniques for ethnographic research customized to reflect the specific issues of online virtual worlds, both game and nongame
  • Draws on research in a range of virtual worlds, including Everquest, Second Life, There.com, and World of Warcraft
  • Provides suggestions for dealing with institutional review boards, human subjects protocols, and ethical issues
  • Guides the reader through the full trajectory of ethnographic research, from research design to data collection, data analysis, and writing up and publishing research results
  • Addresses myths and misunderstandings about ethnographic research, and argues for the scientific value of ethnography

Endorsements

Table of Contents

Watch Tom Boellstorff discuss his participant observation and ethnographic study of the virtual world Second Life

Sample this book:

Chapter 1 [PDF]

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