I spent the entire day working at the “Social Dimensions of Digital Gaming” Tutorial session. This was my top choice of session to work at, because of my interest in the subject matter. It was incredibly interesting and awesome to be present for the discussion. There were loads of really smart academics and game designers present.
One of the main themes that was repeated throughout the day was the need for co-operation between academia and industry, as well as how the each could benefit from the other. Another theme was the need to utilise both qualitative and quantitative research methods for studying games.
The keynote, by Julian Dibbell, was about MMOGs and the blurring of the boundary between work and play. Quite interesting, and cool. Apparently there will be a book soon about making a living from Ultima Online.
It was nice being able to nod sagely at quite a lot of the stuff that the academics spoke about, particularly the bits about qualitative and quantitative research methods. Almost felt like I was in a research methods refresher course.
I spoke to a few people about their research and such, which was cool. It was great to be able to put faces to names as well. Sadly, I was engrossed in my duties after the whole thing was over, so I neglected to grab handouts for myself. I’ll have to email people for them. Grr.
A random crazy woman came up to me and expressed extreme disappointment about not receiving any socks in her conference packet. Just kidding, Alice. :-) BTW, your sock problem has been sorted, so I’ll try to find you.
Must dash as the CAs are going to start playing a D&D game soon (and people seem to be queuing for the computer). Apparently it’s going to be quite a hardcore role-playing session. They have this rule where you have to make a hand signal to say that you’re speaking out of character, which hasn’t been a rule previous table-top games I’ve played in (LARP, yeah).