Dissertation ideas and some (gasp) feedback on my exams!

So, Phil Bell, my new adviser, has weekly meetings with all his students. Wow.

Anyway, he gave me some feedback on my answer to exam question 2 (the lit review one) and suggested I read some more stuff and edit the essay a bit to reflect a more focused application of the theories I named as applied to games. I could look at this in two ways… oh damn, I have to revise or yay, someone gave me feedback and I can learn from it. 🙂 I’ll go with the latter, but can’t help but think that I wouldn’t be in this sort of position if I had access to a group project outside of classes from the get-go as it seems pretty clear that students in collaborative projects have the support needed to deepen their understanding of stuff. Or am I wrong?

I think I might have to send an email out to the Madison-MIT crazy ass network to ask if anyone wants to form a virtual reading group with me as it is pretty clear to me that I am playing (and failing) at a catch up game with people who can just talk to someone else doing games research in everyday contexts.

Anyway, also in the meeting with Phil this week, we discussed possible dissertation topics. One that I might’ve mentioned before is to look at a group of players across off-screen and on-screen contexts to see if their teamwork and general interactions and relationships are similar/different. The easier route to take, however, might be to analyze the mountain of data I collected for my WoW paper with different theoretical lenses, paying particular attention, for example, to the social dynamics and power relations at play. I could even attempt to quantify and measure certain things like level of communication events or types of utterances on different nights. Stuff to think about. Which would help the games research community more?

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