This section is meant to house scholarly work that I have written myself.
Cyber Anthropology: Behind the Avatar (2013)
This is my paper from my senior year of undergraduate at SUNY Potsdam. I conducted ethnographic research in the virtual worlds of Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2. I specifically looked at how users create their avatars and what their avatars mean to them by conducting interviews with players in both worlds. A shorter version of this paper was also published in the Collegiate Anthropologist
Religious Concepts in Virtual Worlds (2013)
This is a paper I prepared for my ‘Anthropology of Religion’ class for my first semester of Grad school, taught by Dr. Phillips Stevens. It explores how religious concepts, such as Mana, religious specialists (priests, shamans), and rituals, and how they are portrayed in virtual worlds. The focus of the paper is to identify points of inquiry and recommend that areas be explored and assess if they represent a danger to our understandings of the concepts.
The New Virtual World Order (2015)
This was my thesis project while attending University at Buffalo. My adviser was Dr. Klaits. It focuses on the evolution of virtual worlds and the differences present in “Theme park” and “Sand box” virtual worlds, and how sand box worlds offer us a better look into the idea of modernity in virtual worlds.