In this week’s post I wanted to detail how my research project about Japanese handheld video games actually corresponds with, and is guided and framed by, the concept of autoethnography. In order to do this I need to outline the methodology which I will be applying to my research.
Ellis et al. (2011) describe autoethnography as a combination of certain characteristics of autobiography and ethnography. From autobiography we take the way of writing about past experiences, and from ethnography the practice of studying a culture to better understand it. So as an autoethnographer I need to “retrospectively and selectively write about epiphanies” (Ellis et al 2011) which come from experiencing Japanese handheld games and the culture surrounding them.
By playing a number of different games I am directly experiencing the culture and so can perform autoethnography quite directly. I can’t just write about playing the games, rather I need to write about what I bring to the experience, particularly the things which have influenced my way of thinking and acting.
Though I will not limit my autoethnographic research to simply playing the games. I need to make sure that I experience the culture behind the games, particularly on social media sites, such as Tumblr. I need to consider how other people may experience the same things, and why they may have such different experiences. (For example, is it to do with something as big as culture, or something more personal?)
The sorts of questions I will be asking myself in the following weeks will come from Rick Sheridan’s list of ‘Autoethnography prompts’; such as “what did I pay attention to most?” and “are there unexplainable holes in my general understanding?”.
For my digital artefact (Tumblr blog) I will attempt to get people to share their own experiences with handheld video games, and do some more research about production and consumption of Japanese handheld games in Australia. In the coming weeks’ blog posts I will be playing a couple more video games (liveblogging as I play), and also looking at retro handheld games and the culture around them.
Ellis, C, Adams, T & Bochner, A 2011, “Autoethnography: An Overview”, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1, accessed 10th Sept 2014, found: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1101108
Sheridan, R , “Autoethnography: Research as Participant”, accessed 10th Sept 2014, found: http://ricksheridan.netmar.com/auto/