Geek Studies in Philadelphia & St. Louis

No, I won’t be returning to my old stomping grounds in Philly this semester, but I’m there in spirit: Over at Technically Philly, Brian James Kirk offers a Q&A with me about my dissertation research. Thanks to Brian for making me sound significantly more coherent than I remember being on our phone call.

Later this month, however, I will be in St. Louis at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. I’ll be presenting a paper that originated as a loosely-connected series of posts here about “The Multiple Appeals of Gaming.” Let me know if you expect to be at the conference and feel like discussing geeky things, as I have a tendency to do that when given the chance.

Being Realistic About Virtual Loot

Awhile back, my friend Kai—the web developer and DigiPen grad I mentioned in my previous post—emailed me a link. The Escapist article, “The Broken Economy Is Your Fault,” rightly points out that the economics of video game RPGs are broken. The author suggests that, unfortunately, they probably can’t be fixed. As Kai wrote, “I see his point, but I think don’t buy that you can’t have a game that’s more economically interesting without making it full of tedium.”

I’m with Kai on this one. I’ve been sitting on this post for months while I took care of some other things, but now that Mass Effect 2 has gotten me thinking more about inventory management, I figured it might be time to revisit this.

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The Very Definition of an RPG

There’s something very funny about pledging to do more blogging right before finals start at your new job as an assistant professor. Something had to take a back seat, though—and you didn’t think it would be video games, did you? Of course not. Fortunately, video games are what bring me back to blogging: I’ve just completed Mass Effect 2, and I must emerge from my cave to ramble on about it.

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