So yesterday I sent in my application for a PhD position at the University of Amsterdam within the School of Communications Research. In the Netherlands PhD students occupy a sort of space between student and researcher that commands a salary, an office, and benefits but also can, as with this position, require the student to complete up to 5 years of research on the lead professor's project of study. I was in the process of devising one of these positions, called an A.I.O., with Professor Joyce Goggin (another Canadiana in Holland) on boys and virtual spaces, when this job ad came up.
Pain and Pleasure in Gaming is a pretty engaging topic I think... especially statements like "self-determined forms of regulating gaming activity contribute to stronger positive affect and lessened impact of negative affect on persistence". Over at Terra Nova there was a post today on grinding, which is when a player is required to kill simply to level, an activity that is pretty much a fact of life in my WoW play, as I have no urge to be slaughtered by a Level 15 boar at Level 10, though a quest may require me to wander where these superior beasts tread. What makes the player get through the grind and still revel in this as play? I think, after all the bantering about ludology vs narrative, these are refreshing and more vital questions for the field. So I hope to work with Dr. Tan on this project, or at the very least communicate with him when I am at UvA working on my own research (if of course that is where I do go). Sorry to sound so cagey.
In case you're wondering, the picture is of a gynormous LAN party, looks like its somewhere hot.