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Posts with tag raiding-dynamics

Leet Noobs: An ethnographic view of WoW raiding from researcher Mark Chen

Leet Noobs An ethnographic view of WoW raiding from gamerturnedacademic Mark Chen
It's always a bit bewildering to see World of Warcraft mentioned outside of our tight-knit gaming community. Even reading Lisa's interview with Bonnie Nardi, author of My Life as a Night Elf Priest, gave me a sense of awe and a realization of just how big the game truly was, not only to those of us who play it but to those who don't even know what an orc is.

As such, when Mark Chen, a self-professed gaming researcher with a Ph.D. in educational technology and learning sciences, contacted me about his new dissertation-turned-book Leet Noobs: The Life and Death of an Expert Player Group in World of Warcraft, I couldn't turn down an opportunity to dive into it.

As the title of the book suggests, Chen chronicles his experience raiding Molten Core with his inter-guild group back in vanilla WoW, examining relationships between the group's members and the different guilds themselves and noting the different ways the raid group operated as a thinking, breathing entity that overcame difficulties, both game-related and socially-induced. Chen relates one of the larger concepts discussed in the book, actor-network theory, to a functioning raid group, detailing how each participant, or actor, assumes a role within the larger group, forming a network of responsibility and interdependence. He even goes so far as incorporating non-human actors such as KTM, the first successful threat meter in WoW, into this network.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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