Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture

Via Grand Text Auto, I found an open CFP for a new journal on computer game culture “Eludamos“. The next issue is set for February 2008. I am thinking it might actually be helpful to make a sidebar linking to game studies and game studies friendly journals. Here is Eludamos’ ‘about’ section;

“ELUDAMOS is an international, multi-disciplined, biannual e-journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles that theoretically and/or empirically deal with digital games in their manifold appearances and their sociocultural-historical contexts.

ELUDAMOS positions itself as a publication that fundamentally transgresses disciplinary boundaries. The aim is to join questions about and approaches to computer games from decidedly heterogeneous scientific contexts (for example cultural studies, media studies, (art) history, sociology, (social) psychology, and semiotics) and, thus, to advance the interdisciplinary discourse on digital games. “

 

Hi, my name is …

Over the last few months, I have been in various positions that I had to explain what it is that I “do”. Sometimes I have had 10 minutes to tell those around me what my research ‘focus’ is, where I am coming from, and where I am (hoping?) to go; but at other times, it is a 10 words or less, 2 minute ‘elevator spiel’. The “HI, I am Kelly, and I am interested in identity in mmorpgs – specifically the player/avatar (re-titled Plavatar today!) relationship and elements related to this process”. If I have an extra minute, I might be lucky enough to actually state that I do not think that, in terms of digital identity, that identity is solely located in the individual – (or the player) – that it actually exists in the relationships (with others or objects etc.). That identity is in the processes and not the end result (this is in my thesis …). But I rarely have time to get this far.

And honestly, this only covers what I have actually done so far. When do I get the opportunity to talk about all the open-ended paths and talk dark forests of questions that plague my future research? (Besides with my advisor… and does anyone actually talk about what they haven’t done yet?)

Recently, at AoIR, I met several people who could offer up some potentially intriguing conversations – but I have not yet mastered the art of contacting these people outside of the conference space and strike up a conversation with the hopes of working towards a fruitful exchange in terms of research ideas, directions and fresh perspectives. Any suggestions?

New Blogroll Additions

When you are pouring that morning coffee, or opening a mid-work break beer, check out the new Blogroll additions. Game Set Watch is a good spot to check out gaming reviews, industry news etc. West Karana: Role-Playing and Real Life is a nice personal blog around EQ2 among other things and finally, Interaction Culture is an interesting collective course blog out of the University of Indiana School of Informatics.

Settling In

After a rocky first two months of my PhD program – on a personal level – I am quite happy to say that I am starting to feel something that resembles normalcy again. I was nervous to make the transition from Sociology, which at Concordia had a theoretically heavy program –  to Film Studies, where I am taking introductory courses along with my doctoral classes. (Not to mention – again – the shift from studying in English to French) I have to admit that I was afraid that I had made the wrong choice. I am happy to say, that I am starting to settle in.

I am working on a project for one of my classes – the one on mobile cinema (but is actually about augmented/mixed reality) and the research process has been invigorating – exactly what I needed at this point of the semester. I wrote briefly about the project two posts back, but in essence, its about how we understand physicality through object materiality in virtual worlds. Building the bibliography has been my favorite part. Although I nearly fell into the deep dark hole of spatial theory (ooOO the gamut of literature one could lose themselves in for a lifetime, and after reference mining for a few weeks, it seems many people have!). True to my desire to work with ideas over disciplines, I am drawing works from Sociology, Film Studies, Media Studies, Game Studies, and Perfomative and Fine Arts. With the last one, I am looking for material on the movement of performance art into virtual / digital spaces – and how the field approaches theories of space and materiality. On this – I am wide open for suggestions. I have a few articles in mind, but of the five fields I am drawing on, it is the one I have the least knowledge of.

I am crossing my fingers that the rest of the class does not fall asleep Wednesday afternoon, as I present my context/theoretical framework for this project – I volunteered to present first (as the longer I wait for my turn, the more nervous I become). Besides, this will give me plenty of time to work on the final paper, and hopefully prune it for journal submission by the holidays! 

e-Art

Went to see the e-Art exposition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts today. Most of it was interesting enough, but I was quite impressed with the work of Jim Campbell  (specifically the LED “ambiguous icons” project) as well as the intricate piece by Philip Beesley entitled “Hylozolic Soil” – which is the breath-taking entry piece to the exhibit. If you are in town, it is worth the trip to the museum – and the price couldn’t be better (’tis free).

Physicality in Virtual Space

I am currently working on a small project around the ways in which we understand virtual spaces through our external physicality using E. Doyle McCarthy’s  “Toward a Sociology of the Physical World: George Herbert Mead on Physical Objects” (found in Studies in Social Interaction, 5: 105-12) as a starting point. Indeed, it is not new theoretical territory (I did touch on this in my thesis as well), but I am looking for literature that explores this idea beyond design literature. I am finding quite a bit of art literature (which is good as it is related to the purpose of the paper), but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions off the top of their heads, as search engine queries are driving me a little crazy at the moment. Much like my experience in my (short) Fine Arts studentship, what I have in my head does not always translate nicely on paper… and so all the key words and phrase combinations that I pull up give me some interesting yet useless material.