My Career

As a student at the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies I've been involved in a number of projects relating to the ways that our engagement with networked technologies shapes our identities, our perceptions of ourselves as learners, and our forward trajectory within societies increasingly mediated by digital media. I've been proud to be a part of the Sci-Dentity Project, which looks at the way that STEM identities developed among a community of young writers and producers engaging with new media and science fiction. More recently I've been working as a member of the Falling Dust team to design a science learning ARG that engages underrepresented youth with science work in a game environment. In all of my work, I am interested in using the power of socio-technical systems to increase equal access to economic opportunity, and to study the ways that information behaviors influence that access.

My Research

My own work has focused on the ways that people share information, learn, and socialize in online spaces dedicated to digital games. Games are an important part of our culture, and play represents a crucial pathway to participation as a producer of our digital society. I am interested in game culture, and the ways that players develop identities and roles within that culture. My past work has dealt with these issues within the game Minecraft, and as I am crafting my dissertation research I will be looking at a phenomenon I am calling 'performance play', meaning the recording and presentation of gameplay to an audience. I consider myself a qualitative researcher who is willing to use a wide range of tools in order to better understand the contexts and lives of my participants.

My Goals

As a researcher: I want to produce high quality research that builds meaning around game culture: how it is formed and reproduced, how it is influenced by the business of game development, and how people are introduced and integrated into its values and norms.

As a professor: I want to guide undergraduates to think more critically about play in their day-to-day lives, hone their skills as critical thinkers, and work to develop new attitudes towards digital play in our society.