What do you do?

GuilleAcoustic

Chief Procrastination Officer
Moderator
LOSIAS
Jun 29, 2015
2,266
3,354
guilleacoustic.wordpress.com
Heh, yeah, that's been a consistent bugbear that is thankfully starting to go away (though it's still my go-to topic whenever I need to exemplify the practical uses of my research to people outside of the field :p ), in large part thanks to a ton of high quality research conducted within the field (mainly sociologically or psychologically oriented, though not only). People love black-and-white answers though, and grey-area findings like "what you get out of a game depends on what you bring to it and how you use it" are really difficult to propagate. Still, media researchers are quite used to new media triggering various degrees of panics or skepticism (anyone remember how VHS or LPs would ruin the youth?), so it's kind of expected, but it's also a difficult environment for establishing a new field of study when the public reaction to the objects of study are either snobbish/elitist "they're kids' toys, not worthy of attention, and certainly not worthy of study as impactful cultural objects" or panicky "they're corrupting our children and turning them into monsters!" I'm quite happy that I didn't start this track in the late 90s or early 2000s, as those were generally not good times to be a game researcher. These days it's a lot easier, both getting funding, having the research recognized, and of course there are a lot more institutions, journals, conferences and other support structures in existence, though it's still a tiny niche field. I've experienced other Ph.D. students (from more traditional/conservative fields) literally laughing when they hear what I'm researching, so we've definitely still got a long way to go.

I play video games and roleplaying games (with dices), listen to metal and have long hairs .... guess I'm somewhere between the son of Satan and a serial killer XD
 
Last edited:

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
1,746
1,593
I play .... roleplaying games (with dices)....
Decades ago I played tons of D&D with my university dorm friends.
There was no video games. No PC. No Apple (at least not one which is affordable). Only 'video' game was Pong by Atari. Pinball machines were the 'video games' in those days. So much fun back then.
Playing board games was a favourite way to kill time. Risk was the no. 1 choice...lol
 

Valantar

SFF Guru
Jan 20, 2018
1,535
1,394
Do you have any links to those studies?

Not surprised people laugh, probably shows their ignorance more than anything else - simulators were used to train pilots since before WWI. I've seen video games used for pain management, memory and coordination training. I can't find a link now, but there was also a small study about people playing competitive, high-paced games (e.g. Counter Strike) - they were able to react quicker in seemingly unrelated tasks, e.g. dangerous situations while driving. I've also read that interviewers are increasingly interested in hobbies of potential candidates, example was that strategy games can be an indication that someone likes and potentially is better at problem-solving.

It's a great topic, hope it will go smooth with your studies. With games being targeted and addictive/gambling practices like lootboxes being added, feels it should be studied more.
If someone laughs, they should think about AI, AR and VR in training and medicine. Recent breakthroughs in chemistry were based on AI initially written to play a game - Go. Possibilities are INSANE, it's a great topic and definitely will be an important one in the future
Sorry for the rather late reply here. Sadly I haven't kept any specific references - though I guess I ought to, as they could come in handy in situations like these :) - mostly because even six or so years ago when I started getting into game studies for my masters, this was (thankfully) mostly a settled issue. Or perhaps more accurately, few researchers are interested in black-and-white, yes-or-no questions like "is X harmful" - there's more interest in figuring out exactly what might constitute harmful gaming, how it happens, which factors might be important to these processes, how they play out, how they might be counteracted, etc. (and of course a similar set of questions exists around positive uses and effects of gaming). That kind of nuance is rarely of interest to press or mainstream discourse though, and it takes a lot of time to move past simplistic discussions in more public settings. Having examples of positive uses and effects is of course very useful for forcing nuance on those debates. But mostly it's pretty simple logic - nothing is inherently and always harmful, and it's all down to how it's used. And essentially anything can be harmful if used wrongly, badly, or with the intention of harm. This is true for anything from arsenic and cyanide to baseball bats to cars to video games to bacon sandwiches.

This type of research is mostly the realm of sociologically or psychologically oriented game studies though. In the humanities we're generally not all that interested in broad generalizations, but rather detailed studies of specific cases - whether games are "good" or "bad", "useful" or "a waste of time" is kind of besides the point for us, as humanist media studies fundamentally requires the object of analysis to be accepted as a worthy of study, and we're mainly interested in the potential readings and uses found in the work itself, as well as the complex interlinked relations between things, their relation to the world, society, physical/material existence, etc. This is of course grossly oversimplified, and there is a lot of overlap, reciprocity and interdependence between disciplines - my own project leans heavily on sociological theories as well as philosophy and philosophy of technology, methodologies of media analysis, and a lot more.
 

Tonkatsu

Caliper Novice
Jul 18, 2020
31
5
Used to be in procurement/purchasing and product manager for a now defunct UK-based tech b2b/B2c e-commerce group ('twas during the smartphone boom, though I was also doing AV hardware, GPS/fleet, PC & consoles, monitors...)

Did all kinds of things after that from working in a pharmacy to doing basic computer support (mostly for the elderly)...and now I 'work-train-study' organic cultivation! yeah clean chems-free veg's fruits and stuff because it's trending and might become mildly profitable assuming politics don't ruin this newly growing market.
But man, this is way more complicated and draining than what I expected, feels like we have to learn how they were working back in the 17th century or something. Makes you easily understand why organic foods are so expensive.

So, though I've worked in a tech-related field before it was mostly commerce, I don't have anything close to serious technical/engineering or computing/programming skills, just an amateur.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: timginter

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,127
4,478
...and now I 'work-train-study' organic cultivation! yeah clean chems-free veg's fruits and stuff because it's trending and might become mildly profitable assuming politics don't ruin this newly growing market.
But man, this is way more complicated and draining than what I expected, feels like we have to learn how they were working back in the 17th century or something. Makes you easily understand why organic foods are so expensive.
There's a lot of demand for organically grown and produced food, I'm glad it is still growing (hihi pun). You are working at the agriculture level I guess ?

I've focused more on quality (not just a label) over quantity when I buy, but I've also begun to grow peppers (the spicy kind) because supply and demand issues. Maybe this will awaken something in me. I tend to go all-in on the stuff I feel passionate about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: timginter

Valantar

SFF Guru
Jan 20, 2018
1,535
1,394
There's a lot of demand for organically grown and produced food, I'm glad it is still growing (hihi pun). You are working at the agriculture level I guess ?

I've focused more on quality (not just a label) over quantity when I buy, but I've also begun to grow peppers (the spicy kind) because supply and demand issues. Maybe this will awaken something in me. I tend to go all-in on the stuff I feel passionate about.
I assume you focus on the smallest, spiciest peppers? Anything else would be rather contrary to the SFF spirit ;)