Happy Holidays

After a hectic month of December, I am proud to say that I successfully completed my comprehensive exams and defended my proposal. I even made it through my very first teaching interview (while I did not get the job, I am happy I had the experience nonetheless). I head into the holidays with the task of making a lot of cookies and squares, a few turkey dinners for various combinations of friends and family and a trip east for our annual New Year’s Eve feast and bonfire. We will be back early in the new year, where I must promptly set to task on etching out a functional research (game play + analysis) and writing schedule for the next 22 months. While it seems a dauntingly long time, I know that if I don’t break it up into manageable time frames and tasks, it may very well all come crashing down in the 20th month…

That being said – I am elated to say that I have finally reached the point where I will have the time to play again – even if it is play with a purpose – I have not had the time to sink my teeth (thumbs?) into any one game for any length of time. For the next two weeks, I look forward to another family holiday – my favorite time of year.

CFP: IR 11: Sustainability, Participation, Action

Call for Papers
Internet Research 11.0 – Sustainability, Participation, Action

The 11th Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)
October 21-23, 2010 University of Gothenburg/Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden

The challenge of this conference is to find multiple avenues for participation and action towards a sustainable future. In a society increasingly aware of social and ecological imbalance, many people now see information and communication technologies as key technologies for solving problems associated with an unsustainable future. However, while information technology may solve some problems, it can magnify others. As pointed out by world forums such as the United Nations and the European Commission, use of ICTs contributes to the unsustainable consumption of energy and resources. Similarly, unequal access and exploitative practices remind us that IT is not a utopian answer to complex social problems. A sustainable future is not only about greening processes and products at any cost, but also entails social responsibility, cultural protection and economic growth. Therefore the conference has a multi-dimensional focus, where the Internet is seen as a possible liberating, empowering and greening tool.

The conference will focus on how the Internet can function as a conduit for the development of greater global equality and understanding, a training ground for participation in debates and cross-cultural projects and a tool for mutual action; in short a technology of empowerment. The flip-side of the internet as a tool for empowerment is the issue of exploitation. Exploitation of resources and people is what has led to the current crisis, and issues of exploitation are highly relevant online, from abuse of the commons to censorship, fraud and loss of privacy and the protection of the rights of the individual.
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