As you already know (you read the About section, did you?) this blog owes its existence to a video game research project at which I've been working during the last months. In fact, there is an explicit mention to this in the project: 'A website will be set up, a personal blog to which some of the ideas and results arising from the project will be transferred, in a less academic form, for informative purpose'. I wrote 'for informative purpose', but I hope it's for far more than that. I'll try to use it as a tool for reflection, a device to shape the incipient ideas which I bump into during my research. I would also like to consider the blog as an space and a reference for discussion (but that's up to you, guys!).
Obviously, I will be writing about other things more or less related to the project (video gaming culture in general, broader sociological issues, and who knows what else), but I've thought that I should shed some light on the blog's main concern. The project is summarised as follows:
The aim of the project is to research the processes that generate subjectivity in video gamers, based on a study of two areas: the expert design of the video game and the interaction established by the gamers with that product and the social setting in which they exist.
In a social context in which the video game is highlighted as one of the major cultural industries (surpassing music, films or the performing arts in economic terms), very few sociological studies exist with respect to the processes that intervene in creating a video gamer and its relationship with contemporary subjectivities and the social universes of meaning where it dwells. Whereas most academic and general studies have focused on the video game as a cultural product, this project aims to study the models used to generate the video gamer in social terms, without forgetting the expert processes that give rise to the video game as an object.
Using a mainly qualitative method, the study will be targeted at two fields: firstly that involving the experts responsible for designing and producing the video games which takes into account the persons who will use them, thus promoting and conditioning subjectivities, and secondly, the social context in which gamers receive and interact with that product designed by experts and specialists, developing their own responses to the object and building their subjectivity with respect to the video game and in relation to other gamers and the rest of their social environment. The identity of the video gamer and the social worlds that emerge around them will be created through the combination of these two areas, reformulated as dimensions of analysis.
This can give you a general sense of the project. However, there are some things that I've already changed in these first four months of my research. Now I'd rather refer to 'the processes that generate a video game culture' than to the original 'the processes that generate subjectivity in video gamers'. I also think that the idea of "video gamers' subjectivity" is best understood as "video gamers' identity" or "identity of video gamers" (even though identity is one of those problematic notions). In any case, it's a fair hint of the project. I will expand on the project in future entries. Don't get lost and stay tuned!