Title: Social tribe culture case study: geocaching game

Authors: Pirita Ihamäki

Addresses: Degree Program Cultural Production and Landscape Studies, University of Turku, Siltapuistokatu 2, 28100 Pori, Finland

Abstract: Technological changes have affected functioning of communities and understandings of communality. Technological changes have brought communality and its meanings, such as tribes, to researchers' focus [Heinonen, (2008), pp.13-15]. Geocachers belong to a world wide virtual gaming community, sharing a mutual interest and its cultural meaning. This research is a small case study and focuses on geocaching social tribe culture created by users and communication tools between geocachers. This study approaches the subject matter from the angle of digital culture and game research field. This study used interaction analysis to inform ethnographic exploration of the geocaching game and tries to understand their tribe culture and mediated-communication between players. As a result describe digitally supported meeting places of social tribe culture of geocaching game, like virtual villages, discussion forums and communities. Conclusions present social tribe geocachers profile classification.

Keywords: social tribe culture; web based communities; geocaching game; social capital; social networks; case study; online communities; virtual communities; digital culture; ethnography; virtual villages; discussion forums; geocacher profiles.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2015.067087

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2015 Vol.11 No.1, pp.97 - 113

Available online: 22 Jan 2015 *

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