Saturday, June 09, 2007
Today I was at the final conference of the Play, Creativity and Digital Cultures seminar series. I did a workshop on the Virtual Worlds work – all in all it was a great day. I think I came away with an impression of how varied digital culture is becoming, how many niche interests there are, and a feeling that there is still plenty to do in terms of conceptualizing the field. A recurrent theme for me is the search for appropriate methodologies for understanding the production of digital texts. It seems that interviews and observations often create secondary texts that are, in a sense parasitic, and that we base our analysis on these secondary texts, reading them with a theoretical gaze that further transforms them. This is particularly problematic where the primary texts are slippery, fragmented or ‘in process’ (as in gameplay, action drawing, synchronous chat). Freezing these texts and separating them from their practice and situational context just won’t work.