This paper documents the use of a multimodal data collection tool developed for research on Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). Addressing a central problem of qualitative research on MMOGs - how to document the activities of players' domestic, everyday/everynight play practices - we describe how the virtual 'travelogue' allows participants to share, and annotate, screenshots of their MMOG play. Based on our preliminary analysis of 69 travelogues, we explore how these texts function similar to travel postcards, as generic images of in-game events and environments that are personalized and narrativized through players' annotations. We also discuss two themes across the travelogues, (in)authenticity and individualization, that illuminate the ways players negotiate the standardizing effect of many MMOG play experiences.

mmogs, postcards, qualitative research, travelogue, visual methods
30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012

Taylor, N. (Nicholas), McArthur, V, & Jenson, J. (Jennifer). (2012). Virtual postcards: Multimodal stories of online play. In Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings (pp. 131–140). doi:10.1145/2212776.2212791