Approaching the Cognitive and Social Functions of World of Warcraft Fan-Comics
This article addresses the question of how video game players make sense out of their experiences by looking specifically at World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment 2004) fan-comics on the official game website. It first develops an analytical framework consisting of game discourse to address the different levels that fan-comics refer to the “game” and game narrative to address the ways in which fan-comics utilize narrative aspects of the game in their stories. Sense-making in comics is then used to address how fan-comics use graphic images and verbal text to embed (and narratively frame) conflicting perspectives into specific cognitive and social forms of sense-making. It then applies this analytical framework to three World of Warcraft fan-comics that participate in three different levels of game discourse and presents three different types of sense-making processes. Finally, the article raises questions for future research on the sense-making processes and strategies of video game fan-comics.