I’m getting my footing here at UCSD. If there’s a slogan for my immediate future, it’s interdisciplinarity. In order to do the kind of deep-playing that I want – to access (some)games as richly as I think they can be accessed, I am now looking back at social cognition, learning theory, developmental models, even some cognitive semantics. At the same time, I intend to write historicizing texts and work in a critical tradition, not a primarily analytic one. I just need a theory of the playing subject that I can use, and I am starting to feel that those based on old psychodynamic models aren’t adequate.
Not that I’m some brave pioneer in this: I think I see James Paul Gee’s footprints on this beach, among many others. Before he wrote specifically on learning theory and video games, he wrote a number of books about discourse analysis, ideology and language. In my not-too-distant past life as a student of cognitive science, I had some inkling that its insights could be harnessed for more critical work, and it seems that James Gee was way ahead of me already.
Fortunately, I’m being encouraged to build connections and take seminars across a number of disciplines, from cognitive science to Japanese area studies. The problems are going to be plentiful, and methodology will not be the least of them.