Free-Writing For Research Stuff

In discussions of the application and lucrativeness of serious games in the military, one point of discussion is that serious games market is very suitable for game developers to channel their energy as the nature of serious games development is less competitive than that of a conventional gaming market. On the one hand, “Training Games: The Military Way” suggests that serious games used in the military for training has a demand both in the military and in the corporate world, which enhances the scalability of the game. On the other hand, “Games have no place in the military” pointed out that the military gaming scene isn’t as rosy as what it seems to be, as there are numerous barriers that prevent it from working it out. “VR games for recruiting” provides even a third perspective, arguing that there is a whole future in the serious game industry with the advent of VR.

I am trying to learn about the serious games market in the military.
Because I want to find out about the opportunities, challenges and design strategies of effective games
In order to help my reader understand whether the serious game market is an industry worthy for a new game developer to enter.

Today’s lesson made me rethink the different perspectives that I should adopt in my research paper and question the assumptions that I made regarding my topic. I have a clearer idea of the blind spots in my proposed argument and I will address them accordingly in my research-based argument.

| 1 Comment

Michelle’s Research Project Sandbox

Synthesizing Diverse Perspectives
In discussions of guilds in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, one point of discussion has been focused on why players devote so much time to playing and at what point play becomes work. On the one hand, Nick Yee argues in that the line between work and play is becoming increasingly blurred, and the term “exploitation” might be applicable to some particularly time intensive and stressful MMORPG roles such as guild leader. On the other hand, Prax complicates this by suggesting that leadership in WoW may result in the development of valuable real-life skills. Malone provides a third perspective, pointing out that while DKP intraguild economic systems are quite common, there is much debate around its use due to the previously mentioned line between work and play.

From Topic to Significance 
I am trying to learn about guilds in MMORPGs

because I want to find out how complex these player-run organizations can be and better understand how commitment to MMORPGs develop

in order to help my reader understand why MMORPGs might be a good starting point of research for analyzing what goes into a successful team-based setting.

Research Question: Why does play have to be inherently different from work, and how do the two aspects balance out in the role of a guild leader?

I didn’t really find the fill-in-the-blank templates to be particularly helpful since I already knew that my sources weren’t really in contention with one another – do they need to be for the RBA? I liked the invention through collaboration activity. It gave me a better sense of what comes to other people’s minds when they think of guilds and MMORPGs, but I’m also curious what responses I would have gotten if the topic had been narrower. I enjoyed the concept of the research question spectrum activity, but I don’t think it helped much because I wasn’t really sure where a lot of my questions would fall on my spectrum.

| 1 Comment

Ryan’s Research Project Sandbox

Synthesizing Diverse Perspectives
When it comes to the topic of gaming for medical education, most readily agree that there are obvious benefits in the effectiveness of training to prepare for medical school and beyond. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of the practicality and tested benefits of games for higher education. While some are convinced that games help one’s education in the medical field, others believe that games are only for entertainment purposes and do not actually assist with education.
From Topic to Significance
I am trying to learn about the potential benefits of using video games for medical education, because I want to find out how technology is being integrated in the classroom allowing students to further their learning in order to help my reader understand that video games are not just a means for entertainment, but can be a vehicle for useful future applications.
Possible Research Question
How can video games benefit the medical community, specifically learning and developing skills for surgical operations?
Process Reflection
Today’s class helped me narrow down my topic into a research-based argument. Playing around with different ideas gave me inspiration to look into a specific field of medical education and focus in on the skills learned from that field. With the filled templates, I realized that my topic is still broad, but I do not want to narrow my topic too much. My next steps now are to find potential sources related to the specificity of my research question and continuing revising my question.
| 1 Comment

Andrew’s Research Project Sandbox

Synthesizing Diverse Perspectives

When it comes to video games, most readily agree that they are fun. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of how much fun is too fun. While some are convinced that video games will be the savior of humanity by filling even educational roles in the future, others believe that games will destroy humanity by pushing us towards a world of totalitarianism. Still, others prefer a middle ground, believing that what we do with video games will determine our future as a society.

From Topic to Significance

I am studying a wide array of perspectives on the social impacts of video games because I want to find out possible solutions to recent trends of passivity. I hope to help my reader understand the complexity of the issue.

Summative Free-Write

“How can gaming be deployed to combat its recent reputation of inducing passivity and instead to cultivate a more conscientious citizenry?”

I’m not sure how much *specific* literature there is on the optimistic side of this question, but I am happy that I have arrived at this question after today’s brainstorming activities. Works like Brave New World have always fascinated (and terrified!) me—as our longest-held fictions become more and more real through gaming innovation, are we going to succumb to more and more mindless activity?

