Going undercover as a Night Elf Priest

Bonnie Nardi shares findings from her participatory study of the online role-playing game World of Warcraft
Night Elf Priest drawing

Illustration by Jessica Damsky
The cover art for Bonnie Nardi’s new book, “My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft,” depicts her online character.

UC Irvine informatics professor Bonnie Nardi recently published My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft. The book is based on her research of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, which has amassed 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. Commonly known as WoW, the MMORPG is produced by Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment.

Interested in computer-mediated communication and society and technology, Nardi studies gender roles, culture and addiction in the play experience. She has spent more than three years participating in WoW in the U.S. and China – as a Night Elf Priest.

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