The latest issue of fibreculture, an Aussie journal on new media, published a number of interesting articles on “gaming network” providing different techniques to academically study social aspects of online games, including Second Life. This issue was edited by Chris Chesher, Alice Crawford and Julian Kücklich.
Here is some parts on Editorial section.
The result of this increased interconnectedness is a blurring of boundaries – between real and virtual, private and public, global and local. (para. 2)
[G]ame studies must try to answer the question of how games create links between people, institutions, and cultures. It is undeniable that games create networks between players from different cultures, but this does not mean that the cultural differences between them are suspended. (para. 3)
They [the articles in this issue] all trace networks – between fans and academics, between institutions and players, between technologies and their affordances – but they do so in different ways, thus demonstrating the strength and flexibility of the network metaphor.
Some of frameworks and theory shown in these articles include Actor-Network Theory, interaction between the global and the local (among East Asian countries), fan networks, game as a propaganda instrument, the concept of cute culture for representations of players and network metaphor.
I have never much looked closely to gaming study. But these stuffs look very interesting!
[via Master of Media]