Researching Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Video Games, Comic Books, and Social Technologies.

Virtual Worlds: Social Interactions Among Online Gamers Through Voice Chat [CLICK TO DOWNLOAD]

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.

Smartphones and Face-to-Face Interaction: Digital Cross-Talk During Encounters in Everyday Life [CLICK TO DOWNLOAD]

Using data collected from focus groups and nonparticipant observations, this article explores how and why cross‐talk by way of smartphone affects face‐to‐face encounters. The findings show there are three types of digital cross‐talk: exclusive, semi‐exclusive, and collaborative. Furthermore, it was found that digital cross‐talk can either facilitate or disrupt the expressive order of an encounter. Semi‐exclusive and collaborative digital cross‐talk were found to facilitate encounters. Exclusive digital cross‐talk was found to disrupt or have little influence on encounters, depending on whether or not interlocutors successfully engaged in a corrective process, an avoidance process, or aggressive face‐work.

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