Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Online gaming scholarship has rarely focused on the micro sociological aspects of virtual worlds as much of the research on online games is undertaken by psychologists and scholars in other fields. When a sociological lens is employed in analyzing social interactions that occur in virtual worlds, new understandings of social phenomena in virtual worlds can come to light. My research draws upon multiple sociological theories to make sense of data collect via in-depth interviews and participant observations in an attempt to understand how voice chat influences relationship formation and maintenance, gender relations among online gamers, and how online gamers use the label noob to regulate gamer masculinity in virtual worlds. Findings indicate the voice chat has a both a positive and negative impact on the social interactions of online gamers.

Date

5-11-2021

Committee Chair

Becker, Sarah

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