Online Diasporas: Theoretical Considerations on the Study of Diasporic Behavior in MMORPGs


The concept of ‘online diaspora’ refers to the complex, dispersive and migratory behavior that some online communities may exhibit when moving from one virtual environment to another. This paper examines leading theoretical approaches to the notion of ‘diaspora’, and contrasts them with a set of cases of both ‘real life’ and ‘online diasporas’ taken from the author’s ethnographic experiences in MMORPGs as well as from published literature on the subject. The objective is to reach an understanding of the particularities of this type of diaspora in terms of their conceptualization. This, in turn, paves the way towards the formulation of a theoretical framework for the study of diasporic behavior in MMORPGs.