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PhD Thesis

PhD Thesis - An Investigation of Online Narrative

My PhD was taken at Griffith University School of Computing and Information Technology, Australia from 2004 to 2007.

The full thesis can be found here.

The thesis was condensed and published by LAP Lambert in 2011 as “A Serious Study of Fun”. It can be purchased on Amazon here.

This thesis investigates aspects of narrative and role-playing activity in online communication, specifically the way users experience narrative and role-playing activity, the communication modes that support such activity, and the extent to which such activity might enhance individual and community engagement. Before launching into a description of the actual research questions and the methodology used for this study, it is necessary to first acknowledge that this study came about because of a curious response to a bear. The bear in question, ‘Albert’, was the central figure of an online community project — the ComeRideWithMe project — and since the questions arising from this project planted the seeds that grew into this thesis it makes sense to begin this introductory chapter with a description of the original ComeRideWithMe project.

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