Monday, December 19, 2005

dissertation watch

UPDATE: I have a title. I think. It is:

Ubiquitous Gaming: A Performance Theory of Pervasive Play Networks.

That's right, ubiqutious gaming. Because the vast majority of pervasive games to date have no connection with the original design philosophy of ubiquitous computing, from which pervasive computing and pervasive game design flow. SOME projects do represent and develop that philosophy, and manifest what Mark Weiser and Rich Gold wanted for computing for gaming. Those are the projects I find most interesting, most exciting, most socially benevolent, most progressive. So, yes, ubiquitous gaming. It's networked. It's calm. It's persisent. It maximizes human awareness of the physical environment and the network. So it's time to get old-school with pervasive gaming. Taking it back to the first ubicomp theorists. So stick that in your 'this is not a pipe' and smoke it!

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The Dissertation Watch is on.

Page count updated daily (I hope) in the righthand sidebar.

Please check in frequently and hold me accountable for making that number grow.

The plan is to write 1-2 pages every single day (weekdays, weekends, travel days, Christmas, New Year's...) Specifically, I'm holding myself to 2 pages a day until I get one chapter done, just to prove to myself that I can write something. After that, 1 page a day or more when I can swing it.

I'm treating this very much like an AA thing. I am still overwhelmed by the prospect of doing the entire dissertation, while continuing to make good stuff for 42 and galavant around the world on the lecture and conference circuit. BUT somehow I managed to convince myself that I could wake up and handle writing 2 pages that day. And I convinced myself that I could probably wake up the next day and write 2 pages, but really I am just taking it one day at a time.

So I have 2 pages to write today. I'm not sure what I'll be writing about, probably more on Rich Gold and Magritte's magical ubi-pipe...

12 comments:

Ken said...

You go, girl! Don't beat yourself up if you occassionally miss your target. Just do something that moves the project forward every day. Making graphs and outlines are necessary progress, and can help get your head clear, if you get caught in a rut (it will happen, trust me).

Always move forward.

Riad said...

May I ask if you have settled on a title yet?

Good luck!

Hadley Wickham said...

I'd strongly recommended checking out Publish and Flourish. It's a great little book with plenty of tips to get you writing daily.

Jane said...

Thanks for the support guys. Very very encouraging!

As for the title... I don't know yet!! Something about performance and ubiquitous gaming.. I've definitely settled on "ubiquitous gaming" as the umbrella term I want to use (as opposed to pervasive gaming, hybrid gaming, reality-based gaming, collective gaming, cross-media gaming, multi-modal gaming...!!)

Kelly McGonigal said...

When I was struggling through my dissertation, I committed myself to a certain amount of time a day rather than pages. That worked for me because my dissertation was not as long as a humanities dissertation, but required major overhauls and rewrites as I performed new analyses and tried to find a coherent storyline for the data.

The main thing to keep in mind is that while you have doubts about whether you'll ever get it done, no one else has doubts. We know you will do it. And this crowd has some collective wisdom to back it up.

Kelly

Sir Quady said...

Wow, I wish i knew what a dissertation is. But in any case, good luck! I find that for writing anything, sometimes i just don't want to write, and to help myself start writing, i find that a great thing to do is to head out for a little walk. Especially in the exhilarating cold of this time of year, walking always helps me clear my head. Keep it up!

Jeffrey McManus said...

Go Jane go!

In my book-writing days, I used a spreadsheet to track the ratio of completed pages to pages yet-to-be-done (45% done! 46% done! 49% done!). This was extremely helpful both for my sanity and time management.

Dr. Mon said...

It's great that you have a plan. I agree with ken also--don't beat yourself up if you miss--just keep plugging away. (I should take my own advice!) Best wishes!

sharon said...

Hey, congrats on having a title and visible progress. Momentum is a bitch, but ultimately, dissertating is no different from meeting any other deadline. Sometimes one pulls stuff out of one's butt and finds other stuff later (in surprising ways) that justifies the earlier hunch....

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