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Morning debrief

Lot’s of great thinking outside my specific field. Seems to be LOTS of qualitative focused studies focusing on politics, governance, intimacy, work, play, consumerism, gender, identity, and much more.

I find myself in the minority in terms of my focus: design, development & implementation phases of USING these for learning and instruction. I consider that a ‘front-loaded’ focus. I get the impression many people here are more ‘back-focused’…in essence, very scholarly research that emerged AFTER observing or experiencing things in VWs.

BioWare – 3 classifications of gamers
- casual
- serious
- hardcore
The casual crowd is actually generating 90% of the revenue, but only spending 5-10 bucs a year. Ads, ads, ads…

Not enough research on video and/or audio pleasures in games. This is an example of something staring us in the face as researchers, but we kind of force ourselves into (supposedly) deeper, more meaningful themes.

Need to be able to extrapolate our research OUT OF virtual worlds. Instead of starting your description of your research with “I look at X inside world of warcraft…” it should be “hey, I found this interesting theme within organizational collaboration that should be explored more to see if it is generalizable in the field, etc…”

What’s the over/under of each speaker mentioning world of warcraft? This comes up at least every other time someone talks or adds an idea. Both good and bad, as it’s sometimes being used as a non-example.

Kind of an emerging issue with VW research (now that there are SOOOO many): people seem to be centered on SPECIFIC VW research (WoW, EQ, etc) but not enough research spanning multiple VWs. The players of many of these VWs migrate, would be a good idea to capture things like this across VWs.
- BUT…you may not be able to get as much depth by doing this. If you’re focusing, for instance, on high-end raiding in WoW you might not want to stay confined to that space to gain the best understanding possible.

Methodologically speaking, we sometimes make our problems out to be unique that no one has encountered before when we study VWs. This is BS. It’s VERY rare to be in this situation. Example: how do we, from a methods standpoint, caputre the uniqueness of 3D motion and how that impacts our research? People have studied TV and broadcasting for a LONG time, they have answers to our method problems. We have to get our heads out of the VW hole in the ground and learn methods from other disciplines.

Interesting graduate study research: student’s committee was behind gay and lesbian Indonesian studies to a degree, but proposed research in SL immediately got dismissed by committee as non-relevant.

VW researchers all over the map in many ways:
- Disciplines
- Audiences

Interesting thought from Bart Simon “What if we, at the Games and Culture journal, put a moratorium on ALL articles dealing with WoW and SL”.

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