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Title: The Vanara Paradox: An Ethnographic Conceptualization of Social Transformation for Online Gamers in MapleStory
Authors: Nguyen, Cam
Advisors: Gross, Neil
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: This paper provides a thorough ethnographic investigation of online gamers in a game called MapleStory. Specifically, it examines how social backbones are transformed through participation in these virtual worlds. Participant observation, logging in and playing MapleStory while taking field notes, over the course of seven months provides one source of data. Interviews with close personal contacts in game provides another. And lastly, an open anonymous survey specifically touching on the topic of romance was also conducted. I found evidence that gamers are tangibly transformed when they play these games. These transformations manifested in behavioral changes regarding stances on romance, superstitious behavior, what it means to have fun, and personal game motivations. Personal narratives also describe how personal baggage and biases injected themselves into virtual worlds that initially existed without politic. Suggestions on how to improve this transformative experience and possibly harness its effects for social improvement are also postulated.
Extent: 86 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2016

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