Session 1

Session 1: Research and World of Warcraft


Chairs: Bonnie Nardi and Hilde G. Corneliussen


Panelists: Celia Pearce, Nic Ducheneaut, Tanya Krzywinska


Location (57,3):
Bladefist Bay
on the coast of Durotar, east of the main gate
of Orgrimmar. Go east past Zep tower to shore, then swim a short distance north.


Session Logistics - NB: All times are Earthen Ring US Server Times (= Eastern US time zone)


Pre-Session Activities (12:00 noon server time):


To begin with, people who have published about WoW will briefly describe their completed work, and the abstracts and links will be available on the wiki. Others, who are currently engaged in research, will explain what they are doing at somewhat greater length, including any preview of results, in response to questions. The concluding part of the session will be a debate about future in-WoW projects that would be valuable to do, especially those that students might use as term papers and dissertations.


12:30 Session, May 9, 2008


Ten questions to begin with:


1. With 10 million users, WoW is an important cultural phenomenon. It is multinational. How can we study how WoW is affected by the multi-cultural playerbase?


2. How does WoW-culture affect offline-culture? 


3. Some researchers have claimed that WoW (and other MMOGs) can be used as a laboratory for studying human behavior. What do you think about this?


4. What are some advantages of quantitative research in World of Warcraft?


5. And some advantages of qualitative research?


6. What important areas need to be explored in studying World of Warcraft?


7. How do you separate yourself as a player vs a researcher? Or do you?


8. Do you think video games research is becoming more respectable or do you still get those baffled looks/pitying stares from colleagues?


9. At a recent conference on gaming held at UCI where Maggiemae’s real life counterpart teaches, many papers were on World of Warcraft to the point of “WoW fatigue.” Should we branch out more?


10. Is 'the magic circle' a suitable concept for understanding World of Warcraft, or are there better ways of describing the relation between game and non-game?