Methodological preambles are far from innocent in the construction of ethnographic authority. The ethnography described in this book is no different. Chapter 4 is there not just to tell you what I did, but to convince you that I did something that authorizes me to speak. Devices such as the technical glossary at the end of this book display the ethnographer’s competence with the local language, just as do the glossaries included with ethnographies conducted in distant places and other languages. (Hine 2000, p46)
An RPG Glossary
Alignment – moral compass; a combination of lawful / chaotic / unlawful + good / neutral / evil
D&D – Dungeons & Dragons
GM – Game Master
God-moding – Making a character like a god with unbeatable powers.
IC – In character
MUD -Multi-User Dungeon, Domain or Dimension (multi-player computer game that combines elements of role-playing games, hack and slash style computer games and social chat rooms)
NPC – non-playing character
OOC – Out of Character
OTBRPG – Online text-based role playing game
PBC – Play by chat
PBEM – Play by email
PBP – Play by post
PBW – Play by wiki
PTB – ‘Powers that be’ (admin, moderators, GM and the like)
Free-form – Minimal formal rules and restrictions.
Re-roll – start over
RL – Real Life
Role Playing RPG – Role Play Game
RPB – Role play blog
Hine, C, (2000) “The virtual objects of ethnography” from Hine, C, Virtual Ethnography pp.41-66, London: Sage
The following quotation is the rules for the RPG forum on The Northlands. They were posted (and are implemented) but our moderator, Red. To see the rules in their environment click here.
We all have to have rules. I like to think of them as guidelines, to be used with your good judgement. Please adhere to them and it will remain fun for all
1. Please, no godmodding – every character should have weaknesses, just as they have strengths. They should also be defeatable – there’s no fun, otherwise.
2. Don’t force other characters – you can aim the hit, but it is up to the other player if it lands or not. Work these sort of things out prior to the event via the OOC thread (exactly what it’s created for) or via PM. In some circumstances, players will allow someone else to control their character, if they happen to be away for a long period of time, so as not to hold up the play of the game. However, don’t assume you can control someone else’s character without getting their permission first.
3. Before entering an RPG, speak to the GM (Game Master) first, and make your intentions clear, through the OOC thread (again, that’s what they’re there for) or by PM.
4. Try not to double-post as a character. Wait for another player to chip in. Don’t forget about timezones and that real life takes precedence over RPGs.
5. Keep conversation about the game to the OOC threads. That’s another use for them! Only character posts should be put into the actual game thread. Everything else gets confined to the OOC thread.
6. If conflicts arise and can’t be resolved amiably, seek the help of the moderator (me ) or one of our admin staff. That is what we are there for
7. The Admin and Moderators’ word is final – so don’t argue.
As I think of rules, I’ll add them, but for now – happy gaming
This is a slideshow of the RPG that is the focus of my digital ethnography, with caption commentary from me. Please click the link to view the images individually or view as a slideshow if you prefer. Unfortunately I can’t slow the slideshow speed in the settings, so you will have to do it yourself as you view. The controls are straightforward.