About these

Back when I was a graduate student studying for my PhD at the University of Arizona in Tucson, I was first introduced to the Learning Games Initiative (LGI). Ken McAllister, co-director of LGI, worked with me on my comprehensive exams and my dissertation and nurtured my interests in all things technological. LGI held a number of "Game Nights," opportunities for interested individuals to get together and play games as well as theorize about them. This was one of my first introductions to game studies as a field and an area of future research interest. As I sat with others and played games like American McGee's Alice, then turned to discuss how games such as this could be analyzed using lenses from across the disciplines, I realized that I wanted to continue working with games in the future.

So did others: LGI has grown substantially since those early days and its inception in 1999. McAllister and LGI co-director Judd Ruggill continue to inspire individuals to get excited about games using their three-part principles as a guide: Study, Teach, Build (which you can see in the LGI logo to the right).

Study: LGI members use "multi-disciplinary analytical techniques to reveal and understand the ways in which sociocultural tensions are embedded in, imposed upon, and taught through games" (Sosnoski et al., 2006, p. 1313).

Teach: LGI members develop pedagogies to impart critical skills to students "so that as computer games become ubiquitous and their ideologies are naturalized in players," students will be well equipped to critique them (Sosnoski et al., 2006, p. 1313).

Build: LGI members develop games "to generate new and more complex opportunities for game developers and game players" (Sosnoski et al., 2006, p. 1313). Successful examples include the game Aristotle's Assassins, "a role-playing adventure game set amid the political turmoil of Ancient Greece. Players uncover a conspiracy to assassinate Aristotle, but the game really gets hot after players realize they are the assassins" ("Aristotle's Assassins," n.d.).

In this series of interviews with LGI members, you will learn more about the current state of scholarship in the field of game studies; you will hear about ongoing and new projects from LGI, such as the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive (LGIRA); you will learn LGI members' opinions on the incorporation of social media into games; and you will discover more about the research and scholars that LGI members follow and admire.

These interviews were conducted and recorded during the 2014 Southwest Popular Culture/American Culture (SWPACA) conference and the 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). Several were recorded during the SWPACA conference itself and thus there is ambient noise in the background; transcripts have been provided for individuals who would like to follow along with what is being said. There are several LGI members I was unable to interview; their absence is in no way indicative of their work or presence in LGI.

Below you will find links to advice, resources such as electronic mailing lists and conferences, and even research from LGI members. I invite you to explore this interview webtext and learn more about LGI.

Works by LGI Members

This section includes a bibliography of scholarly resources and further reading on games written by Learning Games Initiative Members.

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Advice and Resources

This section provides advice for those who wish to enter the field of game studies. It also describes further resources for those interested in research on games.

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About the Interviewer

This section introduces the interviewer, Stephanie Vie (at the University of Central Florida), and describes her work with video and computer games.

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