• The Sims as Resource: A Virtual Ethnography Evaluating the Concept of Digital Information Culture in the Gaming World

    Ludovica Price (see profile)
    CityLIS, Library & Information Science
    Subculture, Fans (Persons), Library science, Information science
    Item Type:
    City, University of London
    digital libraries, fan studies, online communities, participatory culture, The Sims, Fandom, Fan studies, Library and information science
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    This study looks into the life of a virtual gaming community, CTO Sims – a small slice of a wider community that engages in what Bruns (2006) has termed produsage, remediating videogame assets and content from a PC game, The Sims (2000) into custom or user-generated content – a practice also called ‘modding’. Through a virtual ethnographic methodology, this study explores the digital library at the heart of CTO Sims, and the participatory culture (Jenkins, 1992; 2006) which has grown up around it. This paper presents a narrative of an online videogaming produsage community, and through a process of immersion uncovers and probes into the everyday practices of commodification and produsage as they take place in the virtual field. The study begins to develop a theory of information culture by observing and exploring the CTO Sims community, its members, and their roles in knowledge and information economies. It is concluded that digital information cultures within online gaming communities form around the collaborative creation and exchange of digital cultural artefacts, in heterarchical networks that develop their own unique organisational and classification conventions. Moreover, these communities form support networks for members, acting as repositories for shared knowledge, skills and experiences. Freedom of communication acts as a tool for the generation of social and knowledge capital, and enables the growth of strong ties of affiliation between members. Further research is encouraged in private, offline produsage spaces, and into the individual motivations that drive regular users to become produsers.
    Last Updated:
    7 years ago


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