MMO Ethnography: The Customs and Cultures of Online Gamers

Ethnography is the field that turned my interest towards games in academia. As a lifelong veteran of MMORPGs, the concept of being a participant-researcher in this space was something I could really appreciate. One of the tenets of ethnography, as stated by Paul Dourish in Ways of Knowing in HCI, is that “ethnography directs our attention towards the importance of participation not just as a natural and unavoidable consequence of going somewhere, but as the fundamental point.”

Game Studies: The Psychology of the "Player"

Recently, I have been introducing myself to the variety of fields that are often included in the interdisciplinary area and related subjects of game studies. Of all these assembled disciplines, psychology has shown itself to be rather pervasive and useful, joining ethnography and human-computer interaction in a trio of methods with which I intend to study player behavior and social capital as I move into my PhD work.

Leonardo Fellow in Game Studies

Greetings, Leonardo readers! My name is Richard Wirth; I'm a master's student at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Leonardo's first graduate student fellow. My primary area of research is in games and simulation, which I have recently been approaching through the lenses of behavioral studies and ethnography. Currently this is taking the form of a study on the communities and social structures of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs).


sternberg2014-07-18Take this image: a string seems to be unraveling from her body.  It is like a skein of silk looping out, unfurling as if her being was made of cloth and she sees that the fabric is made of a billion tiny dancers – each one of them now pirouetting, moving, leaping, tumbling – out of sync with each other – the central timing, c

The Djerassi Dream Vortex

The Dream Vortex, a collaboration between myself and Meredith Tromble, reached a new level during our residency at Djerassi. It is finally artistically interesting, with two scenes and several interaction opportunities in full 3D. DreamVortex-2

Jonas Salk dream realized

When most hear the name Jonas Salk, the man about whom I am writing a biography, they think about the polio vaccine.  In 1959, however, Sir Charles Percy’s “The Two Cultures,” became his bible.