The following paper considers the rhetorical situation of playing a videogame in terms of co-authorship between the player and game. Put simply, in playing a videogame, something—a level, a character, a city, a story, a world, etc.—is being composed, and this “composition” is indebted to the ongoing interplay of human and computer. Looking at games in this way can help us rethink what we mean by authorship and text in a new media context, building off work like Jessica Reyman and Krista Kennedy. Moreover it focuses the act of composing more on specific contexts or events that rework already circulating material. This is not to critique the use of game design in class—indeed, I’ve employed it myself as a unit of inquiry—but I think it offers a new way to rethink gaming literacies and composing in class and beyond.
Project update: I’ve heard back from all of my core research participants and have been able to ask a few follow-up questions over the course of the past weeks. While some aspects of e-mail interviews have been tedious, as noted, I feel largely happy. I have a decent amount of stuff to work with and think through future problems.
I haven’t had much time to “do” next step stuff, as I’ve been trying to get a paper in this Monday, but that may be good, as I have time to think through the next steps. I’m not sure whether I’ll do coding or not. I think I may go through and read the data a bit, trying to get a general sense of things, before making more specific moves. I also want to print out copies. Something about looking at a paper copy, instead of a screen, feels more appealing, like I may catch more or be less inclined to skim. On screen, I tend to have such an F-style reading pattern, which would not be good for research.
At this point, too, I’m trying to remain somewhat inductive in my approach, as noted in my last post for this class. I have my focus: intertextualtiy and the tensions created by openly intertextual work. I want to see what people are saying about this.
Shifting gears a bit, I’ve been thinking a lot this semester about presenting research in different ways. I think I often tend to “think” better in a PowerPoint setting sometimes. The way it breaks down units of thoughts into discrete slides helps me think more clearly about what those units are. In my head, they often get muddled. And though more long-term, free-writing thinking (much like this blog) helps me think through ideas, I have had trouble transitioning from that thinking into the presentation of thought in a paper. I can’t quite straighten out, simplify, and de-muddle.