• Ouch! David White and the Dragon Slaying

    Image of Valithria Dreamwalker successfully healed in Icecrown Citadel 25-person raid instance
    Image: Elsheindra and the 24 other members of Team EverREDy successfully heal Valithria Dreamwalker in Icecrown Citadel. Here, the challenge isn’t to slay the dragon, but to heal her. While whether she lives or dies isn’t a matter of perspective, how you react to finding someone else has done your thesis work can be a challenge to rise to or a disaster. It’s all in how you look at it.

    Tony Hirst (@psychemedia) built a Google custom search engine that scraped the profiles of Twitter users employing the #altc2010 hashtag for website addresses.  For a laugh, I typed in “World of Warcraft”, not expecting much to show up other than myself.  Well, I was there, but so was mention of a poster and a talk entitled “Cultural Capital and Community Development in the Pursuit of Dragon Slaying (Massively Multiplayer Guild Culture as a Model for e-L:earning)” at the 2007 Alt-C conference by David White.  That pointed me to an Alt-C talk and a GLS one in 2007.  So, not long before I started my Ph.D., David was already out there talking about this.  Ouch!  The “ouch” part is that I met him earlier this year at a gaming-related discussion panel.  He was chairing my table, but  we were discussing  digital residents and visitors.  David follows me on Twitter too!  World of Warcraft has never come up.

    The abstract mentions guilds, World of Warcraft, social capital, and communities of practice.  His description is eerily similar to my current focus.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a matching paper for the talk.  There’s just the GLS 2007 26-minute talk embedded in the blog pos from Tall Blog.  I’d best add this to my list of things to investigate soon.  It sounds very, very relevant.  Perhaps he has something I can build on or I will obtain some ideas on how to differentiate my work.  I am also interested in seeing his ethnographic approach and what he discovered.  This is a challenge, not a disaster.  There is always something different you can do.  You just need to find it.


    2 comments on “Ouch! David White and the Dragon Slaying”

    • Mark Chen says:

      Nice to meet you on twitter recently. There's always nuance in local contexts of course, so keep your chin up! As an aside, it's GLS not GSL. Other researchers to check out are Lee Sherlock, Moses Wolfenstein, Krista-Lee Malone, Kristine Ask. In addition to Moses, check out the whole GLS crew in general actually, too.

      • Michelle (Eingang) says:

        Hi Mark.
        Thanks for stopping by.

        There's really a games researcher named Wolfenstein? That's kind of ironic! The list of names is really handy as most aren't familiar yet to me. Thanks! It doesn't, of course, do wonders for my reading pile though! Speaking of which, I just added your newly posted dissertation Leet Noobs: Expertise and Collaboration in a World of Warcraft Player Group as Distributed Sociomaterial Practice to that pile and to my to-do list.

        I knew it was GLS. I obviously just like typing GSL better. At least I was consistent about it. Thanks for pointing it out, so I could fix it. I'd really like to be able to attend in person. Madison, Wisconsin isn't exactly down the street from me though but I'll be keeping my eyes open for details of next year's.

        BTW: My project has its own site. It's over at WoWLearing.org.