Methodology, texts, practices

An earlier paper on Resident Evil 4 is here, and includes more on method:  Carr, D (2009) ‘Textual Analysis, Digital Games, Zombies’.  Presented at DiGRA 2009, UK. Copy online at the DiGRA digital library, link.

This project uses textual analysis – which is obviously different from looking at disability as constructed within players practices and player culture.  For a previous example of research focusing on use and practices  (based in a virtual world, not a game) please see :

Carr, D (2010)  ‘Constructing Disability in Online Worlds; Conceptualising Disability in Online Research’ in the London Review of Education:  March 2010.

There is a draft version online here, and here’s an extract, taken from the introduction.

Quote – Educators are increasingly interested in the teaching and learning potentials of virtual worlds such as Second Life (Kirriemuir, 2008). However, participation in virtual worlds may not be straightforward for disabled people. For example, during 2007 an integrated voice feature was introduced into Second Life by its developers, Linden Labs. Prior to the introduction of this voice feature most users (or ‘residents’) communicated by typed text-chat. With the arrival of the voice feature, some deaf residents found themselves suddenly excluded from relationships, groups and events. Of course, it was not the voice feature as tool that disabled these users, so much as the various practices and conventions that emerged in its wake.

To explore these matters interviews were conducted with deaf Second Life residents. The impact of the voice feature was investigated, and the construction of deafness as a disability in Second Life was examined. A major theme that emerged during analysis of the data was that of ‘loss’, which encompassed references to learning, adjustment and identity. The interviewees offered clarifications and revisions when discussing these issues. They were forthright and articulate about the impact of voice, yet wary of and resistant to being positioned as bereft or passive. These matters are explored using a Cultural Studies framework, while reference is made to literature from Disability Studies, Deaf Studies, and Second Life and education research. These different literatures offer insights relevant to the topic, yet these approaches are not especially compatible, particularly in terms of the conceptualizing of disability itself. This paper begins with a consideration of these differences.

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