From archival practices to game studies
Last month, September, I was offered a wonderful opportunity, and I said yes.
My original plan was to start a dissertation in a follow-up project for the current research endeavor I’m engaged in. As a brief reminder: The topic of the current project is participative image archives. In my dissertation, I would have focused on aspects of community within that frame.
Now, already in July, somebody mentioned a PhD-position in another project that would probably be interesting to me. I knew that this other project is about video games. I laughed it off, saying that I can’t just quit my current project. That reaction was most likely a mixture of loyalty and not allowing myself to have “fun”. And with fun, I mean working on a topic that I heavily identify with. Video games and tabletop RPGs and the friends I could play those with were among the most important factors of surviving my depressive teenage years. I cherish video games above all other media. Practically, nothing can give me a timeout as good as a well narrated video game1
It took many talks with many friends to convince to at least look at the PhD position… In the end, they all said the same, I got to look out for myself. So in September, I had a look at the position and then things went rather quickly. One meeting here, one there, and after some exchange it seemed like a perfect fit.
I’m thrilled to announce that in February 2023 I will start my dissertation in digital humanities and game studies. In the project, I’m responsible for the analysis of the visual/design rhetoric of our video games in the corpus. The corpus consists of video games developed in Switzerland before the year 2000. What the specific focus of my dissertation will be is still open to development.
And that’s it, from archival practices to game studies.
I have to admit that I am delighted how these things fell into place, and that I call myself very lucky. I love video games. To be able to analyze and work with them for four years (and probably even more after my dissertation) makes me happy. I also believe the team to be fantastic (which is also the case in the current project).
Things I’m reading
- Digitale Spiele und Geschichte: For obvious reasons
- Visual Methodologies: … ditto
Things I read
- Rewilding Mythology: Fantastic text that brings together many strands I closely watched the last few years, the multispecies discourse, storytelling, nonhuman community, composting and other practices
- The Joy of Silly Useless Software: What it says in the title :)
- Menschen und Nichtmenschen. Zum Tod von Bruno Latour: Some thoughts on the work and importance of Latour. Liked the text’s emphasizes on the non-human.
- Fermented Code: Modelling the Microbial Through Miso: I like the poetic approach to fermentation and computation, but somehow don’t feel comfortable with its overall tone. It has this “look at what depth of thought that I found all by myself” kind of feeling to it.
- I am recently enjoying the Timecuts album a lot, again. It’s brutally soothing. Fits to rainy days getting darker.
- This October, my partner and I were watching a lot of horror and slasher movies. One stuck particularly: In the Earth. It’s a psychedelic horror-thriller with some nasty violent and gory scenes in between. I loved the movie for its artistic approach and the gore-scenes were framed with a kind of humor. Can recommend.
- I added a new channel to my are.na: Beyond Human / New Materialism / Thing-Theory