Maude Bonenfant, Ph.D.
Director, Homo Ludens, Groupe de recherche sur les pratiques de jeu et la communication dans les espaces numériques, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)
Maude Bonenfant is a professor in the Department of Social and Public Communication at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) and is a doctor in semiotics. Her research interests include the social dimensions of communication technologies, digital networks, online communities, virtual worlds, and the practices and appropriation of video games and online communication tools. She is the director of the Groupe de recherche Homo Ludens sur les pratiques de jeu et la communication dans les mondes numériques, and co-director of the Groupe de recherché sur l’information et la surveillance au quotidien (GRISQ).
In the context of a research titled “Être(s) en ligne” (Being(s) online), we realised a field study on an online multiplayer game played on the Facebook platform. The game reflects in part the MMO games logic where an avatar is controlled by the player to live and evolve in a virtual world. A component of this research is based on the caption, processing and analysis of big data relating to the players action within the game platform (Drachen et al.,2013). A part of the data also concerns information from the players Facebook accounts, directly linked to their avatar and game profile (gender, age, nationality). Simultaneously, we use sentiment analysis techniques (Lee and Pang, 2008; Nasukawa and Yi, 2003), from game forum to broaden the results from quantitative research and to detail the profiles of some active players within the community.
This presentation aims to present the parameters of the research, the tools and techniques used to collect the data. Thus, we will present our different analysis methods of activities and players profiles, based on the data, as well as the observable types of interactions. Finally, we will present the possibilities offered, but also the limitations of Big Data techniques and tools within a though process based on the epistemology of those research techniques.