All our research is curated and peer-reviewed giving you access to an unmatched library of information all in one place.

Building Worlds: A Connective Ethnography of Play in Minecraft

Digital gameplay is enacted across many social platforms that can be described as affinity spaces, meaning informal learning environments where players share resources and knowledge. This article examines the ways that a young gamer stitches together several different spaces to play Minecraft. Our study focuses on the play of a single participant, collecting ethnographic data about how he enacts play across several different technologies as both a player and a server administrator. We find that Skype serves as the primary technology that enables gameplay between other spaces (e.g., building a server, playing on that server, and recording gameplay to upload onto YouTube). Relatedly, Skype’s prominence as a communication technology causes some difficulties with backgrounding personal identities during gameplay. Our findings show how everyday interactions in gaming spaces are carried out across affinity spaces and the implications that networked playhas for access to the learning opportunities inherent in play.