The Expectable Rise, Pyrrhic Victory, and Designerly Future of Game Studies as an Interdiscipline
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The Expectable Rise, Pyrrhic Victory, and Designerly Future of Game Studies as an Interdiscipline

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My talk for the Critical Evaluation of Game Studies Seminar at the University of Tampere, April 28, 2014.

My talk for the Critical Evaluation of Game Studies Seminar at the University of Tampere, April 28, 2014.

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The Expectable Rise, Pyrrhic Victory, and Designerly Future of Game Studies as an Interdiscipline The Expectable Rise, Pyrrhic Victory, and Designerly Future of Game Studies as an Interdiscipline Presentation Transcript

  • the expectable rise,...pyrrhic victory, and designerly future of game studies as an interdiscipline Sebastian Deterding Rochester Institute of Technology Critical Evaluation of Game Studies Seminar, Tampere, April 28, 2014 c b
  • “Game studies are an interdisciplinary field …” Aarseth 2001, Krzywinska, Mäyrä & Crogan 2005, Mäyrä 2008, Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Heide Smith & Tosca 2012, Waern & Zagal 2013
  • Game studies as interdiscipline • ID seen as logical consequence of the newness of GS • ID seen as necessity, given overcomplexity of games • ID seen as primary strength of GS (relative to …?) • ID seen as major challenge of GS: What’s “core”, how to organize & integrate? Aarseth 2001, Krzywinska, Mäyrä & Crogan 2005, Mäyrä 2008, Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Heide Smith & Tosca 2012, Waern & Zagal 2013
  • 1 What is ID? 2 how ID-y are game studies? 3 what are the challenges? 4 so what do we do?
  • <insert data here>
  • <1> what is interdisciplinarity?
  • multidisciplinarity Juxtaposition of disciplines transdisciplinarity Transcendence of disciplines interdisciplinarity Interaction & integration of disciplines partial full auxiliary supplementary structural auxiliary supplementary structural contextualising integrated generalising theorymethoddata degree of integration narrow broad scope of disciplines few disciplines, epistemologically homogenous many disciplines, epistemologically heterogeneous increasing dissolution of disciplinary boundaries Adapted from Klein 2010
  • <2> How interdisciplinary are game studies?
  • drivers of interdisciplinary fields • New epistemic questions give rise to topical IDs: interactive fiction, ... • New technology creates new societal issues: video game violence, game-based learning • Social groups legitimise and push their interests through forming life experience IDs: aca/fans • New vocations create economic demand for professional preparation IDs: game design Jacobs & Frickel 2009
  • trajectories of iD fields • Initial groundswell of young scholars driven by new ground, little competition, freedom from structure, big student & public interest • As field matures, resistance of traditional disciplines, struggle for institutionalization • Internal differentiation into sub-communities • Traditional disciplines develop critical mass of scholars & bodies of work that pull scholars back Raasch et al. 2013, Pfirman & Martin 2010, Jacobs & Frickel 2009, Holbrook 2010, van Rijnsoever & Kessels 2011
  • full,broad interdisciplinarity • Educational: Experiential, collaborative, problem-based learning; support & practicing of perspective-taking, contextualization, critical thinking, synthesis, application across disciplines & theory/practice: ? • Empirical: Routine & necessary integration of divergent data forms to answer research questions: ? • Methodological: Unique new methods from mixing old ones: gameplay reviews (Williams), TRUE (Kim)? • Theoretical: Germane new concepts & theories driven by & valuable for divergent disciplines and social domains; organise new research across epistemically divergent methods, disciplines: procedural rhetorics (Bogost)? Klein 2010, Huutoniemi et al. 2010, DeZure 2010
  • multidisciplinarity Juxtaposition of disciplines transdisciplinarity Transcendence of disciplines interdisciplinarity Interaction & integration of disciplines partial full auxiliary supplementary structural auxiliary supplementary structural contextualising integrated generalising theorymethoddata degree of integration narrow broad scope of disciplines few disciplines, epistemically homogenous many disciplines, epistemically heterogeneous increasing dissolution of disciplinary boundaries Adapted from Klein 2010
  • game studies Hermeneutic, formal, qualitative media studies game studies Hermeneutic, formal, qualitative media studies the phyrric victory of game studies relevanceofgames recognitionofgameresearch volume of game research(ers), resources hci Playability, game UX, game UR communication Presence, MMT, SDT, Involvement economics Virtual economies, marketing, nudging, IP psychology Aggression, addiction, motivation ... cf. Jacobs & Frickel 2009, van Rijnsoever & Kessels 2011 game studies Hermeneutic, formal, qualitative media studies
  • Boutet, Coavoux & Zabban 2014 (Category “Interdisciplinary” removed from data set) 3%5% 5% 6% 7% 10% 11% 12% 16% 4% 22% Communication Computer Science Social Sciences Media Studies Education Art Game Studies Literature Humanities Cultural Studies Design authors in Game studies journals
  • ludic paidic liminalliminoid cultural form Aesthetics, media studies perfect feedback Neoclassical economics nudges Behavioural economics exploitation Critical theory status display Marketing, social psych. communal performance Perf. studies, anthrop. immersive performance Perf. studies, art reinforcement Behavioural psychology hedonic wellbeing Positive psychology eudaimonic wellbeing Design, philosophy pleasure UX design, advertising playfulness Design, philosophy expressive systems Computer science, rhetorics microworlds Education Deterding, in print differentiation of rhetorics “Player studies” “Formal” game studies “Second wave Colonizers” “Indigeneous”
  • <3> what are the challenges?
  • hurdles for interdisciplinary fields • Less recognition, doubts over lacking quality/rigour • Less resources (journals, jobs, funding bodies, teaching materials, political representation) • Friction of epistemic cultures (e.g. in peer review) • No overarching theories, epistemic objects • Unclear/traditional hiring & promotion criteria • Disciplinarily organized job markets Raasch et al. 2013, Pfirman & Martin 2010, Jacobs & Frickel 2009, Holbrook 2010, van Rijnsoever & Kessels 2011
  • <4> so what do we do?
  • Answer #1
  • Boradkar 2010 Answer #2
  • game *design* studies • Design is inherently cross-disciplinary problem- solving, with integrative pedagogies (studio, project) and methods (design-based research, research- design, critical making, carpentry, ...) • Applied focus gives relevance across social domains, design research gives critical corrective • Institutionalised through interlocking educational programs, PhD/MFA degrees, and hiring/promotion criteria that create a self-sustaining job market Jacobs & Frickel 2009, Boradkar 2010
  • Enable & bridge epistemological pluralism Answer #3
  • discourses . stake- holder frames media producer frames media text frames audience frames with middle range theories/objects … that cut across epistemically divergent sites, theories, operationalizations: like news framing media studies, comm. research Close readings, formalization, content analysis media studies, comm. research Corpus analysis, discourse analysis media psych. Experiments, questionnaires journalism r. Interviews, studies of work public relations Interviews, document analysis cf. Merton 2004, Entman 1993, De Vreese 2005
  • discourses . stake- holders game creation games audiences imagine a procedural rhetorics ... … that cuts across epistemically divergent sites, theories, operationalizations cs, digital humanities Close readings, formalization, content analysis media studies, comm. research Corpus analysis, cultural analytics media psych., qual. sociology Experiments, questionnaires, interviews, observation cs, anthropology, digital humanities Interviews, studies of work, ANT, code analysis sociology, media studies Interviews, document analysis
  • sebastian@codingconduct.cc @dingstweets codingconduct.cc Thank you.