I need to apologize for the lack of recent posts – a new project is eating up my free time..
Here is your homework for the weekend: read Thomas Malaby’s paper about the different forms of capital in virtual worlds. Professer Malaby has been studying us for the last year or so, and by us, I mean he was sitting about 10 feet away doing ethnographic research on Linden Lab last week. He was sitting at a desk with a laptop, which may be a kind of dot-com version of a duck blind, but it seems that ethnographers try to immerse themselves in the culture they are studying.
I never got around to taking a anthropology class in college – my only experience with the social sciences finding a orange warning cone on a footbridge one morning, only to look up and notice a gaggle of students with clipboards trying to hide behind a bush. I waved at them, and walked across the bridge. For whatever reason, I tend to respect researchers who don’t try to hide behind shrubbery.
I had a whole long post planned out on how being researched makes me a bit introspective – in this case, my relationship to Linden Lab’s culture, and how it affects my relationship with "the world." Unfortunately, it was long and rambling, so my internal editor chopped it all out and promised to include it in a future post.
Oh well, enjoy Prof. Malaby’s work!