Working in the Metaverse and the Academy: Composing a Game Studies Dissertation Online


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This presentation was given at the 2009 Conference on College Composition and Communication, March 12-14, in San Francisco, CA. It was part of a panel on digital dissertations with James Haendiges and Michael Garcia, chaired by Dr. Cynthia Selfe.

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Working in the Metaverse and the Academy: Composing a Game Studies Dissertation Online

  1. 1. Working in the Metaverse and the Academy: Composing a Game Studies Dissertation Online Chris Ritter Washington State University
  2. 2. DIGIRHET [W]riting is in the midst of a massive paradigm shift: from an older view of writing as alphabetic text on paper, intended for print distribution, to an emergent view of writing as weaving digital media for distribution across networked spaces, for various audiences engaged in different types of reading. DigiRhet. “Old+Old+Old=New: A Copyright Manifesto for the Digital World.” Kairos 12.3 (2008). 4 Mar 2009 <>.
  3. 3. JAY BOLTER quot;What we need is a hybrid, a fusion of the critical stance of cultural theory with the constructive attitude of the visual designerquot; (30). Bolter, Jay. “Theory and Practice in New Media Studies.” Digital Media Revisited. Ed. Gunnar Liestol, Andrew Morrison, & Terje Rasmussen. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003. 15-34.
  4. 4. CHERYL BALL [T]he keynote presenter at the 2004 CELJ award ceremony referred to Kairos as a quot;journal of low-rung academic fields [e.g., composition studies] whose claims to scholarly legitimacy would in any case be disputedquot; and that our quot;preference for 'webtexts' over conventional articles is liable to being read as tacit capitulation to the weakness of [our] field rather than as a sign of exceptional inventiveness. Ball, Cheryl. “Kairos FTW!.” Kairos 13.2 (2009). 3 Mar 2009 <>.
  5. 5. PROQUEST/UMI Access to and Distribution of Multimedia Distribution of dissertations and theses with multimedia is restricted to print formats that allow us to include a CD or DVD with the additional materials. At this time, we do not make supplementary multimedia available online, though we plan to support that in the future. Proquest/UMI. “Supplementary Materials Guide.” UMI ETD Administrator 2008. 10 Mar 2009 <>.
  6. 6. What should we do? 1. Proquest/UMI needs to broaden their list of acceptable formats for digital works. 2. Universities who contract with UMI need to do more than just defer to them. 3. Scholars who are invested in digital scholarship need to turn their attention not only upwards, to their own publications and tenures, but also downwards, to the major gate of entry into the profession. 4. To the graduate students in the audience who are interested in composing digital theses or dissertations: DON’T GIVE UP!