I took up the challenge in module 4.1 to select a game from the top ten list of AAA titles and an interactive fiction game and explore the communities, networks and knowledge systems that support them. From the top ten AAA titles I chose Minecraft and the interactive fiction game I chose was 80 Days.
I am familiar with web communities in general but because I do not play digital games I had never encountered game related communities. Interest-driven sites or affinity spaces are where players go to engage further with the game (Gee, 2012). These affinity spaces include forums, wikis, cheats, videos, reviews, fan-fiction, mods and social media.
Affinity spaces offer powerful opportunities for learning, Gee argues, because they are sustained by common endeavors that bridge differences—age, class, race, gender, and educational level—and because people can participate in various ways according to their skills and interests, because they depend on peer-to-peer teaching with each participant constantly motivated to acquire new knowledge or refine their existing skills, and because they allow each participant to feel like an expert while tapping the expertise of others. (Jenkins, Weigel, Clinton & Robinson, 2009)
I have curated two Pearltrees boards to illustrate these communities and the enormous amount of time and effort players go to to expand upon their game experience, learn more about their chosen games and help others.
Minecraft, by karenmalbon
80 Days (Interactive fiction)
80 Days, by karenmalbon
As an individual and an information professional I relate to this kind of information seeking behaviour. After I watch a film or read a book I often want to learn more and delve deeper into the themes, location and setting by reading reviews and forum postings. I am a consumer and have not become an active participant or creator by contributing to such spaces. I admire the passion that many game players have to contribute to such knowledge networks.
Gee, J. P. (2012). Digital games and libraries. Knowledge Quest, 41(1), 60-64.
Henry Jenkins , R. P., Margaret Weigel, Katie Clinton, Alice Robinson. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Retrieved from https://www.macfound.org/media/article_pdfs/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF