Sometimes I have to go take a look in the mirror to see if I am still there. Then I have to go to the bookshelf to see if the books of my friends and wonderful co-game researchers are there too. Check if the Ph D's people were working on are finished. See if the conferences are still being organised. Just generally have a look around and check if my reality is still there.
Today was such a moment. According to Roger Travis a huge and important chunk of game studies does not exist. Or worse - we are some struggling souls fighting under the tyrrany of such evil gamer-hating monsters as Aarseth, Juul and Murray.
On my way around, checking, I am reassured of a few facts. I have studied gamers and gamers culture since the last milennium, long before gamestudies.org was established, before Espen published Cybertext, sufficiently early that finding Hamlet on the Holodeck was a relief, although I didn't agree with all in it. Two of the gamers I interviewed and was in contact with in that first major interview round have since had a chance to take their own Ph D's on games, one working as a researcher with a major game design company, the other as a designer and researcher on educational games. I have since argued for the gamers, against the formation of an exclusive discipline and in general for an increased respect for the intelligence of the users constantly for years. Not that I think my voice is that important, but, you know, I have not been doing it alone. I have had company in this argument since day one.
But I guess that's not good enough - you see, the people I am referring too publish in journals, talk in conferences and write books, and are very rarely to be seen in American news media. And that is, obviously, where a game scholar should be represented for somebody studying games to read their work.
Oh well. To be honest, I am in this not for the fame, but for the pleasure of pursuing good questions and sharing what I learn. Which I have been doing for a while now, with the generous and continous assistance of the gamers I study among.
Oh, and look, Travis has been blogging about games since April 2008. How sweet :)