Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method
Tom Boellstorff, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce & T.L. Taylor
Princeton University Press, 2012
For sale at Princeton University Press.
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
T.L. Taylor is Professor of Comparative Media Studies and co-founder and Director of Research for AnyKey, an organization dedicated to supporting and developing fair and inclusive esports. She is a qualitative sociologist who has focused on internet and game studies for over two decades. Dr. Taylor’s research explores the interrelations between culture and technology in online leisure environments.
Her book Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming (MIT Press, 2012) chronicles the rise of esports and professional computer gaming. She also authored Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture (MIT Press, 2006) using her multi-year ethnography of EverQuest to explore issues related to multiplayer online gaming. In 2012 Princeton University published her co-authored book on conducting ethnographic research in online multi-user worlds, Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method. Her book about game live streaming – Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming (Princeton University Press) – is now out and is the first of its kind to chronicle this emerging media space.
Dr. Taylor is a highly sought after speaker. Both the White House and the International Olympics Committee have invited her to special summits focused on gaming. And journalists for the The New York Times, PBS, the Los Angeles Times, BBC, CBC, and many others often reach out to Dr. Taylor for her expertise.
For more info about her and work visit tltaylor.com.