In this brief paper I try and make sense of a cluster of research around the broad topic of X-box games. This paper reconciles two threads of research; one a textual analysis of gaming genres, and the other a broad search for a suitable research method. Working on both projects – more or less – simultaneously meant that there was inevitable convergence and cross fertilizations between the threads. Much of my initial work on gaming genres involved evaluating various justifications and denials of the unique status of gaming within the mediascape. From the research of gaming genres, I suggest that X-box games should be understood as virtual pedagogical ecologies that are differentiated by degrees and interplay of performance, transformation and contextualization. This demands that X-box games not only be understood as a unique media but as a unique site in a mediated network. This dual status is informed by, and reciprocally informs the methodology of the overall project. The project, tentatively titled, ‘Rethinking Computer Games as a Trans-national Practice’ utilizes media ethnography, discursive realism and multi-modality to enrich the analysis of X-box games as texts, technologies and practices. Together they enable the development of a research paradigm that conceives X-box games as the hybrid, ephemeral and complex media objects that the textual analysis demands.
I was interested, initially in how his methodology worked but to my delight discovered he is looking at transmedia storytelling, but from the game perspective.
I’m delighted to find another researcher in this area and will post further info once I’ve chatted with Tom further…