Using participant observation in Machinima research.
This paper reports on the research methodology used to investigate the social and relational aspects of Machinima, ie., the creation of original films using live and edited gamesplay from 3D games engines (Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences). The aims of the research were to develop insight into the Machinima community, focusing upon the collaboration and consumption patterns of games players as well as the distribution and dissemination strategies for the original films. This paper firstly outlines the emergence of the Machinima community and its current stages of evolution in order to contextualise the subsequent discussion. Thereafter, it reviews the research design and methodology and considers a range of ethical dilemmas presented by the approaches taken to investigate the phenomenon. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of benefits and challenges and how these may be overcome. The methodology has potential to be useful in the study of similar emergent online socially and artistically oriented games-based phenomena where sensitivities in accessing the phenomenon, framing research questions and collecting relevant data are prevalent.
Citation : Harwood, T. (2010) Using participant observation in Machinima research. Games Research Methods Seminar. University of Tampere, Finland, April 8-9.
Research Group : Institute of Creative Technologies
Research Institute : Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester Media School