September 19th, 2006


Henry Jenkins calls himself an “Aca/Fan” on his blog. While I’m not exactly studying the same things he is, I think I’d prefer to use the term “fandemic” about myself. I mean, what better way to sound like the WHO should be studying me? Or that I’m pervasive and highly contagious?

In other news, I’ve just had a paper accepted on “The Dungeon and the Covenant,” which is about models of medieval space in Dungeons and Dragons and Ars Magica, and how those models carry through in the game design and the narratives people produce. Unfortunately, I’m a game scholar, not a medievalist. I think I’m going to write to the organizers and make sure they know that. I’m also hoping I can still persuade Bryn to present with me on the theory that she’s probably got a lot more of the medieval knowledge up her sleeve than I do. She has capacious sleeves.

For those who care, the basic concept of the piece is going to be contrasting the epic quest model of medieval society - adventurers, dungeons, etc. - to the class-oriented and domestic model that the covenant of magi implies. I’ll be using this to look at things like representations of social class and social mobility (high in the dungeon; low in the covenant) and the types of published adventures and story seeds that each game provides. Finally, I’ll be talking about how and why the dungeon model is thriving in the computer-game world while the covenant model is quite limited in its appeal - and what one might do about it.

For those who don’t care, I hereby return to you the 2.5 minutes you spent reading the preceding paragraph.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to drop my class on the Development of Creativity; what with the paper-writing and research and starting a company and so on and so forth, I really don’t have time for an extra class, especially one that isn’t necessary for me to certify. I can always take it next fall, when I’ll hopefully have my dissertation proposal either done or in the pipeline to approval!

Instead of Creativity …

For the record: if I were a slightly less responsible person, I would have dropped my Development of Creativity class in favor of taking “Advanced Metalworking Techniques” at SVA, which I’m told is basically a class in building suits of armor.  Except you can put electronics and stuff in them.