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Playing a Good Game: Ethical Issues in Researching MMOGs and Virtual Worlds


TitlePlaying a Good Game: Ethical Issues in Researching MMOGs and Virtual Worlds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMckee, H. A., & Porter J. E.
JournalInternational Journal of Internet Research Ethics
Volume2
Issue1
Start Page5-37
Abstract

This paper examines ethical issues specific to conducting Internet research in MMOGs and virtual worlds and
offers visual heuristics to help researchers negotiate ethical decision-making. Part 1 develops a theoretical
framework — a rhetorical approach to ethical analysis that makes use of specific heuristic tools such as
rhetorical diagrams, visual mapping techniques, and comparative case analysis. Part 2 of the paper presents
qualitative data from interviews with five researchers who are principally involved in researching MMOGs and
virtual worlds (specifically City of Heroes, City of Villains, Lineage I & II, and Second Life) and uses the
theoretical framework to classify and organize their views regarding research ethics. The resulting visual
heuristics can provide guidance to Internet researchers conducting studies on or in MMOGs and virtual
worlds.

URLhttp://ijire.net/issue_2.1/mckee.pdf