TOPIC: Your paper will be an ‘auto-ethnography’: it will be an ethnographic narrative centered on your own gaming experiences. If you want to know what ethnography looks like, look at the first chapter of Nardi’s book. Start by telling the story, start concrete, and then insert theoretical observations or asides into your ‘gaming diary’. Alternately, you can divide up your stories and frame them according to the theoretical theme they deal with (World, Interface, and Avatar etc).
YOU’RE STORY: The auto-ethnography of a newbie gamer. Just like an ethnographer plunked down in a distant unfamiliar place doing a traditional ethnography, you first begin from the perspective of a stranger commenting on the strange world of the games you are in and how you adjusted to them and learned their ways. You must talk about your life as a gamer, so that invites you to reflect empirically and theoretically on the differences of different games you have played both as games and as narratives (i.e. what ‘narrative potentials’ they have and how they were as games. The easiest way to organize the whole thing is, like Nardi, to organize it autobiographically like a ‘diary’ of a newbie gamer.
WORLDNESS: an obligatory subsection. You must also devote an entire section of at least 3-4 pages (that’s 900-1200 words, not including images) to reflecting on virtual world you have played most in, and talk explicitly about the ‘wordless’ of that world in relation to a general model of ‘wordless’, note that there are several thinkers who have discussed this, one of which is Klastrup, but also Jenkins, Nardi, Taylor and others. You must be as thorough as possible in finding all the thinkers who have talked about wordless and summarize them and cite them and compare their observations to your own. This section should be a separable labeled sub-part with its own intro and conclusion. This section can go wherever you like
OTHER THEMES: You must find other themes that your stories address: how you told the stories is is significant (narrative), the in game versus out of game worlds the players inhabit are significant, the interface, the tenor of interaction with other players: in short, some observation and some theorist from each week of the readings should be in evidence, minimum, and productive use of these observations need to be made in relation to the stories you are telling. You can make these observations along the way in telling one long story, arranged much like a diary, or you can divide up your episodes and tell the stories according to the themes they illustrate (i.e. a section on your troubles with the interface, a section on the avatar, a section on this ort that).
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