I briefly mentioned this last month, but my WoW paper finally got reviewed and recommended for acceptance pending revisions. I submitted the revision today. The two main issues were:
- Not enough in the meat of the paper that ties it back to theory from the beginning of the paper. It appeared that the reviewer knows all about game theory (individual incentives for cooperation) and thought that the description of raiding and the conclusions didn’t refer enough back to it. Ironically, I deliberately cut out some game theory talk because I needed to make the paper shorter but also because I wanted to deemphasize game theory and mental constructs. Rather, I tried to describe actual player behavior and practice. But I realize that what I actually wanted to do was contrast mechanics-based incentives with socially constructed incentives. So I did that in the revision.
- The raid group I was in is not a good case study as most raid groups are comprised of members from the same guild. I really am not sure the reviewer is right here, but conceded in the revision that my group might have been different from the norm due to the particular conditions of the Horde faction on my server. But ethnography and case studies, as far as I can tell, will always emphasize the differences and uniqueness of particular groups. That’s the whole point; to make the mundane seem extraordinary and to make the extraordinary seem mundane.
Anyway, for my dissertation work, I’ll be moving away from social dilemmas and game theory towards social construction of meaning, distributed cognition, and social dynamics and power relations.
I also plan to do a review of the raid groups I can identify and figure out exactly how many of them are guild exclusive to see if my raid group really was out of the ordinary. Blizzard (as evidenced by the Armory) and the game research community certainly subscribe to the notion that raids = guilds. I just don’t buy it yet.