Today’s Forecast

Seems they have added a new icon to on Environment Canada. Today, a chance of Fire in the forecast … hmm; and people doubt the apocalypse!

A Chance of Fire in today's Forecast

*note: it is due to nearby forest fires and the smoke in the air – but still … I think it is the first time I see it as a weather icon!

CGSA- Day 2 Afternoon, Session 1

Disclaimer: These are notes that I took throughout the presentation. There may be errors in understanding of content or mis-interpretation . With that being said, this session was a research group synopsis.

Research group-Verus

Suzanne de Castell, Jen Jenson, Stephanie Fisher, Nick Taylor, Florence Chee, Nis Bojin

  • Theoretical framework for game studies research
  • Actor-network theory and the ways they are trying to put it into use in the context of game studies research
  • Past gendered based research had problems that
    • Not boy/girl play – but novice/expert (as discovered through using ANT instead of other frameworks)
    • Games as networked assemblages –
      • Different projects / different research questions using the same framework
      • “Ants in space” – the structures and affordances in different games (how the game shapes the player) and that trying to determine real life identity through avatars is quite erroneous, since art and game form are so different across the board. Therefore ANT will allow for research and analysis to occur across genres / game types (structures)
    • Explaining the research method, lab play, not as ‘contextually real’ but that is accounted for within the research design
    • competency is based on experience not on gender (as determined by eye tracking during novice & expert game play of both genders)
    • bodies
  • virtual usage in broad geographical locations – looking for virtual world players (in both public and private spaces, predominantly public) and to compare the ways in which players around the globe play in virtual worlds. Geography (location) as an actor in the network in ANT
  • Work in schools: evaluating the use of educational game used in schools. Different school sites change the play / game. Schools as an actor within the network. Different variables (technology, attitudes, etc) influenced the results
  • Video Game Club – gender and game play; space and entitlement differences based on club structure over two years.
  • Design: looking to make games with educational content in reaction to the results of the different actors researched in the network as described above. Aiming to consider content as an actor within the overall network that dictates design choices. De-prioritizing content as a design problem

Canadian Game Studies Association @ Congress 2010

Another year, another CGSA conference (YAY!). It is in Montreal this year, so I get to save the cost of travel & hotel. The conference is on May 28 / 29 and is part of Congress for the second year in a row. Here is a copy of the presentations.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone, but a wee bit nervous to present what we have been working on. As always, I am presenting work outside the scope of my doctoral work on the player/avatar relationship, and presenting on concepts of indexicality and video games with a good friend and colleague, Cindy Poremba. While not my doctoral work, I did pass a comprehensive exam exploring ‘indexical elements of videogames” – mainly motion instead of ‘trace’ .. and Cindy did a full on comprehensive exam on indexicality. So we shall see how it all turns out. I have to say though, I am really excited about the paper that will come at the end of all of this. It is nice to be working on something and have a-ha moments all the way through!

I Love Hockey

I know this is completely random, but I have always loved hockey. Grew up watching it with my father.  Go to as many games as I can afford. Living in Montreal, there is no better place to love hockey with our beloved Montreal Canadiens. The city buses have scrolling messages of congratulations to the ‘les canadiens’; houses and apartments have Habs flags in their windows, cars have flags on them; shopping malls adorn the Habs logo on their entrance doors, and the Bell Center sold out in 1hour (21,000 people) to watch game 7 on the jumbotron while their team battles it out in Pittsburgh. I love hockey. I love Montreal!