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Getting-to-Know: Inquiries, Sources, Methods, and the Production of Knowledge on a Videogame Wiki
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Documentation, ISSN 0022-0418, E-ISSN 1758-7379, Vol. 73, no 6, p. 1299-1321Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the sociocultural underpinnings of wiki-based knowledge production in the videogame domain, and to elucidate how these underpinnings relate to the formation of wikis as resources of videogame documentation.

Design/methodology/approach. The paper is based on a three-month ethnographic investigation of knowledge practices on the Dark Souls Wiki (DSW). In focus of the analysis were the boundaries and knowledge aims of the DSW, together with how its contributors organized inquiries and used various sources, methods of investigation, and ways of warranting knowledge claims.

Findings. The principal result of the paper is an empirical account of how the DSW functions as a culture of knowledge production, and how the content and structure of the wiki connects to the knowledge practices of its contributors. Four major factors that influenced knowledge practices on the wiki were identified: the structures and practices established by the community’s earlier wiki efforts; principles and priorities that informed wiki knowledge practices; the characteristics of the videogame in focus of the site’s knowledge-building work; the extent and types of relevant documentation provided by videogame industry, the videogaming press included.

Originality/value. Previous research has shown interest in investigating the mechanisms by which community-created knowledge and online resources of documentation emerge, and how these are utilized in play. There is, however, little research seeking to elucidate the sociocultural structures and practices that determine and sustain collaborative online videogame knowledge production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 73, no 6, p. 1299-1321
Keyword [en]
Wikis, Knowledge production, Ethnography, Social media, Practices, Videogames
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336745DOI: 10.1108/JD-11-2016-0145OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-336745DiVA: diva2:1166836
Available from: 2017-12-16 Created: 2017-12-16 Last updated: 2018-01-14
In thesis
1. Documenting Videogame Communities: A Study of Community Production of Information in Social-Media Environments and its Implications for Videogame Preservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Documenting Videogame Communities: A Study of Community Production of Information in Social-Media Environments and its Implications for Videogame Preservation
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Drawing on the disciplines of library and information studies and archival studies, this study seeks to explore the production of information in online videogame communities and to elucidate how such insights can offer practical and conceptual support to the knotty issue of how to preserve those sociocultural aspects of videogames that exist 'beyond' the code and audiovisual data resources of the videogame itself. This is accomplished in two principal moves: (i) by delving into the current state of socioculturally-focused videogame preservation and; (ii) by inquiring into the production of information carried out by videogame communities in what arguably is one of their most important interfaces of interaction—discussion forums, wikis, and other social-media services. The study is based on four papers (I–IV). Paper I develops the theoretical framework of the study on the basis of practice theory and document theory. Papers II and III report on field-studies of videogame-community information production in the context of two processes of importance in community social life: memory-making (II) and knowledge production (III). Paper IV offers a qualitative systematic review of videogame-archiving literature, allowing Papers I–III to be situated in an archival context. The study employs multiple methods and encompasses several empirical sites of inquiry and was inspired by the framework of exploratory research and of 'bricolage' research strategies.

The results of the study add to the present state of knowledge on how information in the social-media environments of the large and influential present-day videogaming domain emerges as a result of community practices of production, and how videogame-community social life is entangled with information production in such spaces. The study also furthers archival inquiry on the topic of videogame preservation by providing a description and analysis of what information objects videogame-related social media plausibly hold, and by what communal practices and processes they have been brought into existence. Furthermore, the study examines the consequences of collecting community-produced social media and framing it as documentation of the sociocultural aspects of videogames—a key issue in videogames preservation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of ALM, 2018. p. 164
Series
Skrifter utgivna vid institutionen för ABM vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1652-5353 ; 7
Keyword
Videogames, Videogame preservation, Practice theory, Documents, Documentation, Memory-making, Knowledge production, Social media, ALM
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336748 (URN)978-91-506-2676-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-02, Humanistiska Teatern, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-02-13

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