Current IMMERSe Projects
Researchers: Stephen Yeager, Darren Wershler, Bart Simon, Carolyn Jong, Rob Gallagher, Kalervo A. Sinervo
Packaged with a “creation kit,” modification software suite, Skyrim has sparked a large online community of mod builders and users since its late 2011 release. The goal of this project is to frame the activities of modders, as well as the mods themselves, in terms of narrative, performance, and worldbuilding. Research questions include excess (both narrative excess and overconsumption), intersectionality, gender, and virtual bodies. In addition, we will look at the potential of modding as a method of détournement—how do modders use Skyrim creation kits to reinsert forgotten and marginalized aspects of the medieval (such as scribal culture) into a pseudo-medieval fantasy world?
Toxic Gamer Culture
Researchers: Mia Consalvo, Thorsten Busch
This research investigates the prevalence of sexist attitudes and misogynist behaviour in gamer culture today, examining the issue at both the user community and industrial levels. The growing presence of women and girls in gaming not as a novelty but as a regular and increasingly important demographic demands thoughtful analysis and response, especially in light of the pattern of negative responses from this male-dominated cultural space, ranging from dismissive to vitriolic. Our project is thus far one of documentation: we are assembling a timeline of toxic gamer culture events in the hopes of contextualizing seemingly isolated incidents in a broader perspective.
Researchers: Mia Consalvo, Carolyn Jong
This research is interested in studying how players make meanings and think about ethics and morality while playing games like those in the Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Fallout series. Over the past several years, we have performed numerous interviews with players and developers about how they feel their play decisions reflect their values, and we are now in the process of analyzing those interviews with an eye towards making claims about the current state of games writ large.
The Game Archive Project
Researchers: Skot Deeming, Sylvain Payen
Working collaboratively with members of the Ampersand Lab, the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre, and the Mlab, this project works towards building a physical archive of digital/video games which will span the history of the medium. Focusing on games and paratextual materials which highlight the narrative and immersive aspects of game play, once built, this archive will facilitate research in the field for students, researchers and faculty at Concordia University and across the entire IMMERSe network.