Date of Award
Master of Arts
Using a case-study design, this qualitative investigation examines individual linguistic identity formation and the development of multiliteracies of two second language (L2) English speakers within the context of the massively multiplayer online role-play gaming (MMORPG) community. The theories and methodologies of this study draw from perspectives of sociolinguistics, digital ethnography, and discourse studies. From October 2021- March 2022, data was collected and consisted of the participants’ personal interviews and their asynchronous computer mediated communications (ACMC) within their respective gaming discussion communities. Data analyses consisted of both qualitative coding procedures of the ACMC data into literacy features and cross examination with participants’ personal interviews. Through these two case studies, this thesis shows how two English L2 gamers- one being Russian L1 and one being both Russian and Ukrainian L1- use linguistically sophisticated employment of digital multiliteracies to express their translocal and individual identities. The findings of these case studies contribute to conceptual understandings of how modern virtual communities of practice mediated by communication technologies act in conjunction with translocal L2 identity formation.
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