|Image Info in Works Cited|
For this fascinating project I chose to explore the wonderful world of Pottermore.com. Now why would I do that you ask? Well, I thought this particular site would offer (and it did!) and interesting look into how a website dictates how identity can be created by those who use that site. Pottermore.com is a primarily single-player game that offers very little to the "student" as far as identity building yet players of the site still seem to be able to create an identity through the limited interactions available through the chat features of the game.
Step 2: Collect the Ingredients
I chose to look at how players used the chat features in Pottermore.com to create an identity where in other areas of the game there really is no opportunity to interact with other players or personalize themselves in any way. There are two areas for chatting: one is in the student's House Common Room where players from the same house can chat with each other and the second chat area is in the Great Hall where students from all four houses can chat together.
Step 3: Collect Yourself
My place in this whole collection scheme was to get to know Pottermore.com. I created my own account and played the game. I only introduced myself and asked one question in my House Common Room chat. Other than that, I stood back and watched how others had created an identity for themselves on the different chat features of the game.
Step 4: Mix the Ingredients
Like I said before, I chose to study the chat features of Pottermore.com. To choose specific data sets to study, I frequently read the chat feeds in the different areas. I then chose some of the more interesting or enlightening clips that seemed to highlight some of the ways that the students created identity in Pottermore.com.
Step 5: Stir Twice Counter-clockwise and Wait Five Minutes
I chose to look at the chat feeds and study how students had made an identity for themselves through that space. There were specific tags that students used to identify themselves when using the chat features and I chose chat feed that demonstrated that use of identification. I also did a separate analysis that went through the initial steps of creating a Pottermore.com account and discussed how the site limited its players in identity creation.
Step 6: Bottle and Save for Later
This can be a tricky step so take your time. Reflect on those notes from before. I focused my study on the idea of how identity can be created in an online space. For reference I chose to follow the idea of affinity space from Black and Steinkuehler's "Literacy in Virtual Worlds" and Thomas' "Digital Literacies of the Cybergirl" for information on how identity can be created in online environments.
Works CitedBlack, R. W. & Steinkuehler, C. Literacy in virtual worlds. In L. Christenbury, R. Bomer, & P. Smagorinsky (Eds.), Handbook of Adolescent Literacy Research (pp. 271-286). New York: Guilford, 2009. Print.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic Press, 2000. Print.
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