Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Avatar Watching: Participant Observation in Graphical Online Environments

Williams, Matthew Leighton 2007. Avatar Watching: Participant Observation in Graphical Online Environments. Qualitative Research 7 (1) , pp. 5-24. 10.1177/1468794107071408

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Increasingly, social science researchers are turning to the internet to study forms of ‘virtual’ culture. In tandem there has been a degree of trepidation and innovation in the application of research methodology to the online arena. As its focus this article takes the application of participant observation to the virtual field. Drawing upon narratives elicited from community members of an online graphical social space, methodological questions are raised about the viability of a ‘virtual ethnography’, while a more practical discussion focuses upon the re-engineering of participant observation for operation in an online pseudo-physical field. The impact of graphical pseudo-presence, avatar representation, physical online boundaries and multiple online sites upon the practice of participant observation are examined. The article concludes that the advent of new broadband technologies and the expansion of graphical online environments require online methods that are both responsive and adaptive in order to elicit reliable and valid data from rapidly changing online environments.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: avatars, internet, online research, participant observation, virtual ethnography
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1468-7941
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:49
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/3121

Citation Data

Cited 109 times in Google Scholar. View in Google Scholar

Cited 47 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item