In this chapter, Stef Aupers, Julian Schaap, and Lars de Wildt argue that a “game-centered” orientation in the study of religion and video games (studying in-game religious narratives, discourses, and game rules) should be complemented with a “player-centered” perspective. They call for a focus on religious meaning-making in MMOs by using in-depth interviews.
The authors argue that this approach is particularly relevant because religion has become an active quest outside the churches—an individual form of ‘bricolage’ in which media, popular culture, and fiction play a significant role. To illustrate this, the authors present an empirical case study of World of Warcraft (WoW) in which 22 in-depth (Skype) interviews are held with international players.
Having demonstrated the choices to be made to construct a research design that suits the research problem (sampling, contacting respondents, interview technique, method/procedure of analysis), the analysis distinguishes three types of “religious reflexivity” amongst the players of WoW and addresses the influence it has on their offline worldviews.,
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Aupers, S., Schaap, J., & de Wildt, L. (2017). Qualitative in-depth interviews: Studying religious meaning-making in MMOs. In Sisler, V., Radde-Antweiler, K. & Zeiler, X. (Eds). Methods for Studying Video Games and Religion (Routledge Studies in Religion and Digital Cultures) (pp. 153–167). doi:10.4324/9781315518336