Departing from the Virtual Community: A Discussion of the Ways and Means to Uncover Localized Order in Online Games from Basil Bernstein to Harvey Sacks

Ms Eryn Grant
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The 'virtual community' while important in its own right is misleading for the investigation of self -regulation in online multi-user environments. This is due to the tendency to strongly classify the types of interactions or behaviors that are acceptable; chat rooms are for 'chatting', eBay is for buying and selling, games are for entertainment. However, when investigating self regulation in massive multi-player online environments it is clear that behaviors are not regulated in this same way. That is strongly classified boundaries of 'virtual communities' do not provide access to the weaker classified behaviors and interactions that make self -regulation visible (Bernstien 1986).). For this reason it is necessary to depart from 'virtual communities' and find a different means to understand the fluid interaction as it exists in particular online environments. As a means to gain access to the weaker classified forms of interaction online 'communities of practice' will be offered as an alternative to 'virtual community' for the purpose of online multi-player games (Johnson, 2001).

Keywords: Virtual Community, Online Communities of Practise, Massive Multiplayer Online Games, Interaction, Self Regulation
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Departing from the Virtual Community

Ms Eryn Grant

PhD Candidate/Research Officer, Australiasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID) and Centre for Social Change Research, Queensland University of Technology

Ref: T05P0253