My research work is broadly about language and the Internet, with a particular focus on gamers and those who play games. I approach the study of the Internet from a sociolinguistic, anthropological, feminist viewpoint, and particularly seek to untangle the complexities of identity when expressed in online community spaces.

So what does that mean, anyway?

skabackgroundbiggertransparentMy fieldsite was World of Warcraft and I have studied everything from discourse analysis to surveillance to forensic linguistics to game theory. For the more linguistically interested, I’ve looked at the ways that symbols become discourse markers (or words that do certain things in our talk), as well as the way that the medium of communication shapes the discourse structure itself. If you’re into semiotics and sociolinguistics, I’d love for you to check out my dissertation on multimodality, or the use of multiple modes of communication for social purposes in the game community. My colleague Benjamin Friedline and I collaborated on an analysis of power related to gear, experience, and demeanor. I am fond of collaboration, and I needed help from Travis Ross for this analysis of game theory at work in a World of Warcraft loot system. My most recent work has shifted into the realms of deception and surveillance in World of Warcraft.

Because of my work in World of Warcraft, I have become interested in the experience of women and LGBT gamers in the community and the power dynamics at play. Stay tuned for more on that subject.

I also have some old stuff from my Music Theory days at Ohio State on the intelligibility of English musical lyrics.

If you want to see more about my work, please feel free to check out my CV and the profile links below.


Dr. Lauren B. Collister Profile on PlumX