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Posts with tag bonnie-nardi

Where Are They Now? The WoW personalities of 2010 and 2011

Where Are They Now The WoW personalities of 2010 and 2011
Quite a few of today's World of Warcraft players first set foot in Azeroth during the Cataclysm era. The years 2010 and 2011 saw gaming in general move into its own, and we began interviewing more and more WoW players and public personalities who were confident and eager to talk about their game of choice.

Are they still playing today in Mists of Pandaria? Many are -- although the exploits of those who aren't are sometimes equally as interesting to hear! Catch up on 2008 and 2009 in part 1 of our retrospective, and be sure click the bold subheadings at the beginning of each entry below to see the original interviews.

Pulverizing WoW MMA fighter Jens "Little Evil" Pulver has been trying his hand at Mists while preparing for his next fights. "I have not been inside a dungeon or raid but I have enjoyed leveling a few characters," he writes. "My hunter is my PvP character, and I try to get in a few games in the evening. Outside of WoW, I have been wrapping up my career as a MMA fighter and will be fighting in the semi's of the ONEFC bantamweight Grand Prix in April." Jens is also hard at work on projects including gaming hardware, depression, and motivational speaking; find out more at JensPulver.com or @jens_pulver on Twitter.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Anthropologist Bonnie Nardi on WoW culture and art

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

We've written before at WoW.com and even here in 15 Minutes of Fame about attempts to study World of Warcraft culture from a sociological, psychological or anthropological point of view. In all of these cases, the researchers in question have logged time playing WoW as part of their research, albeit some with greater degrees of immersive success than others.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Bonnie Nardi, a University of California-Irvine expert in the social implications of digital technologies and author of the rather blithely titled My Life as a Night Elf Priest, not only rolled the token raiding character in order to observe the curious behavior of the raiding animal -- she actually enjoys WoW in its own right. Rather than cautiously sniffing WoW culture only to generate another wide-eyed, ZOMG-look-at-this-funny-lingo report from the digital field, Nardi dove deep enough to play in four different guilds: a casual raiding guild; a raiding guild composed of fellow academics; a small, casual guild; and her own friends-and-family guild. Our two-part interview with Nardi, packed with opinion and cultural analysis, reveals a witty approach to WoW culture that successfully combines academic insight with the familiarity of a seasoned player.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

"My Life as a Night Elf Priest"

A University of California Irvine anthropologist named Bonnie Nardi has been studying one of the strangest cultures known to man lately, and she's going to be presenting her findings in a book called "My life as a Night Elf Priest" -- that's right, she's been taking notes on the weird sociological experiment known as Azeroth. It sounds pretty interesting -- she's been examining the way Chinese and American players play the game (and of course the differences between them), and she's also looking into how games like WoW can bring us closer together rather than isolating us socially.

It's funny -- as a genre and a technology, MMO games are actually in the absolute earliest phases of their history. Socoiologists and psychologists have been studying real humans for thousands of years, and yet it's only in the past few decades that they've gotten access to MMO games, like little petri dishes of condensed human behavior. Nardi may be one of the first to try and scientifically examine how players use (and are affected by) this technology, but she'll definitely be far from the last.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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