PrimarySourceCode is not dead and neither am I.
Far from it, I have been making excellent progress on my research and I have been delivering talks on video games.
At the end of October, I had the privilege of speaking before the Delaware Valley Archivist Group’s “Archivists Being Awesome” on the subject of video game preservation (you can check out an interview I did with DVAG here). Bookending my talk were two excellent presentations: Lisa Gensel of the University of Delaware gave an interesting talk on emergency preparedness and how it relates to archives and Matt Shoemaker of Temple University’s Paley Library recounted his experience as part of a Kickstarter-funded history of Dungeons and Dragons.
Last week I attended the annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Cultural Association (MAPACA) to deliver a talk on my research into the 1993-1994 congressional hearings on video game violence. I was fortunate enough to be paired with a comprehensive project analyzing the moral panic against video games in the aftermath of last year’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A lively discussion of the role of video games in greater American culture followed the presentations. The two talks complemented each other extremely well and I was fortunate to be a part of it.
The following day of the conference brought a great set of game studies presentations under the heading “Gaming: New Frontiers.” Alana Staiti, a former UD colleague who is now studying at Cornell, gave a fascinating talk on the character design of Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite. Fanny Ramirez from Rutgers examined the ambitious crowdfunded game Star Citizen and the benefits and pitfalls of funding a game through nontraditional means. Robert Spicer and Karl Babij rounded out the panel with a survey of users of Zynga’s messaging system in Words with Friends. The discussion that followed was as lively as you would expect from game scholars.
With conferences over (for now) expect to find more quality video game and history material here at PrimarySourceCode. I have found some exciting materials I am eager to share with you.