Dmitri Williams Lecture at UCSB
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a guest lecture by Dmitri Williams. For roughly an hour, Dr. Williams discussed the arc of his research agenda as well as some particularly interesting research findings. His research focuses on MMOs and how these worlds “map” (or serve as a surrogate) for the real world. To answer these questions, Williams combines real data from MMOs with survey data and ethnographic research. The resulting findings are strikingly descriptive of what is actually happening within MMOs – the above video is absolutely worth a watch.
Equally important, Williams provides an outline of research agendas that might explore how exactly MMOs map to the real world:
As a new grad student interested in MMOs, it is helpful to see the field conceptualized in this way. One issue that I have struggled with is a perception that Communication scholars explore MMOs from a rather broad perspective. This framework serves as an important reminder that there is considerable opportunity for in-depth examination of these games from the traditional pillars of communication research (interpersonal, small group, mass, etc.).
This talk was part of a continuing lecture series hosted by the Center for Information Technology and Society (CITS) at UCSB. The above lecture was originally posted to the CITS website and can be found here. For those interested, here are the complete lecture slides.