VIRTUAL ETHNOGRAPHY RESEARCH ON SECOND LIFE VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES


Mehmet FIRAT
Isıl KABAKCI YURDAKUL


ABSTRACT
The rise of digital technologies like 3D virtual worlds has the potential to open new directions in virtual ethnography researches. Although there has been a lot of discussion about conducting research in online spaces and in virtual games, there are few studies on conducting research in virtual worlds. In this study, within a holistic perspective, the virtual ethnography research potential in Second Life was investigated vithe the help of a detailed participant observation research conducted by researchers in Second Life and from a holistic perspective. This research was conducted in the fall semester of the 2009-2010 academic years. In this study, researchers in the role of a participant observer conducted 8 observations in ethnographic focus. Also, some important methods and techniques that can be used in doing ethnographic research in Second Life are presented in this study.


KEYWORDS: Second Life; virtual ethnography; participant observation; virtual communities.

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