Observation Notes

  • try to keep fieldnotes separate from interpretations
    • call the interpretations “memos”
  • if it’s not in your fieldnotes, it cannot go in your paper.
    • can use it if it’s in your memo
  • finish the fieldnotes before you go to sleep!
  • after writing everything, but still before going to sleep, try to have an interrogation session

nerts/pounce
dominoes/cards
arrange the game night, try to have a game that no one has played.
consider children, they “cheat” or renegoiate often

research study
research questions
setting
interviews and observations we plan to do
3 interviews and 3 observations
contact stephanie about interview informant
contact priyanka about games

need to read a full ethnography and write a report.

Observation Protocol

Research Questions

  • How do people construct “game” and “play” in high-tech and other circumstances?
  • How do people construct the “rules” of their “play” and “games?”
  • What are people’s constructions of “cheating”?
    • How do they construct “cheating”?

Methods

To make observations pertinent to these research questions in the field, I will utilize narrative data in the form of anecdotes and checklist data in the form of standardized situation responses.

Anecdotes

Following the suggested methods of Brandt, I will employ the interrogator technique to elicit more data after my initial collection. I will recruit my advisor or lab group members as my interrogator(s).

Standardized Situation Responses

Behaviors to be recorded during games:
1. Explanation of game or rules to players
1. setup
* including decisions about what roles are taken, and order of turn-taking
1. Question is asked of other player(s)
1. Player makes a point (about the rules or the game) to another
1. Winning
1. Losing

Game Observations

# Setting #
I was invited by a colleague informant to their social circle’s semi-regular game night. The game night was being held at what seemed to be a new person’s house.

## Host’s Apartment ##
I found the host’s apartment with relative ease and arrived at about 19:03 (the game night was scheduled for 19:00). While I did not bring a friend, and was unsure about the alcohol preferences of this group, I did bring two boxes of girl scout cookies. The front (only?) foor to the apartment entered directly into the living room. the host had little furniture in the living room (later in the night, he mentioned having removed some for this event). There was a couch and a coffe table, and an enetertainment center with a stereo that was playing music at a fairly quite volume. THe rest of the apartament was beyond the living room and few of us ventured beyond the living room.

When I arrived my informant greeted me and introduced me to the host and to one other person (the only other one there so far). After the greeting my informant took a seat on the floor across the coffee table from the couch with their back to the entertainment center. I joined my informant on the floor. As people came in, I was introduced and people caught up with each other. At about 19:15, a critical mass of about 8 or 9 people had arrived. They decided that a few people would play Ticket to Ride: Europe, and the remainder would play Things.

After our group of four completed our game of Ticket to Ride, we joined the group playing Things. After a few rounds of Things, we all played a few games of Mafia.

# Ticket to Ride #
My informant (female), myself (male), another male, and another female played Ticket to Ride. The games was actually titled “Ticket to Ride: Europe”

## Rules ##
The owner of the game chose to play Things, in order to allow more seats for others at Ticket to Ride. The owner told us how to play, rather than us having to read the rules. She asked if nay of us had played the original Ticket to Ride (as opposed to TTR: Europe), and I said a long time ago, the other male said he knew how to play, and my informant said she knew how to play. The other female said that she had not played it previously. The owner said that it would be best for us to play by the rules to TTR rather than the more complicated rules of TTR:Europe. My informant explained how to play to me and the other female.

From the perspective of construction of the rules, this was relatively uninteresting. The game owner just telling us the rules and then my informant further explaining them to the other female did not involve much interpretation or negotiation. The main point of negotiation was that the owner suggested that we play by the rules to TTR and we followed her advice rather than reading the rules to TTR:Europe and playing that, against her suggestion. However, this decision was more about social interaction with the generous game owner than about preferences to do with games.

## Interventions ##
I made two interventions in an attempt to catalyze some opportunity for friction. First I pointed out a very specific detail of one of the rules. Part of a player’s turn could be to draw train cards. They can draw from either the deck, or from one of five cards that are face up. With the face up cards, there is a rule that as soon as you pick up one of them, it is replaced from the deck immediately. There is also a rule that if at any time three locomotives are face up in these piles, then all five face-up cards are discarded, and the piles replenished. Very often a player may see two cards face-up that they would like to draw. In these cases, the player often picks them both up and then replaces them both. It is possible, though, that after drawing the first, a third locomotive would have been shown, and then they wouldn’t be able to draw the second card. I pointed this out to the group after a player had drawn two at once (but not in a case where he would’ve been unable to take the particular cards he chose). The group agreed that this was a possibility and that it was important not to draw 2 at once. Maybe this is slightly interesting in that they favored the rules over the speed of play.

The other intervention was to add contention to the game. Because we have seen that some people deem another player a cheater when that player has upset the accuser. TTR is intended to be relatively contentious, but somehow we had managed to avoid much contention so far. I chose to claim a part of the game that it was fairly obvious was needed by an opponent. After it became clear that I was making the opponent’s route nearly if not entirely impossible, he did not call me a cheater or imply any transgression of the rules, but he did ask whether I was taking his routes intenionally. I lied and said that it was necessary because of what another player was doing. At the end of the game we learned that my victim actually had negative points and did quite poorly. He was frustrated, and motivated to play again in order to redeem himself. Unfortunately for him, we chose to play Things with the others.

