Hello, August

So much travel, so little energy to blog.

I’m grounded in Cambridge for the next few weeks and have lots of writing to do before that “holy crap where did the summer go?” panic sets in. And what do I do when I have lots of writing to do? Procrastinate by writing other things that are not the thing I should be writing. I’m such a cliche.

The good news to report is that my friend Josh and I are happily settled in our new office above Legal Sea Foods in Kendall Square. Thanks to Philip Tan and the GAMBIT game lab he created, we now sit in 10K square feet of professional office space. This is the third space I’ve occupied since arriving at MIT a year ago, but I have to say that this one’s the charm. We have push-pin walls, gorgeous recycled wood bookshelves, unobtrusive lighting, a sunny view of the parking garage next door, and lots of fun gamer folks running around all over the place writing witty comments on the writeable walls. I would note that the gaming lounge is the best part about being here–we’ve got everything you can imagine and a fantastic setup to boot–but no. The gaming setup is indeed awesome, but my favorite thing is that Philip sprang for the good coffee.

I now have Peet’s for free anytime I want it! Superfantastic!

So now that I’m in this new office I’m finally getting to settle down to work on all this writing I’ve committed to. First on the list is a book chapter on narrative and videogames, which is based on a talk I gave at the Watson conference on composition last fall in Louisville, Kentucky. In the talk, I ranted a bit on that Harper’s article on videogames and writing. It was a slight departure from what I’d proposed to present, but apparently it was a hit. So I’m working to put that in manuscript form in the next couple of weeks.

Also on the bill is a chapter from my dissertation submitted to a special issue on videogames for Computers and Composition. It’s always hard to return to the dissertation but I think this one will be a fun one to put together. I’ve never found C&C to be that helpful to me so I’m hoping that with this piece I’ll get to make a contribution to the journal that speaks to folks who share my interests in games and written communication.

I’ve agreed to edit a book for Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel’s series for Peter Lang that stems from the symposia on videogames, learning, and literacy that some of us have been presenting as a group at AERA these past few years. I’m also giving them a chapter for another new edited collection they’re putting together on digital literacies. Colin and Michele have been my heroes for a long time and I’m super excited to get to work with them. I used their most recent book in my New Media Literacies class this past spring and it really helped my students understand what we mean by “new” when we talk about literacy. (BTW, the course will soon be posted on the MIT Open Courseware site.)

At some point toward the end of the semester I’ll be giving my friend Constance Steinkuehler a piece for a special issue of On the Horizon that she’s editing. So that’s the last thing I’ve committed to in terms of writing over these next six months, but other things keep popping up. I’m still working on a bunch of invited talks and presentations w/r/t games and literacy, games and learning, digital literacies, media literacies, etc. I am on a grant proposal for a diabetes game that my friend Tom Hunter is submitting to the NIH, I’m working with my friend Katie Salen on a special gaming project in New York City, and I’m working hard to put together my videogames course syllabus for the fall.

So, lots to work on, lots to report. Photos from recent travels are on my Flickr and Facebook pages, so feel free to pop over there if you’re curious what I’ve been up to. And now that I’m in one place for a little while, I’m hoping to keep updating the blog more frequently. Until then, go watch So You Think You Can Dance. It rocks my world.

2 responses to “Hello, August

  1. Yeah, all the writing sounds important . . . but I’m drafting my Bring Hok Back!! petition. 😉

    Sorry I missed you during your visit. I’ve been immersed in prelims. Only 2 weeks left . . .

    Good luck with your writing!

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