Saturday, December 01, 2007

Smith, Joanna. "Pursuing a PhD? Consider Wii Studies." TORONTO STAR November 24, 2007.

Future Play 2007, an international conference organized by Algoma University College last week, was an odd sort of conference. The kind of conference where it was perfectly normal for [one participant] . . . to brag about the pants her video-game character was sporting before launching into an elaborate thought experiment involving a feathered monster, collecting beeswax and charging $14.98 to her credit card to buy a bunch of gold. Everyone was there to talk and learn about video games and their psychological, sociological, political, technical, metaphorical – what have you – dimensions, which are all lumped together in the emerging field of game studies. That's right: video game studies, which is busy establishing itself as a bona fide academic field. Scholars might spend hours discussing avatars – the identities people adopt in online virtual reality games – but they are doing so in post-secondary institutions, peer-reviewed journals and in societies of the learned, such as the Digital Games Research Association, which held a large conference in Tokyo this year, or the fledgling Canadian Game Studies Association, which publishes a mostly online journal called Loading. Aside from specific areas of research like the oft-discussed studies linking video game violence to aggression in children, this worldwide phenomenon is still flying mostly under the public radar. Read the full article here:

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