Thursday, October 17, 2013

Data Analysis 2: Newbie Haven

For my second data analysis memo, I would like to present the forum called  Newbie Saikyo Dojo . Follow the link and you'll see a list of threads posted by players who are beginners to the community and to the fighting game genre in general.  Just by glancing at the thread titles alone you get a strong sense of new players appealing to experienced players for mentorship.  I think this is one of the few places on the website where a new player can get away with a certain amount of naivete.  Here new players can pose their callow inquiries without fear of (too much) harassment from the reactionary and elitist set of older players, all of whom have seen every conceivable permutation of each question type.  One interesting thing to notice is the title of the forum, Newbie Saikyo Dojo, which combines the slightly derogatory connotations of the word "newbie" with the structured apprenticeship in martial arts that is explicit in the phrase "Saikyo Dojo."      

Data Analysis 1: Rules, Rules, Rules

For my data analysis, I would like to present this bluntly titled thread: Rules of FGD (Fighting Game Discussion): Read Me First Or Be Banned IRL  This thread basically presents its own Ten Commandments for how one should regulate his or her activity within the forum.  You'll see the modal "should" appearing frequently in the moderator's posts, which of course reflects the normative purpose of such a thread.  One important thing to notice: this is a locked thread--which means no one in the community may contribute, except for those with the password authority to do so.  I feel that such a highly prescriptive, monological (single-voiced) thread represents anti-discussion; it establishes a system of rules, while negating the democratic function of group participation through the thread's lock function.  There is also a heavily penal dimension to the moderator's comments, what with all the punitive signifiers: the verbs "infracted" and "banned" being the most conspicuous.
Also, check out rule number 4.  I think such an obliging attitude toward machismo clearly indicates the gendered nature of this forum.

Here is the URL in case the link doesn't work: