Tag Archives: sara grimes

#GameAWeek Failure! “On the Difficulty of Being an ANT”

Check out unfinished failure: On the Difficulty of Being an ANT: The Interactive Version!

Last week and this week, I’ve been sort of stuck in a moment of nonproductivity with regard to the #gameaweek challenge that I’m doing with Ana, Dennis, Melissa, and Greg. Ana is super inspiring and still going strong and even wrote about her experiences in the ProfHacker column for The Chronicle of Higher Ed!

My moment of stuckage can be primarily blamed on two things. First, I’m making a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game with Inklewriter based on Latour’s dialog found in his book Reassembling the Social. It’s an interlude between chapters in the book and features a professor having a conversation with a student, and it’s called “On the Difficulty of Being an ANT.”

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Digital Media and Learning Conference resources

DML Conference session abstracts and program:

Twitter hashtag: #dml2010

The conference’s etherpad (collaborative notes that some of us took–thanks Jeremy!) saved as a PDF:
dml2010 etherpad

Jenny Ryan’s ( (g)rad student at UCSD) dml2010 bookmarks: http://delicious.com/tunabananas/dml2010

Kelly Page’s (marketing prof in the UK and really cool person) blog Case Insights:

Sheryl Grant’s (Director of Social Networking for the DML Competition) blog posts at HASTAC:

Sara Grimes’s (graduating this year from SFU and co-presenter with me!) blog Gamine Expedition:

Kenneth Lim’s (from LSL, NIE, NTU, where I had that interview a couple of weeks ago, and we didn’t meet up! 🙁 ) blog voyeurism:

Cassidy Cody’s (PhD student at Northwestern) google doc notes:

Digital Media and Learning Conference, day l33t

We were teh awesome!!!!!1111!!!!

We arranged the chairs haphazardly so that the audience had to sort of figure out where to sit and rearrange their space, but unfortunately, most of them ended up just picking seats that looked the most comfy (since half the seats were plastic fold-ups) and we weren’t smart enough to mix up the location of the types of chairs.

We put up signs demarcating where the magic circle of our presentation began.

The prezi worked pretty well with only a couple of “uh.. how do I get back to that previous bit?” moments, mostly because we forgot to set the pathing right for Moses’s bit. It’s not as pretty as I think it could be but there’s a mangle of collaborative presentation theme to everything we did, so whatever… 🙂

We each introduced ourselves, then I did a 5 min intro of the mangle, followed by 2 minute fire hose presentations (Ben, Moses, me, Sarah, Sara) (and we went over 2 minutes pretty consistently but that was fine since the constraint made us conscious of it so it worked), then a brief summary of common themes, and finally open room discussion that went really, really well. Forgot to add another audience constraint of having anyone who wanted to ask a question have to go through an intermediary but we didn’t need it since the conversation and participation was good. Hillary said that it was because we set the tone well from the get-go as informal and conversational. Lisa Nakamura said it was the most fun session at the conference! wooooot!

The other sessions I went to today were also great. I’ll write about them if I get a chance, but off to go eat dinner right now! Maybe the zoo or seaworld tomorrow!

Digital Media and Learning Conference, day 2

I created a proper backchannel for the conference at todaysmeet, but the site went down after a couple of hours or so. (Not sure exactly when it went down, but Debbie Fields and Moses told me it wasn’t working about two hours after I created the channel.) I tweeted about it being down (since I originally also tweeted about it being up) and @buridan replied that I should check out etherpad. Etherpad is great!

Down at the bottom right is an IM client which works like todaysmeet does. But the main portion of etherpad’s real estate is on the left showing a google doc-like collaborative writing space. Some of us have been using it to take notes and write commentary about the conference sessions.

Since we just published the url openly, we got some random person named “badass” who came in and defaced our pad, but Jeremy cleaned it up. (I kinda wonder if badass is Alice Robison who plans on using a backchannel during her session tomorrow and was asking me about etherpad…)

Go check out the pad if you want to read up on the sessions I went to today.


Or just check out this dinner:

Shree, Chris, Moses, and Ben eating at El Charro, La Jolla Shores

After dinner, we met up with Sarah Walter who flew in this evening and Sara Grimes via skype, since she was at her sodo hotel, and went over our presentation that we’re giving tomorrow about the mangle of play.

Here’s our original abstract:

The mangle of play: Game challenges and player workarounds
Participants: Mark Chen (University of Washington), Ben DeVane (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Sara M. Grimes (Simon Fraser University), Sarah E. Walter (Stanford University), Moses Wolfenstein (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Diverse forms of participation in gaming often manifest as subversive resistance to prescribed forms of play. Recent research highlighting the variety of in and out-of-game practices players employ in negotiating obstacles includes looking at modding and cheating practices (Postigo, 2008, Consalvo, 2007) to knowledge sharing in online forums (Steinkuehler & Duncan, 2008). Gaming, as exemplified by these studies, consists of acts of accommodation and resistance in a complex “mangle of play” (Steinkuehler, 2006), where players appropriate and orchestrate distributed networks of resources to accomplish their gaming goals. In this session, we will describe how particular gamers pushed at or circumvented obstacles imposed by different game spaces.  We will discuss how leadership was negotiated in World of Warcraft (WoW), how a particular WoW group enrolled a mod to troubleshoot failures, the experience of newcomers to a stable gaming group in the Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO), how young children overcame design limitations in Club Penguin and BarbieGirls, and how players resisted the prescribed and normative play-based activity structures in Civilization III. Following our descriptions will be a whole-room discussion on obstacles and their workarounds to gaming.

We had some crazy ideas about how we could involve the audience tomorrow and/or how we could demonstrate the resistance/accommodation dialectic that Pickering was referring to with his original “mangle of practice” idea. I think tomorrow will be great, but charades presentations would have been even awesomer. 🙂

Also, I’ve been enjoying meeting new people or people I haven’t seen in a while, like Lisa Nakamura who is great, and meeting people who I first met through Facebook and Twitter, such as Hillary @ludditeatheart, Evonne @amoration, Flourish @flourish, and Jenny @tunabananas 🙂

My dissertation presentation: A work in progress

So, I got an email from the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education in Singapore about a Research Scientist position in New Media that I applied for. They want a Skype interview next week! While that is awesome, it’s also complicated. They want me to prepare a 15 minute presentation to launch the interview (which I’m taking as more a conversation to get to know each other). I hadn’t yet created a job talk, so a couple of days ago I started working on one.

The thing is, I don’t really want to do a powerpoint slideshow. A couple of weeks ago, while brainstorming with ESTG different ways for how a conference session could be more participatory, Phil quickly showed me prezi.com. (The conference session mentioned is the one I’m in with Moses Wolfenstein, Ben DeVane, Sara Grimes, and Sarah Walter at the Digital Media and Learning conf later this month!)

Here’s my prezi so far:

What’s cool about prezi is that it isn’t as linear as powerpoint can be. You can zoom in and out of points of interest, which works really well, since it lets one load a presentation with a ton of info that can be dived into or not, depending on the circumstances of the presenting. I think what I’m going to try to do is fill my prezi in as much as possible but then just cover the high-level stuff in 15 minutes. At the same time, I’ll share the url with the search committee and they can explore different avenues of my research independently of me giving the presentation. What’d be cool is if people could comment with a live twitter feed or somesuch at the same time as a presentation… or maybe non-live comments a la YouTube.

New York last week

So I was at the State of Play conference last week, which put me in New York City!

Stayed with cousin Lee-kai on the west side. It was brilliant except that our busy schedules meant that we only actually hung out for like 3 hours total: a game of Race for the Galaxy when I arrived on Tuesday and lunch at Crema with Jafe (friend from high school and husband of Crema owner, Julieta) the next day. Lee-kai and his friends know RftG really, really well and basically kicked my ass even though just the week before I won a game at home. In my defense, I guess, I had some really crappy cards throughout the game and waffled on which specialization I should take. I don’t think that game is about diversifying at all, and I paid for it.

Crema was as fantastic as the last time I was in New York back in April 2008. Mmmmm. Other restaurants I got to try out were Big Nick’s (got a guacamole burger), Penang (got sizzling tofu which was good but had that weird slimy coating that I sometimes see on tofu; what is that stuff? Also, Krista-Lee thinks she got sick on the curry chicken… 🙁 ), Buona Notte (“the best” claimed the street hawkers), the cafe above Fairway on Broadway, Golden Unicorn (full on Chinese banquet, ftw!), and Katz’s (hot pastrami sandwich, yum). Pretty much great food all around.

Katz's pastrami sandwich
Katz's pastrami sandwich

Since I think the conference sessions were summarized pretty well by others (Raph, Tim, Bart, Sara, Greg L at Terra Nova, twitter hashtag #sop09), I’ll stick to the people I met. Anyway, I place more importance on the connections made and individual and collective collisions of people and ideas than I do on the sessions, so it’s pretty appropriate to list the fine folks I met.

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