Raiding Research Online

Exploring and mapping the MMO raiding culture
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Archive for October, 2009

Welcome!

October 25, 2009 By: Ladan Category: raiding culture, raiding guild, World of Warcraft

Welcome to my new site! My goal here is to provide information on what I am researching and, hopefully, engage others out there in discussing, sharing, and responding to questions and ideas about what raiding culture is and what its impact is on gaming and the broader culture.

I expect to have two audiences for this site: one, other researchers or academics who may be interested in the nature of my research or may also be pursuing similar lines of research; and two, raiding gamers who are curious about what I’m researching and/or might like to contribute to it. No offence intended to those researchers who are probably smarter and more capable than I, but I am hopeful that raiding gamers will contribute to this site. Your perspective and opinions on what I am dubbing our raiding subculture is of particular interest to me. You can impact research into your culture by participating in the research. You can dispel myths! You can open people’s minds about it.

About me: I am currently pursuing postgraduate doctoral research in the Geography Department at Durham University which is located in northeast England (http://www.dur.ac.uk). My fieldwork involves working closely with a raiding guild on a European server of the MMO World of Warcraft. What is raiding? Well, this is where gamers participate in the end game content of an MMO, working in large groups to achieve difficult tasks (usually involving killing a fiercesome foe) and reaping marvellous rewards if they see success. For the bulk of gamers, particularly those who play MMOs, raiding is a familiar concept and is enjoyed by a particular subgroup of gamers.

Over time, I’ll be uploading videos, screenshots, tidbits, and other information to this site as well as adding some general points and ideas to my blog. I’ll also have the odd survey and, hopefully, probing question here and there. Please feel free to add comments, join the forum, and upload your own information. I’d like to engage the gaming world in my work as much as possible as I feel gamers are the best sources of information on gaming and raiding culture. In time I will be conducting some in person interviews and hope to present some basic findings from those as well. If you happen to live in the UK (or other nearby European countries and the US), you may be able to participate in these interviews and group discussions.

As an example of how I’d like to get raiders to participate in my research, I’d like to thank Alex Watson, AKA Nyathiel, with whom I raid. She is not just an avid and skilled gamer but an accomplished Web developer, designer and artist! She’s helped me navigate setting up this Web site and blog and has been a great source of encouragement and knowledge along the way. Support a fellow gamer and new designer by going to her Web site, www.alexwatson.co.uk.

More to come! Stay tuned!

Ladan