Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Call me a geek scholar.

I want to make a cake like this.
For my internship at a small publisher for students, I've been doing research for an eBook on the gaming community as a social group. Basically, I go into work every day and read WoW blogs for four hours. I'm a creative writer, and reporting the facts as I find them is totally not my M.O. I always want to change things as I see fit in order to support my grand Idea. I actually got into a discussion with my coworker about it, because she basically saw fiction-writing as "lying." I had to explain that while journalism consists of telling the facts, creative writing doesn't mind fudging the facts in order to convey a greater Truth. With a capital T. She didn't get it.

But anyway, when I finally stopped perusing to do some real research for my project, I found that there is actual academic literature out there on trolling.

I am incredibly interested in reading said material.

Google Books let me preview a few pages of Communities in Cyberspace, and in their chapter "Identity and deception in the virtual community," the writers broke down the conveyed meanings in Usenet posts. They analyzed Geek Code used in signatures, interpreted different domain names as users would perceive them, and concluded that reputation incentives drive people to pretend to be knowledgeable on forums. They basically did close readings of message boards, like the posts were poems, and they reverse-interpreted the inner workings of their poets/users.

Sociologists get all the fun. I chose the wrong major.



  1. Are you going to psychoanalyze my posts now?