I am a researcher and academic as well as a WoW junkie. I actually do research on virtual worlds; so essentially, I play WoW (and now Second Life) for a living. I’m particularly interested in social interaction and identity online, especially in digital visual spaces. Recent work on this looked at social norms and the visual aspects of online worlds. If you want to know more, you can contact me at lantanasham [the at sign] gmail dot com.
I started playing WoW in early 2008, but I have had considerable gaps in my playing since then. I live in the US, and got sucked into the game by a friend – to whom I will forever be grateful. If you want to follow my journey of discovering WoW as a new player, start with my first post. You can also check out other WoW blogs I follow with the links on the right. Chronicles of my new work in Second Life starts with Virtual Adjustments.
I created this blog in an attempt to: a) get myself better connected to the patterns of the Web 2.0 world and actually experience blogging rather than marvelling at it; and b) re-vitalize my notes and analysis of WoW so I can move forward with some research on it. To that end I invite and encourage you to read and comment.
Unlike many WoW blogs, you won’t find advice, gear recommendations, or patch notes here. This blog focuses mostly on my reflections of what participating in this space is like – relationships, conversation, social dynamics, etc. I use initials instead of names for the most part to preserve some modicum on anonymity for the folks I mention. But what you read here is in many way the chronicles of my journey in WoW and SL.
The backstory:I recently had a pretty destabilizing crisis in which I realised that I am not at all interested in putting my un-edited thoughts out into the world for anyone to see, FB update or blog-style (parents? students? friends? potential publishers of my articles?!). I have developed a more private nature than that – as a friend put it, I have learned to be selectively open. This is a good thing. But not very Web 2.0.
Conflict! And, of course, a bit ironic, in that I study the very phenomenon of folks putting themselves out there on the internet.
So this blog has now become public, and searchable. I’m interested in what readers might have to say. And I most definitely enjoying keeping track of my various musings.