It was interesting to read that even at in-person conventions for online game users, the interaction among the attendants is online. It is also interesting that clicks exist creating a sense of popularity among users. The cost of these conventions and the lack of minorities in the crowd show the digital divide that exists in a lot of online gaming communities. This sort of ethnography of online virtual world gamers has disproved a lot of the stereotypes that exist about gamers being “geeky.” The study also proves that a lot of the anonymity that users believe they have when online does not make natural emotions disappear. You mention certain romantic situations in which you feel awkward and you also discuss how guilds are exclusive causing loneliness. This is all reminiscent of how online communities often replicate real life. Although I feel the research that you are doing is necessary to figuring more about the culture of gamers, I feel connecting this study to examine what gamer culture says about the real world is the better angle of your research. I see that you examine how the gamers’ experiences are telling of our real lives. I find it interesting when you say “What happens in virtual worlds often is just as real, just as meaningful to participants.” This is where I have a hard time relating to the experience of gamers. I personally am anti-game. I often get angry with friends when they multi-task during a conversation, both talking and playing a game. I feel that I am not the only person my age that feels this way. So I do feel that there is a certain demographic of people who are gamers and that this should be considered when studying games. I feel that the demographic of gamers should be further explored when studying gamers and understanding them in real-life contexts.
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