Can we turn gaming on its ugly head and instead use it for the opposite—inculcating values of activism and conscientiousness? Sustainability?

I am reminded of this poem . . .

“I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.”

– Richard Brautigan

Posted in Fall 2017, Fall 2017 Student Research | 1 Comment

Amanda’s Research Project Sandbox

When it comes to the topic of depression and gaming, most readily agree that video games can be an effective method of dealing with depression. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of how exactly can they help. While some are convinced that a game with specific depression-targeting principles is most beneficial, others believe that it is based on self-realization and actively seeking help or a motive through games that can act as a guide rather than a medication.

I am trying to learn about the connection between depression and gaming because I want to find out how gaming can benefit those diagnosed with depression in order to help my reader understand the positive components of gaming that can contribute to recovery from mental illness.

It was really good hearing back from my peers about where my research project could potentially go. It was pretty eye opening and made me realize the contextual components of my topic as well as what still needs to be said, explained, and investigated. I came away with a primary research question:

How can video games intentionally or unintentionally benefit those diagnosed with depression?

Although I don’t feel that this will be my final question, it is a great foundation to build off of since I did not have too much of a direction before this class. Although I am not sure if I will narrow down my topic more, I do know that I need to find more contrasting opinions, and maybe go into some nay-sayers who say that video games contribute to depression instead of benefit it.


Max’s Research Project Sandbox


In discussions of social impact gaming, one point of discussion has been strategies that games use to most effectively and efficiently solve a social issue. On the one hand, Dana Ruggiero argues that persuasive games are an effective medium of social change. On the other hand, Karen Schrier complicates this by suggesting a more modern means of social change – crowdsourcing. Jane McGonigal provides even a third perspective, arguing that the future of social impact gaming lies in alternate reality gaming.


1 I am trying to learn about social impact gaming

2 because I want to find out more about the specific strategies that game developers use to address social issues

3 in order to help my reader understand which strategy is the most effective


Research Question:

How can game developers use crowdsourcing to solve the problems of the 21st Century?

Overall, I thought that today’s sandbox activities were very beneficial – specifically, the ways of narrowing down my research topic. By having to write about how to transition from my TiC to the RBA, I was forced to reflect on what issues I would like to explore more deeply. Furthermore, I was able to get feedback on what additional types of evidence would be helpful in bolstering my argument.


Lessons from TiC Samples and Drafts

Today was one of the days where we looked at different TiC samples as a way of initiating a conversation about strengths of a powerful Texts in Conversation essay and possible strategies for revision.  While there is a long tradition of imitatio (imitation) in writing and rhetoric contexts — where you directly mimic or intimate a piece of writing to make it your own and expand the range of your own rhetorical proficiency — our goal with looking at samples is not a straight plug-and-play this approach.  Rather, my hope is that by reading different ways students have engaged with this assignment, you’ll be inspired to adapt some of the strategies in your own revision.  That is: I’m not looking for imitation but for inspiration.

And it seems like you all found elements you admired in the sample essays. Here’s a list of some of the points that you raised in our discussion. You were impressed with the samples in how

  • they maintained the feel of a blogpost throughout the TiC
  • they developed the conversation and the way in which the authors interacted with each other — this maintained a focus on the purpose of the assignment, namely that you are supposed to be putting the sources in conversation with each other
  • they reminded the audience of the topic and used the comments to show how their idea of the topic was evolving
  • they attentively crafted persona for the different comments, creating a sense of authenticity, with attention to stylistic decisions
  • they showcased the sources in the different comments
  • the last paragraph showed the connections between the sources and also provided an effective look at the evolved topic and next steps for their research

In addition, it wasn’t just the sample essays that provided great models and ideas for revision.  After peer review, some people also shared out some of the aspects of their group’s drafts that really impressed or inspired them:

  • Andrew’s final comment
  • How Louis developed persona and character for each of his comments
  • The way Ryan facilitated conversation between his sources
  • Nikita’s focus on showcasing the sources themselves, increasing his ethos by choosing such relevant and engaging sources
  • The way Bradley’s third comment really worked to make his overall argument even stronger
  • How Michelle effectively used her final comment to wrap up the TiC and point to her revised focus for future research

As you continue your revision, be sure to review these points and their applicability to your own TiC argument to encourage you to continue to innovate with your own rhetorical approach.

Posted in Christine's Reflections, Fall 2017 | Leave a comment