Sunday, February 26, 2012

Participant Observation

Dear Tom,

I have to give you brownie points for doing research on virtual worlds because I know I would not be able to do it. The question of what ethnography tells us about virtual worlds makes me wonder how you came up with that question. I think your study gave you accurate results because you did not skew the results due to your own opinions. You were able to focus on the study of SL culture. I would like to quote you as you said “actual world sociality cannot explain virtual-world sociality” because it’s true. Real life and virtual life is two completely different things however people do engage themselves in virtual world. The virtual world such as SL has adopted almost every aspect imaginable that you can see in real life. I believe because of participant observation, you chose the best method and choice of conducting this study. You engaged in SL and was able to get firsthand experience and correct data. The reason why I would not be able to do this study is because I cannot engage myself in virtual world such as Second Life. I would not like to live my life through an avatar talking to other people who engage themselves. I have too much going on in real life that I think there would be absolutely no way I can juggle both. Also, I would be really tempted to block out the real person behind the avatar and would question them about their real life instead of their virtual life mentality of why they are playing SL.

- Stephanie

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