In my current research projects, I apply experimental and ethnographic methods to studies of competitive gaming communities, the work of watching digital play, and the informal teaching and learning practices of competitive gamers.
All of these projects involve graduate and undergraduate research assistants as field researchers, data analysts, and co-authors.
Re-Figuring Innovation in Games
I am a co-investigator on a large-scale, Canadian government-funded initiative to develop and implement strategies aimed at making digital gaming communities, industries, and educational sites more inclusive.
E-sports gets Schooled
This participatory action research involves documenting play practices and interviewing members of a campus-based competitive gaming club that makes diversity — of skill level, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality — its explicit mandate.
Play-by-Play: Narrativizing Competitive gaming
Funded by the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences at NC State, this mixed-methods research documents the communicative resources and processes through which video game spectators make sense of onscreen action in the popular, highly-complex Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), Defense of the Ancients 2.
Learning to LoL
Funded by an NC State University Faculty Research and Professional Development (FRPD) award, this video-driven qualitative case study asks what communicative and computational competencies are required for (and cultivated through) intensive play in League of Legends (LoL), a highly-competitive, team-based game.
This study employs microethnographic tools and techniques to explore the connections between subjectivity, affect and digital gaming, as instantiated through participants’ play of Telltale’s The Walking Dead.