Journals in Virtual World Research?

Can we start a conversation here about popular journals for video game research? I want to start researching for the final project and would like to know about the personalities of different journals.

Discussion/Thoughts: Nardi's "My Life as a Night Elf Priest"

Researching the MMO:
-ethnography: needs IRB approval if it's not posted on a public forum and not in response to a question I ask.
-auto-ethnography: Nardi could be clearer about which experiences are her own and which are others'.
-contextualizing: How much do we need to contextualize before moving on?
-Can we separate our research in games from ethnography? What happens when we are blocked from conversations with game designers and producers.

Nardi, Minecraft, and WoW

Unfortunately, I have not been able to dive into a wholly new MMO experience in the past two weeks, but I have been able to spend some time with Minecraft, as well as a newly revamped Cataclysm ready patch 4.01 WoW. In some ways, as far as game mechanics go, I feel as if I am playing a new game, so in some ways it counts I guess.

Nardi's New Heurisitcs for Addressing Games and Game Play

At a number of different points while reading “My Life as a Night Elf Priest” I felt Nardi made important breakthroughs in defining what a computer game is or does—proposing a completely different heuristic than game studies theorists we’ve encountered. For example, in the section “A New Medium” Nardi proposes analyzing game play through the intersections or relationships among stimulation, activity, and mastery. In her words, “The fusion of immersive visual experience with intense, skilled performative activity, represents a significant evolution in the history of digital culture” (52).

Some Rambling Rantings on Nardi's Methods

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m generally a fan of ethnographic methods of all kinds. And, if you’ve been around me very long, in an academic sense, you probably know I have a sweet spot for Latour and actor-network theory of various kinds. My initial thoughts about Nardi’s My Life as a Night Elf Priest, however, revolve around what I might be best labeled questioning methodology.

Am I playing or not?

There is a lot I found problematic (hated) in Nardi's work, but I was intrigued by her use of Dewey and the idea of Aesthetic Experience. It seems like I lot of what we've been looking at with play theory is why players are playing in the first place, or how to get them to play this specific game, or keep playing it. MMOs and sandbox-style games seem particularly connected to aesthetic experience and "active, participatory relation" to collective activity because of their living, breathing virtual worlds.

3 (or a few more) thoughts on Nardi

I want to focus on three elements of Nardi’s text that I found particularly compelling: the idea of aesthetic experience, her suggestion that not all participation is beneficial, and her claim that images are important in WoW and other games.

1. Aesthetic experience.

A Day in the Life of My 8 Sims

In Chapter Four (“A New Medium”) of My Life as a Night Elf Priest, Bonnie Nardi draws contrast between games as artifacts and games of sites of play: “…we seem to find it difficult to attend to both the artifacts themselves—with their capacities for mediating activity—and the lived experience of engaging them” (69). Her solution is to turn to the rules (or structures in a software program” (68): “The world created by the rules is huge; user response is relatively small, reactionary in nature, and sited within the framing established by the rules” (69).

6:00 at brew co

Hey all,
We are going to meet at 6:00 at the lafayette brew co to swap and critique and so on our paper topics. Come if you're interested!

Field Notes 5: Does LOTRO crash anyone else?

Has anyone else had problems with LOTRO crashing their system?

So I tried LOTRO again, this time as a hobbit, and yes, there are some differences from WoW. The main difference I could not in the hour of playtime I got in before I showed up in Archet and the game began to repeatedly crash my system, was that LOTRO seems to have more narrative. This seems important, given our interest in the ludology/narratology debate.

Syndicate content