Introduction and Uru Research Project

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nicwatson
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:23 pm

Introduction and Uru Research Project

Post by nicwatson » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:42 pm

Hi all,

I'm working on a master's thesis in which I investigate links or differences between the design culture of game developers (i.e. Cyan) and the design culture of players/fans, especially where they are involved in creative work that adds to the game -- e.g. projects that leverage open-source Uru. I am interested in creative work process and motivations but also in other, general activities.

[Project Background]

I started with this research question: given a game developer like Cyan, with its own workplace culture and practice, can connections be drawn not just between player culture and characteristics of the designed game world, but also between player culture and game developer culture?

The first part of my fieldwork was to develop a sort of oral history of Cyan's development of Uru -- I visited their offices, interviewed employees and reviewed old design documents (several large boxes stuffed full of paper!). The second part, now, is to study the player community itself, with a particular focus on those who are involved in the creation/development of new tools, new content etc.

The final product of this research will be a thesis paper (to be completed by Nov/Dec 2011) which I will gladly share with anyone who wants. I'll also post a summary of my findings on the forum here when I'm done.

[What I'll Be Doing]

I'll be drawing on information posted in the public forums here for my research. I also hope to participate in discussions. I will not include any user names or real names in the data I collect.

Additionally, I am looking for people to interview in a more in-depth manner about their involvement and activities in OpenUru and Uru in general. It doesn't really matter who you are or how much or little you are involved -- I am interested in hearing your take. If you would like to be interviewed, please let me know.

Note: Since interviewing is different from gathering already-publicly-available information from the forum, there is an extra step: any individual I interview will need to have affirmatively consented -- i.e. opted in -- to being interviewed. Professional ethics guidelines require that such consent be documented. In this case, I have prepared a web-based consent form which explains all of the research activities and outlines your rights as a participant. It simply asks people interested in participating to review it and affirm their consent by entering an avatar name or forum posting handle. (Completing the form does not obligate you to do anything. You do not have to consent to all or any of the activities listed on the form if you do not wish to. Even if you complete the form, you may withdraw your consent at any time while the study is ongoing. If you do an interview, it will not be linked to your real or online name(s) in any way.) The consent form is available here: https://edu.surveygizmo.com/s3/395671/uru-consent . (You may disregard this entire paragraph if you aren't interested in being interviewed on an individual basis.)

I will be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have. I can be reached via PM on these forums, or by email at nicwatson@gatech.edu.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Nic Watson
Digital Media M.S. Candidate
Georgia Institute of Technology
nicwatson@gatech.edu

"Herschel" on MOULa/DI/UAM

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