With a new year comes the opportunity for new beginnings. 2013 also brings some new changes to PrimarySourceCode.
Among the new features for 2013 is a new regular segment that will offer a glimpse into my dissertation research on the cultural history of video games in America. “Dissertation Notes” is the oh-so-clever name of my regular segment briefly highlighting the interesting, unusual, or thought-provoking materials I have come across while working on my dissertation. Aimed at a broad audience that includes media scholars, general interest readers, and gamers looking to know more about their hobby/obsession, I intend to demonstrate through a variety of sources the complex history of video games in America and their complicated, at times hotly-contested, relationship with larger debates over leisure, technology, and mass culture.
Each article will briefly introduce a new source or idea related to the history of video games and provide some historical context. By saying “related” I mean to include items that are not necessarily directly about video games but engage in the greater cultural discussions in which video games are included, such as leisure, technology, and mass media. Hopefully, by the time I receive the Ph.D., we will all have gained a better understanding of the role video games have played in society and how they simultaneously shape and are shaped by a wide variety of cultural factors.
In other news, the video game news site MechTaco, of which I was previously a contributor, has since been retooled to focus on more on podcast-based rather than article-based content, so expect to see some of the articles I produced for them making their way here for those interested. In addition to cross-listing PSC editorials at MechTaco, I also started some regular segments there. “More than Madden” was to be a regular series of articles on alternatives EA’s Madden NFL series for American-football fans. More pressing time demands elsewhere limited the series to one article on Mutant League Football, but there may be more articles on that subject if there is the time and inclination to do so. “Catching MissingNo.,” meanwhile, was a series highlighting some of the odd moments in video game history. Some of the ideas for it will be folded into Dissertation Notes, but there may still be a place for an “oddly enough” section that does not have to do with my research.
I am also planning a massive design of the visual appearance of the site from the current generic WordPress look to something more personalized and professional. For the moment this is a work-in-progress, but hopefully there will be results coming soon.
What does the future hold? We’ll just have to see.