DiGRA: Candidate for Executive Board – Ashley Brown and Rachel Kowert (student officer position)

Ashley Brown & Rachel Kowert are running jointly
Application: Student Officer

The primary aims of the student representative(s) is to widen the exposure of DiGRA to research students in the field, provide them with information on how to best utilize DiGRA, increase contact between games researchers and games research students, as well as further develop the current resources provided by DiGRA to its existing student members.

As there is no specific mention within the DiGRA rules and bylaws that would suggest multiple people cannot run for, and share, the same position, we propose that the student representative position is opened to multiple individuals and allow for two candidates to run jointly or more than two candidates as a committee. As DiGRA is a large, international organisation which requires many people to make it work, joint representation or a committee of representatives would benefit DiGRA, as well as new students and researchers, by providing additional resources and points of contact. With additional student representatives, a more diverse population of students can be reached and a greater student presence felt.

To this end, we (Ashley Brown and Rachel Kowert) have brainstormed a number of ideas for the future of DiGRA’s student representation that can only be made possible with the help and support of additional members. These ideas, which are free to be expanded upon, are listed below:

1. Operate a special student welcoming booth near the registration table at DiGRA conferences which would hand out ‘student packs’ containing detailed information about DiGRA, the benefits of being a student member, and how to become a member.

2. Create and maintain social media networks for students on platforms such as Steam, Facebook, battle.net, and Xbox Live.

The activities listed above are time consuming and require the resources and efforts of more than one person. With a group of dedicated student-members all of these ideas are achievable.

In addition to these activities, our current long term goals focus on the promotion of dissemination of
research to a wider audience. While there is a good distribution of games research within the games community, individuals outside of our field have little awareness of the kinds of research that can be and are being conducted under the DiGRA umbrella. Because games studies unfortunately remains frowned upon in many academic cultures, being a student of games is often a lonely experience. In many departments, colleagues either don’t understand or devalue what we study and it is often a struggle to make funding boards take proposals involving games seriously.

To this end, we suggest expanding and improving the network of games researchers and research students by increasing the accessibility of their work within broader contexts. While this will be partially fulfilled by the short term goals listed above, we aim to improve the network of DiGRA members and the dissemination of DiGRA research from within associated university departments (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Media Studies, etc.).

Many departments invite external researchers to give visiting lectures. Through the promotion of DiGRA based research within these avenues, researchers in our field will be able to promote their work to a wider array of individuals. This could be an exceptionally valuable for final year research students who seek to gain experience presenting their work and network with other universities.

DiGRA Board Elections 2012
Information on the DiGRA Association Rules and Bylaws can be found here:

The elections will take place at the AGM being held at Nordic DiGRA on June 7, 2012 between 9-10 am, Technopolis Yliopistonrinne building, Kalevantie 2, Tampere, Finland. Provisions will be made for voting online. Details will be posted on the DiGRA newsfeed as well as the mailing list.

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