Having read a range of materials this term, some familiar and some new, on what topic do you want to research or read more about and why?
Can’t pick just one topic. So much fascinates me. Three topics I’m interested in learning more about are game culture and what TC can learn from it, narrative and its effective use within TC, and the development of identity within virtual spaces.
I like the idea that a culture that many people see as frivolous and full of “play” can actually help group communication within organizations and illustrate a “serious” (and after last week, this term is so ambiguous to me) use of it within organizations and within technical communication in general. This topic also blurs into my second topic, “narrative.” Last week, we talked a lot about edutainment versus “serious games” and immersive versus whatever the opposite of immersive is. I think one aspect of an immersive experience is a strong narrative base. Within a narrative, there is going to be at least one character (usually more), and that character is dropped within a particular setting and context and must move through conflicts and tension in the attempt to resolve conflict and (hopefully) learn to deal with the consequences of her actions in the process to reach some climax and resolution. When your real life mind is moved to do all of these things virtually within a game, you can’t help but to be immerse in the game. And the learning done within that episode of play tends to carry on. For example, when a gamer learns new moves or codes as she plays the game, those moves, codes are often remembered and used in future scenes/missions within the game. OK, I went on and on with that one, but I do like the narrative/immersive quality of games and how we can learn within those environments.
Well, I’ve said a lot about narrative above, so to that I will add that this topic is actually a personal one for me. As a creative writer, one thing I have struggled with is the bridging of my creative/thinking mind with my technical/thinking mind. This bridging is imperative for my success as an academic because both aspects will always be integral parts of who I am. I have bought a few books (though have not read them yet) that talk about narrative and storytelling as effective tools within organizations, and I can definitely see how the study of narrative can help in organization management, in group communication within organizations and companies, and especially for the TCer in troubleshooting or in helping the user understand a product.
Obviously, this is the thing I want to get “good” at (“good” meaning “awesome”). I want to learn how people create and edit their identities in virtual spaces in order to express themselves, connect with others, and affect change. I’m particularly interested in how African Americans do this, and more specifically (for now) African American women. It’s interesting that we talk about digital gaps (still), participation gaps that always seems to place one type of group in the “have not” category and another in the “have” category without acknowledging those supposedly “have nots” that are actually using the technology and doing so successfully. These often marginalized groups have the same sense of identity, of connecting, and of sharing as other groups, yet their voices are often left on the “cutting room floor” of the digital world. I’d like to lend sound to those voices, those identities.
You must be logged in to post a comment.