Hattrick and Why do ethnography

For widening the understanding of their own online service, especially how it is perceived by their users, the owners of the text-based football manager game Hattrick and their associates at Tribaling recently called for ethnographic research as one step in the process of making a marketing strategy plan. The research found answers to questions that were not previously thought of and showed new insights into both functional and social values of the game. Thus, the research revealed Hattrick to be more than a strategy game: the inherently versatile online service is shown to be not only a resource for entertainment, personal challenge and a social community but also a unique cultural environment in which users over time familiarize with, find meaningful to engage in and even extend outwardly into everyday life. It is comforting to learn that our efforts has rendered a more comprehensive understanding of what Hattrick is and what kind of role it plays in peoples’ lives. Having been able to present from a qualitative perspective, a captivating and also a somewhat entertaining insight into users’ experiences, which the owners, board of directors and developers have not previously been acquainted with, the response during and after the presentation was positive. We hope that the outcome of this project will help the management at Hattrick Ltd. to make necessary decisions for maintaining their good reputation and to further improve their online service for the benefit of the users. Extra thanks go to Elia Mörling for the collaboration and his enthusiastic yet sincere comments during the process.

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