Saturday, January 13, 2007

Make the Top 10 List! Ut's the Game Studies Download

It's that time of year again! Ian, Mia and I are compiling our annual top 10 list of game studies research findings for the Game Developers Conference. And we want your help!

Our goal is to communicate to professional game-makers the brilliant insights of academics who are studying games. We'll be summarizing the research findings of 10 outstanding researchers and research groups for game developers at the most important annual industry event. But we need you to help us decide what should be on our list!

We can consider any published scholarly work in the area of videogames, computer games, or mobile games. The work can be in the form of an article, a book chapter, a book, or even a white paper if it has a strong research bent. We are especially interested in research about console games and non-MMORPG PC games. (But we're open to ANY digital games research.)

To be eligible for our list, the work must have been published for the first time between March 2006 and March 2007.

You can see slides and download handouts from last year's Top 10 Research Findings here. You can see press coverage of the Top 10 list here and here.

If you have a suggestion -- and please, feel FREE to nominate your own work! we'd love to hear from the original authors -- post it here in the comments, or email me (my first name, which is Jane, at my domain name). Include a link to the article online if possible, or at least tell us where to find it.


Joe said...

OK, I know you articulated an explicit preference for non-MMORPG PC games research, but Bonnie Nardi presented a fabulous paper at a recent conference on World of Warcraft. Although some/much of what she reported may be obvious to gamers, I think the analysis she and Justin Harris undertook yielded a world of insights to us outsiders.

Here's an excerpt on her talk from my notes from CSCW 2006 (the paper can be found here):

Bonnie Nardi (University of California, Irvine) presented "Strangers and Friends: Collaborative Play in World of Warcraft", in which she and her co-author participated in and observed a variety of collaborative activities and organizational units within the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMO[RPG]), World of Warcraft. These activities included fleeting lightweight encounters such as acts of kindness -- e.g., "buffing" (casting a spell to help another player), "kill assist" (helping another player kill a monster) and escorting lower level players out of harm's way -- and acts of violence ("ganking" and "corpse killing"), moderately structured collaborations such as parties, raids and interactions with "friends", and more highly structured collaborations such as participation in guilds, joining battlefields, and engaging in duels and trades.  There are also random acts of fun, where people can use emote commands for delightful and unpredictable actions (e.g., spontaneous dances), helping to create a less inhibited ambience ig (in-game) vs. irl (in real life).

Jane said...

Thanks Joe! You're right -- that's a great paper and I think its insights could be applied beyond the MMORPG genre. (And by the way, it's CMP's request to pay special attention to non-MMORPG research, as game studies tends to be unevenly distributed in terms of genre, with more research on lesser-played genres, and vice versa...)

knowby said...

It would also be great to hear about which recent games you think are moving the art and craft of videogames forward. Like Facade, for example.