Min's Proposal

Blog » Min's Proposal

Posted on 21 Mar 2013 15:08


​Discourse communities hold members who communicate amongst each other using various genres and lexis in order to achieve unified goals. My discourse community is special in that it is not the usual professional community many people associate discourse communities with. DotA’s community presents various methods of genres, and they also have community-specific lexis. Most importantly, they utilize these genres and lexis in order to achieve their unified goal of becoming the best player.

Description of the Current Situation

​Swales and Gee explain their own views of discourse communities. They hold different views, yet I’m able to use both of their ideas into my research. Swales’ six characteristics of the discourse communities are the basic foundation of my research as it will help define my community as a discourse community to those who may be in doubt. Gee on the other hand, holds a specific belief about the gaming community as he defines it as a discourse community. Therefore, I’m planning to use Swales as the foundation and Gee as the skeletal support of my research. I will need to look deeper into Gee’s study of gaming discourse community while holding Swales’ ideas.

Description of the Project Plan

​My most basic method of research is reading directly some important forum posts of the community’s website. The posts are easy to distinguish from insider to outsider as the forum’s administrators “sticky” the posts so that they aren’t pushed back as newer posts pour in. Another is to interview players about the game’s potential to be a discourse community. Of course, I will give them primary information on discourse communities so that they are able to make judgments. Moreover, I can transcribe the in-game communication of one DotA game to see how they communicate and what they utilize. It will be important to capture all the lexis used by these players to accentuate my point.

Review of Qualifications

​I’m best fit to research this community because I have been part of the gaming side for a very long time. I’m familiar with the lexis but haven’t really looked into the communication aspect as deeply as to consider it a discourse community. This will be a great opportunity to apply my prior knowledge and learn more about discourse community capabilities of gaming communities. My interviewing skills, forum post evaluation skills, and resource filtering skills will come into great use for my research. It is also helpful that I know plenty of individuals and forums to interview and research.

Discussion of Costs/Challenges

​I’ve thought through the challenges I will encounter and so far it is to gain acceptance from others around me who initially assume games to contain no professional aspects. There are many who don’t consider games to be a topic of research and do not really think of possible professional aspects of games. Games seem to be stereotyped as unprofessional and merely a stress-reliever so it will be my job to clear the stereotype. A difficulty emerging from this is finding someone to interview or finding evidence that such stereotype exists. It is easy to deduce from the general claims but to find specific evidence is difficult. Another difficulty is verifying whether each forum post reflects the generality and wholesome of the discourse community.

Benefits and Conclusion

​The great value of this research will be to discover that gaming communities have potentials to be discourse communities despite its immense population and misconceptions held by those not involved in gaming. It will be a great experience to gather information on the other side of games where it’s not just about gaming but actual discourses that matter. In the end, I’ll discover that this game and the community will not be able to function as well if they weren’t a discourse community.

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