Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Methodology Update

We are still tweaking the ideal appropriate technology to unobtrusively record game play, simultaneously on screen and in the play space occupied by the players and have come up with a working project kit which includes a small video camera(flip), sound recorder(zoom h2) to record the space of play and a less ideal recording device (nueros) to screen capture.
We have established 2 fieldsites and have scheduled an initial session at a third. While we consider other technical equipment to complete the ideal fieldkit we are also struggling with the best way to organise the sessions appropriately to preserve spaces of play and/or consider what the nature of the space we are co-creating is (What can this hybrid work-play space show us?) . In addition to considering the type of things we can study using visual methods and how best to employ those methods this project specifically has brought the challenge of how research work changes spaces of play.
By the end of March we plan to test a new tech set-up to replace the nueros and draft a finalized fieldkit summary paper and draft emerging themes reflecting on the research we have conducted so far in order to direct our field work in April.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Update, Wednesday, 4 February 2010

We have initiated our first field site session. We videorecorded a play session and subsequent gamer biography. We have been invited back to have another session during a family party to continue developing this field site.

We confirmed our model of participant observation in a gaming environment.

We have decided to conduct interviews after game sessions, and to not formally describe them as "interviews"; Rather we want to reframe them as "chatting about games" so as to maintain the space of play, rather than running counter to that space by framing it as a space of research, hence work.

The search for additional players and play sites continues.

Technical notes:

Our kit should include extra batteries and extension cords and powerbars, as well as a bag to organise all kit. We have applied to get more equipment as we are using our personal Wii console and other accoutrements.

Our storage requirements are growing exponentially as we attempt to edit our video footage. We require several Wirefire harddrives and SD cards.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Top 10 Wii games as of Feb 2010

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Building a Community of Participants

In considering issues with recruitment in participants for present (and future) games studies ethnographies we began considering our emerging community Wednesday 5a7 symposium. How can we draw on this community effectively? What are the implications of developing, maintaining and mediating this group for/with the 9at least partial)intent of gathering participants? How would this method of recruitment effect studies? What are the implications in anthropology/with ethnographic methods of building a community to study? What advantages and disadvantages are there? Could this ever be considered ethnography? Does what we are doing need to be ethnography? What are the limitations in setting up this pool of self-reflexive participatory/collaborative subjects?

We have started the process of establishing a grad student association to build the Wednesday game night community and will continue to consider these questions as well as others related to the field of games studies as we play and discuss.

Recruitment Update

We've started recruiting through members of TAG. We have lined up 2 initial participants and intend to gather a few more through snowballing.

In the recruitment process we are running into trouble with:

a) Finding individual who self identify as Wii players
We are starting from a relatively game-savvy pool of 18-35 year old students in the winter of 2010 and running into the possibility/problems that 1)gamers generally don't play (or admit to/identify as playing) the Wii 2)college students may not be the principle demographic for the Wii 3) the Wii's time has passed. What does this tell us about the Wii as a research focus? What does this tell us about the social implications of playing/admitting/claiming oneself as Wii player? Who does the nature/interaction in gestural game play attract? Why do people who have a Wii stop playing? (We need to have kids on the IRB.)

b) Once finding individuals tentatively interested in a study on the Wii, we have encountered some difficulty in negotiating/ convincing them to let us come into their space and watch them play for several extended periods of time without incentive. What does this tell us about the space of play? Is the space/time constructed differently during play? (ie more private) How would offering an incentive effect the study?

Out of this issue we are concerned, once we have gained access to participants' spaces of play, about how we can set/perpetuate/not inhibit the tone of playtime when imposing a research imperative. How do we as researchers come into a preset/typical/natural space of play and still gather usable data?

We are still seeking players for our study. Please send any interest our way!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Call for Wii gamers

The Gestural Games Group is looking for people who play games on the Nintendo Wii platform. The research would involve an interview, and one or two game playing sessions that would be video taped followed by a debriefing interview.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

G3 Blog Launch

The Gestural Games Group(G3) is small working group part of the TAG(Technoculture Arts & Games) Lab at Concordia University's Hexagram Media Arts Research Facility. Our working group studies the movement and meaning arising from playing digital games such as the Nintendo Wii.
The blog will chronicle our ideas, findings and insights. We welcome your feedback and invite you to use this space to discuss our work and its potential significance.