Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dissendium into Data

Hello again my friends,
I have again collected more data from This time I have opted to include comments from other houses in my data set. To situate this data for everyone, I took the following data set from the Great Hall section of the site. This area of the game is a place where players can see how many points each house has in the running to win the coveted House Cup. It also has a section on dueling leaders from all the houses as well as leaders in the number of most house points from each. The final main area of the Great Hall is the comments feed and consequently where I chose to focus my attention this week. This is a unique portion of the site that allows players to interact with members of other houses. 

So here is the data sample for you all to absorb (all player names have been replaced with pseudonyms to retain player anonymity):

NightStone7032: "I laugh at you all - let me rephrase that - play my game, or I will pick you off one by one - Fang"
About a minute ago Report this Like

SilverSun10873: "Fatal -smirks- I knew you would do that -gets the real one out- This won't be effected by your lets negotiate....-Blue"
About a minute ago Report this Like

HoneyUnicorn4867: "To To, eh sorry. i'm back! -smiles- thanks.. nice suit -Elm"
About a minute ago Report this Like

EchoFlitwick9316: "There's a ball? -Candy"
About a minute ago Report this Like

ElmPheonix78421: "Camry? -she says softly- -Orca"
About a minute ago Report this Like

InkWand03479: "Pew-I've been sitting on the table barefoot the entire evening so I guess nothing much as well...-Ruby Wand"
About a minute ago Report this Like

ElmPheonix78421: "Cody? -she says softly- -Orca "
About a minute ago Report this Like

SnakeElm30569: "hello !!"
2 minutes ago Report this Like

GloryNimbus5723: "-dances by myself- Luna"
2 minutes ago Report this Like

CentaurSpell7992: "Don't worry it wasn't your fault... it was mine-Carmen"
2 minutes ago Report this Like

So what do you think? Pretty interesting? I liked this piece of data because it showed a different sort of interaction between players from last week's data set. I know you can't see in this particular rendition of the data but the above "students" were from all four houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw). In the game, the houses are somewhat rivals since they are all trying to win the House Cup. This data set shows some of that rivalry with NightStone7032 writing the first comment. I also found this interesting because it seemed to parallel a section from the Harry Potter books themselves. In the fourth book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, during the Christmas season there was a Yule Ball held in the Great Hall and all the houses and their other school guests attended. The majority of this data set seems to be echoing that particular story event from about EchoFlitwick9316 (or possibly HoneyUnicorn4867) all the way down to GloryNimbus5723. It demonstrates how players interact within a structured game space, how players form an identity in such a structured game, how role playing fits into a game space, as well as it exemplifies how fandom really creates the space even if was designed with such strict limitations (or not?). 

I really liked how this data set fits in with the study of how people create an identity for themselves in online spaces. That identity is how they interact with others and even can give others an impression of how that player wants to be viewed in their interactions online. I think this data set will have some strong ties with upcoming readings for DL 636. 

So until next time...

Works Cited
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic Press, 2000. Print

Data set taken from on 10/12/2013 (Pseudonyms have been used to replace actual player names in the site)


  1. Hi Beth. First off I love the Harry Potter reference that you used in the title of this post : "dissendium into data". As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I can appreciate that :)
    As for your data piece, it was an interesting one to pick. I was a bit confused by it at first, as it didn't seem like the members were actually speaking to each other as they posted; but then I realized that the posts at the bottom were the older ones, not vice versa.
    I agree with what you said about how people are creating an online identity for themselves. Although a few of the posts are a bit nonsensical, they can help you get a feel for the sort of person that's behind said post.
    The rivalry between members is pretty clear, especially in the case of NightStone and SilverSun. Due to the amount of homework I have I haven't been able to play Pottermore in a while so I don't know how close it is to the House Cup being awarded, but I imagine that tensions will pick up as it gets closer, and after the Cup is awarded there might be some gloating postrs from the victors; that might be a good thing for you to observe so you can see how people react. I don't know which house is in first place, but I found myself thinking about that as I read your post, and wondering if the members of the house that's currently winning are getting cocky.
    Pottermore just released the first chapters from Goblet of Fire, that might be why tidings of Yule Ball are in the air; people are getting excited, I know I am :)
    You mentioned the section on dueling leaders, that might be something to keep an eye on for next time, to see if those members who have racked up so many points fighting wizards' duels are also prominent members of the message board community, or if they just show up to dual and then vanish.
    Have fun!

  2. Like your other entry, I'd love to see more development of your analysis. How, specifically, do these data show identity in action? It looks like there might be a few elements of identity at play: (1) experience on the site (newcomers vs. oldtimers), (2) familiarity with the books (references to a specific scene in a book, etc.), and (3) alignment with house. There might be other ones, too, but these 3 stand out at first glance.

    I also feel like I need more context to understand what is going on. A short summary of what this transcript shows us would be very helpful. Also, you could label each person with his/her house if that factors into your analysis.