Keywords for Video Game Studies Renewed

I received word that the Keywords for Video Game Studies graduate interest group, which had a very successful first year run this past year, has been renewed by the Simpson Center for the Humanities.  Our project continues the work and community-building started last year:

Keywords for Video Games is a continuing graduate interest group bringing together interdisciplinary perspectives and scholarship on video games.  Building on last year’s conversations on terms like play, immersion/interactivity, avatar, and pedagogy, our working group hopes to further the critical engagement with video games and video game culture to address the design of games (as computational, protocological, rhetorical, and aesthetic artifacts), the theorizing of games (looking at narrative, interactivity, race/gender/sexuality), and the pedagogical and political potential of games.  Through close readings of games, real-time demonstrations and close playings (critical gaming), and discussion, our working group hopes to highlight central questions, keywords, and even dissonances in video game studies and video game theory.

This year’s organizers include:

Edmond Y. Chang (lead) is a Ph.D. Candidate in English at the University of Washington in Seattle, after graduating from the University of Maryland with his B.A. in English, a B.A. in Classics, and his M.A. in English.  His main areas of interest are contemporary US fiction, technoculture, digital studies, cultural studies, queer theory, teaching, role-playing games, video games, and popular culture.  His article “Gaming as Writing, Or, World of Warcraft as World of Wordcraft” was published in the Fall 2008 Computers & Composition Online Special Issue on “Reading Games.”  He has taught at the university level for over twelve years and was the recipient of the UW Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009.

Theresa Horstman is a doctoral student in Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, U.S.A. She received her B.A. with a focus in philosophy from The Evergreen State College and her M.Ed. from the University of Washington.  Her interests include comparative analysis of video game and e-learning design methodologies and the correlation between the metaphoric process and creative process in designing instruction for virtual environments.

Natascha Karlova is a PhD student in the Information Science program at the Information School, and is advised by Prof. Karen Fisher.  She also works with Prof. Mike Eisenberg, Peyina Lin, and John Marino on the UW VIBE Project investigating trust and credibility in Second Life, a 3D, social virtual world.  She studies how teams of online game players disambiguate between misinformation and disinformation.  As a gamer herself, she loves researching player practices around games, and how they transform it.  She is passionate about the roles that information plays in games and virtual worlds, and how information can shape the user experience.

Sarah Kremen-Hicks is a Master’s student in the English department.  Her interests include Victorian poetry, neo-gothic and Victorianism, fan culture, and pulp novels.  She is currently researching the competing curatorial and anthologizing impulses in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Terry Schenold is a Ph.D. candidate in English writing his dissertation “Reading and Reflection in the Novel and New Media,” which includes an exploration of digital roleplaying games as the best potential analog to literary media, as instruments for reflection, within the emerging digital media ecology.  As an instructor in CHID he has taught several classes on digital games, most notably the seminar “Poetics of Play in Digital Roleplaying Games,” which has been offered twice.  He is also the founding member of the Critical Gaming Project and continues to work closely with undergraduates to develop new focus group courses addressing digital games.  His specific research interests in the field of game studies include ergodicity and narrative, all things having to do with time, sources of “immersion,” and comparative configurations of imaginative work in different game media.

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