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Digital games and social media: the (re)constitution of narrative identity in online environments

Grant number: 20/10894-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2021
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Eliane Fernandes Azzari
Grantee:Bruna Eduarda Ignácio
Host Institution: Centro de Linguagem e Comunicação. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (PUC-CAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The development of digital media has provided the emergence of new social practices, such as those characterized by fans who appropriate digital platforms supported by online resources in which they engage in literacy practices. As a result, there has been a noticeable resignification of such media purposes. Among such practices, there is the development of contemporary amateur, non-commercial and collaborative games, such as Hogwarts Games,created by and for Brazilian fans of the English fictional saga "Harry Potter". In such context, this research aims to investigate Hogwarts Game, which is predominantly constituted of written verbal texts, played on demand by guest participants gathered in a private social group, entirely created and developed on WhatsApp. The objectives of this current study are: i) to map the origins and trace the possible routes taken for the creation of this (still hardly known) Brazilian game; ii) to collect and analyze game posts from both players and game organizers, which are the results of their participation in the creation/development of the game rounds, all carried out on WhatsApp. The analysis will find theoretical support in discussions stemmed from the (new) literacies studies; iii) collect and analyze the participants' personal and volunteer accounts, in order to observe the construction of narrative identities, which are to be materialized throughout this social practice. Furthermore, the research hopes to understand how the mobilization of a social network organized on a synchronous ICT platform, transformed into a context/support for the operation of this game,might foster new meanings to the intended uses of WhatsApp. All in all, it is a qualitative research. The corpus resulted from the collected data will therefore be crisscrossed and submitted to an interpretative analysis based on a Bakhtinian dialogical perspective which assumes the research participants as subjects who "act" in unique events, ones that are permeated by and constituted of language - from a social and historically situated point of view. The research finds methodological support in the premises of Digital Ethnography, a scientific approach adopted to underpin both processes of collection and analysis of sociocultural practices situated in the cyberspace. Some of the main instruments used for data collection are: screen capture and image saving resources (available from digital devices such as smartphones and/or computers) and collaborative digitally elaborated Forms, used for interacting and registering the volunteer participants profile data as well as their personal accounts. Finally, it is noticeable that this project has already been submitted to a Research Ethics Committee and all data collected from human volunteer participants has been previously authorized by the means of an Informed Consent Form, which has already been properly signed by the participants whose accounts and other data are to be included in this study. (AU)

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