I've recently begun playing World of Warcraft (I have four different characters hovering between level 15 and 20), and I've wondered about studying it as a culture.
I'm not the first to think this way-- Anthropologist Alex Golub from the University of Hawai'i is doing just that. He has an op ed piece up at Inside Higher Ed where he compares guild raiding parties to classrooms, and believes that the good leadership traits which lead to success in WoW would also help achieve success in teaching.
Take a look at Fear and Humiliation as Legitimate Teaching Methods.
Dr. Golub isn't alone either. Bonnie Nardi from UC Irvine has received a NSF $100,000 grant to study why Chinese players (numbering over 5 million) take a different approach to the game than their American counterparts. Here's more on her work.