DiGRA: Candidate for Executive Board – Matthew Barr (student officer position)

I have just begun a part-time PhD, provisionally entitled ‘Learning by accident: what have commercial video games taught the gaming generation?’ here at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. The programme is part-time because I also work here at the University, as a developer on a range of research projects and as a lecturer/course co-ordinator for our Multimedia Systems course. I am hopeful that my familiarity with higher education from both staff and student perspectives, as well as my recent experience of getting started on a PhD programme, would be valuable in this role.

As an early-career researcher, I am very aware of the challenges that students and new researchers can encounter. Encouraging and supporting other early-career researchers, especially those who do not benefit from already working in a higher education or research environment, would be my priority. Thinking of my own PhD application, I sought guidance from fellow subscribers to the Gamesnetwork discussion list, and was lucky enough to receive lots of useful information from members, as well as my colleagues here at Glasgow. It strikes me that new researchers entering the field, especially if they are unfamiliar with resources such as academic discussion lists and don’t have access to a building full of academics, could use a helping hand in getting started.

One possible project, if appropriate, might be to develop a modest but well sign-posted area of the DiGRA website (perhaps a specialist interest group) specifically for early career researchers or new students in the field. Information that might be useful would include: links to the mailing lists (including not directly associated with DiGRA, such as the IGDA lists) with an outline of how they might be best utilised; some background on getting started with a games research degree (stuff that we might take for granted, such as where to get started with a research proposal, finding supervisors in the appropriate field, securing funding, etc.); some key readings and academic contacts for individual subject areas.

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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