Team meeting July 16th
Notes – Diane

We went through the game diaries and picked out those aspects of SL that relate most directly to the project. We had an initial discussion about how these issues relate to our research questions, and considered the design of appropriate data collection. Please refer back to the game diaries for background. Here is a summary of possible ‘next steps’.  

‘The Pain-barrier’ (and aspects of emergence). What makes people decide to ‘stick with’ Second Life? What made it seem worthwhile? What’s fuelled these users’ transformation from new user, to ‘resident’? What of the learning that facilitated this transformation?  Method: Solicited letter and ‘user narratives’

Sound and voice. We are imagining (at this stage) looking at ‘before and after’ instances using 3 players learning and performing a task. At the moment we imagine using in-game recording and simultaneous video of the user/player.

Conventions of expertise/perceived expertise. This is of interest and the team will look into these issues further. Meanwhile, as Martin pointed out, such questions also suggested the need for a glossary. What is a ‘newbie’, a ‘casual user’ and an ‘expert user’? What are the variables in such classifications? What are considered to be the indicators? Frequency of use? Role (scripter, shopper, machinimator, socialiser)? Duration of use? We will be thinking more about collaborative ways to discuss (and ‘unpack’) these terms in the context of SL research.

Drama and education. This can be divided into two inter-related modules, Andrew has suggested. The first relates to Goffman and the performance of self. We are considering approaching this through users’ narratives of their avatars’ ‘look’. The second branch of this inquiry relates to education, simulation and role play. Martin pointed out that we should be asking how role-playing in SL compares to role-playing elsewhere. Expect to follow this up by interviewing RPer’s in SL. Andrew suggested that we can incorporate this into our teaching if we facilitate student’s use/planning of education simulations in SL during the ‘games and education’ module.

WoW and couples: We’ve talked about interviewing couples who play wow together as a way of ‘getting at’ the scope for different actualisation of the game (managing co-play, and/or different play styles, for example). We will think some more about this.

General:
Agree fortnightly project meetings on Wednesdays at 11.
Thinking ahead re teaching.
Game module: SL and Wow and fan cultures 
SL and ‘games and education’ session
ICT and communication. Conventions and communications ‘fieldtrip’
Meet with CS to confirm access on studio PCs.

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