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Wednesday, April 26 • 11:15am - 11:35am
An Ethnographic Look At The Social Aspect Of Gaming

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This paper takes an ethnographic look at UNCA's on campus gaming club and the relationship between its members and their preferred games and gaming apparatuses as well as social circles within. Many previous studies have shown a lack of social interaction among gamers - rather that they tend to avoid in person interactions and confine themselves alone to spaces that give them comfort. This paper aims to provide evidence that that isn't always the case among gamers, that the UNCA gaming club promotes social interaction among its members while they bond over their favorite games. Through the use of ethnography, the author aims to paint a picture of the gaming club and the social culture it holds within it and seeks to compare it with the previous studies which indicate social interaction is not generally sought among gamers. It also focuses on groups and social circles within the club and the dynamics between their sub-members and other sub groups. Ethnographic accounts will provide indications that it may often be the case that individuals that do enjoy playing video games struggle with communicating with others or display anxiety with social interactions but that this is commonly dissolved when engaged in a game with others or when speaking about them, demonstrating that safe and communal places such as the UNCA Gaming Club may alleviate the pressure of social interactions. By the end of the paper, the author hopes to demonstrate that gamers, unlike previously thought, do seek out the company of others through various means, such as a gaming club, and that they form bonds and groups within safe spaces through games themselves.

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Wednesday April 26, 2017 11:15am - 11:35am
237 Zageir Hall