As of now, my dissertation will probably be focusing on some of the various cultures surrounding computers, video games, comics, and sci-fi TV/film. I’ve definitely had interviews (or have them lined up) with appropriate people for these topics, but I need to stay more continually plugged in to these industries and cultures than a few interviews allow for. That means attending some conventions and following some blogs, hopefully including the best trafficked of each.
In terms of cons, I’ve already attended the Penny Arcade Expo, the San Diego Comic Con International, the Big Apple Con, the Come Out and Play Festival (where I shot a short movie), and the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (no movies or music for me.) Depending on how certain things shake down, my travel plans for this year potentially include Wizardworld Philly (June), another trip to San Diego for Comic Con (July), Defcon in Vegas (August), the Tokyo Game Show (September), and the Small Press Expo (October). If some of that falls through and I could actually afford to go to PAX again, that’s another possibility. (I’ll also be going back and forth to Boston to visit friends and family, heading to San Francisco in May for the International Communication Association 2007 Conference, and doing research with Annenberg’s Summerculture program in Lisbon, Portugal for about half of July.)
As for web sites, I regularly sift through feeds from Joystiq, Kotaku, Game Politics, The Comics Reporter, and a number of sites maintained by academics I admire, such as Henry Jenkins’s Confessions of an Aca/Fan, Nancy Baym’s Online Fandom, and Jane McGonigal’s Avant Game. More recently, I picked up the feed for Slashdot, plus subscriptions to the print editions of Wired and Geek Monthly. I occasionally visit a number of other sites, including The Escapist, Journalista, and MacUser. (And that’s all on top of the design sites, traditional news sites, and web comics, which I won’t even get into here.)
Clearly, though, I’ve been more deeply involved with the comic book and video game scenes than the others. So I turn to you: got any suggestions for cons and web sites I should visit to get a better angle on what’s geeky about TV, film, and/or computer culture and industry?