A few sentences that I thought of that should’ve gone in the paper I just revised

but I think it is too late now since the deadline was yesterday:

Since the players in this raid group have all been playing for about a year and have reached the highest level in the game, they could be seen as expert players. This was not because they were experts of the game mechanics, per se. Rather, these players had successfully accumulated and displayed social and cultural capital, which depended on a fluency of the game culture above and beyond fluency with the game artifact (Chen, forthcoming (from the TWC article that I revised last month)). This research focuses on the adaptive nature of the raid group’s expertise, where the individual experts had to learn to coordinate and communicate effectively with teammates such that the group itself became an acting, thinking entity.

This would have let readers of the visualization paper know better what I meant by expertise and why I called the paper as an exploration of expert chat development rather than chat of the move from novice to expert…

Let me back up.

A few months ago (August or Sept) I was asked by Constance Steinkuehler to submit a paper for a special issue on games for eLearning. I didn’t really have anything I could write about with any sort of warranted claims, but I figured that I should take advantage of an invited paper plus it’s generally a good move to say yes to Constance. 😉

So, I emailed her telling her that I wasn’t sure I could make any strong claims as most of my analysis work has yet to be done but that I’d give it a shot. I spent a bunch of time exploring the use of visuals, namely charts, to look at the chat data that I have. This took a while, and given the time that I had, I decided to write a paper on how I made the charts (sent draft around Thanksgiving), since after doing a quick search I couldn’t really find any papers of that type that dealt with qualitative data in education. (There’s stuff from other disciplines and there’s stuff on quantitative data.)

I got feedback from her (Dec), mostly to make the findings and discussion areas more substantial and to move the “how-to” section to an appendix. In other words, to change the paper to not a methods paper but rather one on expertise development, which was the topic under study.

Edited and sent (early Jan), feedback given with a 24 hour deadline (two days ago), edited and sent again (and actually I think it is much better now and includes some chat data along with the charts to strengthen claims), but this morning I woke up thinking… “there’s not enough framing in the paper. I could have described what I consider expertise with these players better.” Oh well….

Claims? Based on analysis of two nights in Molten Core, separated by a couple of months, the first of which we encounter Ragnaros for the first time and the second in which we defeated him:

  • the use of charts is very helpful but should be seen as complementing and supplementing deeper analysis of the content of the chat
  • the level of overall talk rose but the cases of on-task talk remained at about the same level or even lowered. the thought is that as you become expert in something you can spend less of your time focused on the task and more on general banter since the task activity has become routinized
  • women chatted less than men did. unknown reasons
  • the time it took on the successful night actually lengthened rather than shortened, but most of it can be explained with the raid leader taking the time to explain the fight. we had become experienced enough to be able to talk through the fight before actual engagement

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