Raiding Research Online

Exploring and mapping the MMO raiding culture
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Re-activating the Blog

September 12, 2016 By: Ladan Category: Uncategorized

I’m in awe of the fact that this blog is now (almost) seven years old. Back then it was new territory for a doctoral research project to situate itself in the digital space and to use the ‘research blog’ model as a mechanism for participant engagement and the communicaton of ideas. If not for this blog, however, I would not have met quite a few of the amazing gamers who provided all the insight that informed my ethnography into group raiding play in World of Warcraft, nor would I have had a chance to be interviewed by the BBC among other outlets!

So where am I in 2016? I am still researching games and I’m still working in academia. In November 2015, I became a senior lecturer in computer games at Teesside University where I teach undergraduates and postgraduates (graduate students) on games design, research methods in creative subjects (like digital art, concept art, animation, games design), and contemporary studies in games. It’s been a real treat to actually teach ideas relating to games without having to contextualise them against other disciplines. (This happens a lot in universities that have no games-related courses.) I also hold a post in the Digital Futures Institute at Teesside, which allows me to explore new areas of research with computing colleagues in areas such as AI, digital storytelling, and gamification (yes, that old chestnut!).

In addition, I am proudly a Junior Research Fellow at Hatfield College at Durham University, which has allowed me to remain connected to my beloved Durham Uni whilst mentoring students and dabbling in some of my fringe-ier research interests, particularly in relation to the arts and humanities and games. I’d say my association with Hatfield has allowed me important headspace to reflect on being an academic without the modern pressures that exist in so many universities (REF, impact, student ratios, outputs, etc.). That’s not something many early career researchers like myself get to enjoy in the current higher education climate.

 

I’m currently undertaking research in the following areas:

  • games across the life course (the lived experience of gaming)
  • citizen science and games
  • creativity and the ‘creative process’ in modern life
  • the use of participatory research methods to inform gamification techniques
  • research methods in the digital space
  • games beyond strictly digital: room escapes, board games, Pokemon Go

 

I am also going to use my blog to communicate ideas and concepts to my final year student module at Teesside, Contemporary Studies in Games (hi guys!), to illustrate some ideas about research and concepts in games. So even though I’ve moved away–somewhat–from studying raiding in WoW exclusively. Knowing me, that topic will keep coming up as it forms so much of a foundation of ongoing games development and generations of gamers around the world.

 

And wow, I really need to update my photo…!

 

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