Terms of Play: Essays on Words That Matter in Videogame Theory

terms_coverZach’s new edited collection came out.  There are some good pieces in there.  My favorite, actually, is QQMore from Jon Bakos (it dovetails nicely with my current research on online forums).

I have a piece in there on game mechanics which was really fun to write, but also very challenging.  I started a conversation about it on a listserv on gaming, and it evolved in ways I hadn’t anticipated–it took me what felt like an immensely long time to sort through it in drafting the article.    What does that mean?  I actually kept track how long it took me  (I was sharing this with a colleague who was doing an informal survey on how much time we spent writing a piece).  To the best of my calculations, here’s how long it took (version #: hours:minutes [total pages in document]):

  • Version 1: 11:12 [10 pages]
  • Version 2: 01:39 [11 pages]
  • Version 3: 00:14 [10 pages]
  • Version 4: 07:14 [15 pages]
  • Version 5: 06:04 [18 pages]
  • Version 6: 01:02 [17 pages]
  • Version 7: 12:15 [37 pages]
  • Version 8: 02:33 [35 pages]
  • Version 9: 01:03 [35 pages]

So, 43.27 hours worth of writing (not including reading/research of which I could not really keep track of).  I wonder if that is long?  Or maybe short.  Maybe I should be cranking out an article a week if all it takes me is 40 hours.  Edward Tufte comes to mind: “at the heart of quantitative reasoning is a single question: compared to what?” (Envisioning Information, p. 67).

It’s Out! Rhetoric/Composition/Play through Video Games

coverWhat a great experience working with lots of smart scholars to make Rhetoric/Composition/Play through Video Games.  For those interested in the process, we sent this proposal in February 2012, and we heard back with an appraisal in April 2012.  We submitted the “final” draft in September and then proofs in January 2013.  The book was released today (March 20).  It felt like an eternity, but looking at it now, it moved quickly, and our authors (and my co-editors) were equally adept at getting everything done.