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Student web logs

Below, you will find term papers written by undergraduate students in the class "Games for the Web: Ethnography of Massively Multiplayer On-line Games."

These students used a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods to explore sociological issues associated with massively multiplayer virtual worlds. Each student in the class pursued a different research question. Their term papers (and web logs) are linked below.

In the interests of reciprocity, we are sharing the findings of our research with the gaming community. Please wander through the site at your leisure, and take a look at the student's preliminary research findings. We would love to hear your constructive feedback, either through e-mail or via postings to student web logs.

Please keep in mind the limitations of this research setting. Time was too short to pursue in-depth ethnographic research, and sample sizes were too small to extrapolate with confidence to the broader gaming community. For many of the students, it was the first time that they had undertaken a research project of this scope. Nevertheless, this work reflects the efforts of a new generation of scholars grappling with the social significance of this vital medium.

Gritty details about course mechanics and pedagogical premises are elaborated elsewhere, as are extensive acknowledgements of those who supported the course in some way. We want to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who helped us out along the way. Thank you.

Click on a student's name to view his or her web log.

Amy Blaha, "MMOs as therapy: A therapeutic tool or barrier to psychological growth" (View PDF) (View Blog)


Andrew Krausnick, "Strangers in strange lands: Virtual worlds and the newbie experience" (View PDF) (View Professional Blog) (View Class Blog)


Cameron Hill, "From N00b to L33t: Learning strategies in Everquest II" (View PDF) (View Blog)

Chris Taylor, "Bonds of trust: An in-depth look at social bonding within MMO guilds" (View PDF) (View Blog)


Grady Philips, "Gamers in their golden years: Generational boundaries in virtual worlds" (View PDF) (View Blog)


Jason Bullock, "Dreams and MMOs: Do avatars dream of hero quests?" (View PDF) (View Blog)

Katherine Rector, "Role-Play in MMOs: How avatar characteristics affect the game play experience" (View PDF) (View Blog)


Kathryn Cornelius, "Violence in MMOs: It's not only adolescent boys who like this stuff" (View PDF) (View Blog)


Manny Alvarez, "Second Life and school: The use of virtual worlds in high school education" (View PDF) (View Blog)

Matt Kovacs, "Gaming, virtual worlds and the law: A study of the legal future of massively multi-player online role playing games" (View PDF) (View Blog)


Megan Loving, "Elves and faeries in the hospital: Virtual worlds to affect the quality of life among child oncology patients" (View PDF) (View Blog)


Nick Nobel, "Aesthetics and gratification: Sexual practices in virtual environments" (View PDF) (View Blog)

Sam Kaminski, "The impacts of farming and crafting on MMO economies" (View PDF) (View Blog)


Sarah C., "Playing as evil characters" (View PDF) (View Blog)



Travis Givens, "Through the looking glass: Player perceptions of game administrators" (View PDF) (View Blog)

Aaron D. (Carbonela the Priestess)