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Academic Research on Video Game Development (introduction)

My name is Jay O’Toole and I am a PhD student at UW-Madison interested in all that goes into making games. I decided to start this blog to write about observations based on my own research and those of other scholars examining the video game industry.

SUMMARY
My name is Jay O’Toole and I am a PhD student at UW-Madison interested in all that goes into making games. I decided to start this blog to write about observations based on my own research and those of other scholars examining the video game industry.

INTRODUCTION
Over the past several months I have been interviewing developers, producers, designers, and founders of video game companies as a part of my dissertation research on the video game industry. Specifically, for my dissertation I am examining the influence of development teams and processes on the outcomes of video game development projects.

Two reoccurring themes have emerged from my conversations with video game professionals. First, the video game community is extremely welcoming. Second, video game professionals are constantly looking to learn. I think the 2012 GDC highlighted this for me. Attending the conference was inspiration and exhilarating. Several of the folks I interviewed insisted I attend—I thank them for their encouragement. Not only were the sessions I attended informative, but I met so many new people who have offered a diverse array of perspectives. This has undoubtedly influenced the direction of my dissertation and provided me much fodder for my emerging research program.

I hope my blog serves as a source of relevant observations and data regarding the art and business of making games. I also hope that my blog serves as a place to discuss burning questions that researchers like me can study to provide additional insights.

REQUEST FOR HELP
In the next month or so I will be distributing a survey that will be the primary data collection tool for my dissertation. As I mentioned, I have been conducting interviews over last several months to ensure my theory is grounded in what matters to game professionals. These interviewers have also helped me write questions for my survey that are relevant to those who make games (not just academics like me who do not).

I invite you to contact me if you are interested and willing to help with my research. At this point, there are two ways you can help me most:

1. Be willing to let me interview you for 20-30 minutes.

2. Be willing to complete my survey when I release it.

If you are willing to help, please shoot me an email at [email protected], post a reply to my blog, or simply wait for my survey to be distributed to fill it out.

IMPORANT: all data collected both during my pre-survey interviews as well as those data collected through my survey are held completely CONFIDENTIAL. When data are shared, they are shared in aggregate form and no identifying information is ever shared. 

   

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