I didn’t realize that I hadn’t posted anything in the last three weeks! I suppose it is a combination of not having much to say, and laziness (who doesn’t get stuck in the end of winter rut?). Things are starting to look up – with more sunny days and less looming snow days. I am still working on my proposal for my comprehensive exam. A bit off track, but, as I am told by some, a little to be expected. I have been so steadfast in my studies since 2002. Charging through my BA and MA, and my PhD coursework – I have been having some troubles retuning my mindset to focus solely on my work – a luxury I whined for for years, but alas, its the “be careful what you wish for” syndrom. I have always known that I needed a full plate to be productive, and I guess the last few months only proved my point.
I am working on a paper for the Canadian Game Studies Association’s annual conference (to be held May 23-24 in Ottawa, ON) with my colleague (and friend) Shanly Dixon. A look at performance, creativity, and social video game play. It is shaping up nicely. I am also working on my submission for DiGRA – trying to work on something that is directly in line with my ‘topic’. I have been struggling between submitting a full paper for presentation – or submitting to the graduate mentoring session. Either way, I know I want to stay within my realm of current research.
I just finished doing some editing work for an collection of essays (more details to come, as permitted). It was one of the most challenging experiences I have faced in a long time. Besides the time constraints that I worked within, finding the balance between hard and fast grammar rules and stylistic choices; proper sentence stuctures and author’s voice; what I (as an individual person – subjectively of course) finds to be a “good” paper while reading outside of my area of expertise. Flow and clarity; spelling and grammar… punctuation and style guides … OOUF! It was an experience indeed. But one that I think can only help me with my own writing.
Finally, I took on a small (temporary and very part time) job at Electronic Arts here in Montreal. I finally found a use for all my research methods training (outside of my own research). I am working as a play-test moderator. Since most of my academic work is done at home, I enjoy the chance to get out and meet new people every session, and the opportunity to hone my observation skills (something that is always key in ethnographic work). Not to mention the feeling of just being a part of a/the process. I have always enjoyed feeling like a cog in the overall machine. Even when I worked as a chamber maid at the Ritz Carlton so many years ago – I always thought that what I did was important to the guests’ overall experience.. that without my job, there would be a hole that needed filling. I liked that feeling. It is something I don’t often feel in academia.
The nice thing about the EA position, is that it is not overbearing on my time and energy, yet inspires me to get on with the work that I am doing. Another thing on my plate to keep me motivated =)