The travelling gamer : an ethnography of video game events

Law, YY 2016, The travelling gamer : an ethnography of video game events , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

This thesis is an ethnography of video gamers and video game events. It considers the social and cultural practices of video gamers away from the video game screen, and in particular focuses on those who participate in, and attend, various video game related events. Previous studies on video games have often focused on the isolation of video gamers (in small groups) or the textual analysis of video games themselves. However, these focuses have often been too closely aligned with a very narrow understanding of (direct) play, which often ignore the social aspect of video gaming away from the video game screen. Using an ethnographic approach, consisting of questionnaires, interviews, group interviews, and extensive observational research, this research considers the social significance of video games in enabling and maintaining social networks, patterns and the identity formations of those who attend various video game events across the United Kingdom; including video game conventions [MCM Comic Con, Eurogamer/EGX Rezzed, Play Expo], tournaments and competitions [Edmas 2, Edintines, Manchester Monthly Regionals], local area network parties [Insomnia Gaming Festivals i50/i51/i52/i53/i54/i55/i56], game related musical events [Video Games Live, Final Fantasy Orchestral concerts and Legend of Zelda Orchestral concerts] and other video game practices away from the video game screen. The research findings suggest that video game events are not just about playing video games. Video game events provide a unique opportunity for video gamers, who are usually separated by distance, to come together and interact in meaningful ways, besides gaming itself. Many of those who attend video game events often engage themselves through various forms of socialisation, tuition, and social progression, that are often taken for granted. Therefore, this research seeks to provide an understanding of an important, but largely under-researched aspect of video gamer culture.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: YY Law
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2017 09:43
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2017 09:43
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/40411

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