Exploring the Digital Hinterland: Internet Practices surrounding the Pursuit of "Offline" Hobbies

Melissa Jane Rogerson, Martin Gibbs, Wally Smith


In this paper, based on a series of open-ended, semi-structured interviews with self-identified hobbyist boardgamers, we demonstrate the existence of a rich digital hinterland of online practices that support and enable participation in offline hobbies, creating rich data through crowdsourcing and online collaboration. We describe these practices and how they are realized on BoardGameGeek.com, and extend these findings to the hobbies of reading and yarn crafting. We find that researching, collecting, cataloguing, discussing and tracking are common across Boardgamegeek.com, Goodreads.com and Ravelry.com, and describe how they are used to create and populate a digital hinterland that supports hobby participation and co-creates knowledge that itself has the potential to transform the offline hobby.


boardgames, knitting, reading, collecting, sociality

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