Current Research Projects

Current Research Projects

Currently, my primary focus is my dissertation, a mixed-methods study of knowledge-making practices in games research. I will present findings from this project at the 2019 Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC) in October as part of the annual Student Research Competition. An extended abstract for this project has been submitted for inclusion in the yearly proceedings and will be published this fall.

MafiEra: Ongoing Site Study

With Rachel Atherton, I have been conducting extensive study on an amateur game design community dedicated to playing online asynchronous social deception games. This complex community designs, tests, and promotes original themed Mafia and Werewolf games with robust mechanics, and they maintain significant documentation that allows for study of every part of the design and play process. In 2018, our first paper on the project was recognized as Best Paper at SIGDOC, and we will present on new research in October after conducting an IRB-approved survey of three amateur game design communities. We have also published a full-length article in a special issue of Technical Communication, and a shorter piece is scheduled for September in First Person Scholar addressing the community’s recent move away from some of the problematic language at the heart of social deception games like Mafia and Werewolf.

Along with another member of the MafiEra community (a computer scientist), we have also collected text from all previous games and are in the exploratory stages of a project using gameplay records to detect markers for deception in online discourse. We have invited a linguist to assist with this project, which we expect to begin moving forward in late 2020.

Pre-University Writing Experience Study

For the past two years, I and a small research team at Purdue have been surveying incoming first-year students about their experience with writing instruction prior to entering the university. Lee Hibbard, Trinity Overmyer, and I presented preliminary findings from this ongoing project at the 2019 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). In Fall 2019, we will distribute the survey for the third and final year and collate findings in a white paper for wide release.