Hello, and welcome to the Bednar Digital Humanities Research Team at Penn State’s website. Please read the appropriate invitation below (Roleplay or Non-Roleplay) to learn about our study on language in WoW.
For more information, see Study Info and Background and FAQs. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can head to the Forums to ask a question or view and participate in ongoing discussions about the project. To learn more about the research team, please visit our About Us page. Reach us though email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The submission link for chat logs and instructions on preparing them can be found at Chat Log Submissions.
Scroll down further for blog updates on the study’s progress.
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Study Invitation: Roleplay
We are a research team at the Pennsylvania State University studying the complexities and possibilities of roleplayers’ text-based communication in World of Warcraft. If you engage in any amount or type of roleplay in WoW, you are invited to participate.
Participation in this study is voluntary, and all responses will be confidential. Although you may not benefit personally from the study, the results will help shed light on the unique forms of social interaction that roleplay adds to MMORPGS such as WoW and that are often overlooked by non-gamers.
The study consists of an analysis of text chat logs (in and out of character) volunteered by roleplayers in order to quantify any narrative, descriptive, or other linguistic elements in the text chat of RPers that are not present in the text chat of non-RPers. This will help illustrate whether RP brings unique forms of social interaction/communication to games that are not already there; whether video games possess their own forms of literacy; and whether the needs of RPers can be better met by game developers. Our hypotheses for each of these questions are “Yes.”
If you would like to volunteer chat logs, please submit them in .txt format (your-character-name-or-an-alias.txt) to this secure Box at Penn State link. As many chat logs as possible is preferred, but any and all are appreciated.
**The chat logs will not be shared. Any information that could be used to identify you, your character, other players, or their characters will be removed from the logs prior to analysis, if you have not already done so. (IRL references will be deleted, and character names will be replaced with codes.) Please feel free to delete any information you feel uncomfortable sharing and/or search and replace character names with codes yourself before submitting the chat logs.**
Thank you for your consideration.
Study Invitation: Non-Roleplay
We’re reaching out to guilds to see if any are interested in donating text chat logs for a study by Penn State researchers on communication in WoW — specifically, on similarities/differences between the language of mainstream players and roleplayers. The study is the first of several we hope to do in order to shed light on the unique forms of social interaction in MMORPGs that are often overlooked by non-gamers.
We have already collected chat logs from roleplay guilds, and are seeking logs from guilds focused on PvE, PvP, raiding, etc. for comparison. The logs can be from any channels, scenarios, or timeframes so long as they are not roleplay. Any and all are appreciated.
**The chat logs will not be shared, and any personally identifying information in them will be removed prior to analysis if you have not already done so. (IRL references will be deleted and character names will be replaced with codes.) Please feel free to delete any IRL identifiers and/or search and replace names with codes yourself before submitting the chat logs.**
Chat logs should be submitted in .txt format (your-guild-name-or-alias.txt) to this secure Box at Penn State link: sites.psu.edu/narratingplay/chat-log-submissions/ Your guild’s contributions will be acknowledged in any publications that result from the study, if you wish it.
Thank you for your consideration.