2004
Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1385-1535
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7324

Abstract

Ethnography in the virtual world: a methodological struggle (with introduction and debate)

Ethnography in the virtual world: a methodological struggle (with introduction and debate)

The author discusses problems in the ethnographic study of online, virtual worlds through a presentation of his research of the internet game EVE Online. It attracts many millions of players worldwide, who navigate in a sciencefiction type of environment in which they compete for dominant positions and scarce resources. The author problematizes three aspects of EVE, that are relevant for discussions of ethnography in online, virtual worlds: (1) the place of interaction, (2) the design of the game, and (3) access to the EVE corporations: organisational units in which players collaborate. Based on this, the author advocates a novel methodological approach in the study of online, virtual worlds, which he terms ‘virtual-organisational ethnography’. It combines elements of organization science and Christine Hine’s virtual ethnography, and that presents a step away from classical ethnography. Fred Wester and Joost Beuving present a reply to the article, and the author responds to this.

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/content/journals/10.5117/2015.020.002.012
2015-06-01
2021-12-08
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