# Things #
After playing TTR, we joined the group that was now about 7 or 8 people to play Things. When we asked to join, they admitted us, but they said they would not start the scores back at zero. So we were basically coming in with a handicap of a few points. Our group didn’t mind this disadvantage and chose to play (it seemed like our options were to take the handicap or not join the game). Interestingly, after only one round, the same contingent who said that we would have to accept the handicap, again changed the rules. Because of our large number of players (11 or 12), each round of the game was taking longer than they found enjoyable. So they proposed that we artificially limit the rounds to 2 passes around the group. Later they again decreased the length of a round to only 1 pass around the group. This is interesting because they were interested, when we joined the game, in maintaining their points, but their change to the length of the round resulted in fewer opportunities for them, and any of us, to earn points.

# Mafia #
As we began to grow tired of Things, someone suggested we play Mafia. On hearing this suggestion, one person asked if the suggester had ever played Mafia with a Rat. The suggester said no, and that they really prefered to play the traditional way, without a Rat. No one contested this, so the decision was traditional, without a Rat. One person explained the rules to the group (about 4 of eleven had never played). There was no negotiation of rules after the decision to do traditional. We played two games of Mafia. In the first game, one oerson accidentally revealed his role to the others (this is a game of partial knowledge, so roles are supposed to be kept secret). Rather than starting the game over, we played on. This may be a reflection on the group’s interest in playing and socializing as paramount to their concern with winning at the games.

Personal, Not Private

What do we know, but that we face
One another in this place?

W. B. Yeats, “The Man and the Echo”


I spend a lot of time talking to academics about social media. I field many frequently asked questions and try to speak to many frequently voiced objections. Sometimes the effort is exhausting or even exasperating, particularly when the questions are really objections in disguise. Answers aren’t much use in that case. Other times, however, useful distinctions may emerge–useful to me, at least, and perhaps to others as well.

One of the typical questions has to do with how “personal” social media are, and how troubling that can be for academics. First, I have to unpack “social media” a bit, and begin to distinguish between blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and the rest. These are all “social media,” yes, but they are very different in practice, with different challenges and opportunities. After these distinctions, though, I’m still faced with the core question: what’s valuable about the personal element in these media? Why should I care? And why should I make myself vulnerable by sharing my personal life with the world?

There are many implications and assumptions hidden in the questions. Those who want to cleanse discourse of the personal seem to assume that “personal” means “irrelevant to anyone else,” or “ephemeral,” or “trivial.” The classic example is “what I had for breakfast.” (I’m on the wrong networks, obviously, as I myself don’t see breakfast tweets or blog posts or Facebook status updates.) Yet there’s also a thread of fear in these dismissals and objections, a fear or even a defiance that I acknowledge and take seriously. In this sense, “personal” also means “none of your business,” and “too dangerous to share.”

So I’ve begun to distinguish “personal” from “private.” The idea is that “private” means “don’t share on social media.” “Private” belongs to you, and you should always be vigilant about protecting your privacy. Without privacy, our agency is diminished, perhaps eliminated. Without privacy, we cannot generate or sustain the most intimate bonds of trust. Without privacy, our personhood is at risk.

But what of the personal, as opposed to the private? I believe the words are not synonyms. Instead, I believe private is a subset of personal.

I think those aspects of the person that are not private not only can be shared but ought to be shared. This is what we mean when we tell writers they should find their own voices. This is what we mean when we say we seek to “know as we are known,” as Parker Palmer insists. This is what we mean when we talk about “integration of self,” when we speak of our concern for “the whole person.” It is only when we bring the personal (not the private) to our discourse that we understand the rich complexity of individual being out of which civilization is built–or out of which it ought to be built. The personal keeps our organizations from becoming mere machines. The personal preserves dignity and community. The personal brings life to even the most mundane and repetitive operational tasks. We neglect or conceal the personal (not the private) at our peril.

I tell my students that I have only two rules for us in our work together: “passion encouraged; civility required.” The passion is always personal, as is the civility. The forbearance we show each other within our civility is a personal respect for the other, which also means a respect for the complexities of their privacy, complexities hinted at, though not made visible, primarily through the extent to which we share our personhood.

The Oxford English Dictionary entry for “person” offers many fascinating definitions, but the salient one for what I’m exploring here is definition 3a:

The self, being, or individual personality of a man or woman, esp. as distinct from his or her occupation, works, etc.

 

The personal is who we are “as distinct from [our] occupation, works, etc.” Our occupation and works are the result of effort, luck, ability, connections, a whole host of purposeful and chance occurrences. But we are not defined by our works and occupation. We are defined by something larger and more elusive, and more dynamic too. Sharing that larger, more elusive, and more dynamic aspect of selfhood is valuable, reminding ourselves and those around us that all of us are more than we appear to be in any particular transaction or encounter. Such reminders encourage humility. They also encourage a kind of exhilarating anticipation, as one never knows which humble or exalted personage may be one’s unmet friend, an angel to entertain unawares.

Sharing the personal, as distinguished from oversharing the private, means engaging with personhood in all its messy and glorious complexity, and all its potential, too. If, as Jon Udell reminds us, “context is a service we provide for each other,” the context is not merely informational, nor is it about matters that should remain private.

It is personal.

Cycle Rider

Photo by “Seb” (el_seppo).

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How to Inspire Someone

I recently had coffee with a new friend that changed may have changed my life.


I say "new friend" meaning that we barely knew each other when we first sat down. We had met a few times in seminars around campus, and decided to grab a cup of joe when we arrived at a seminar and found that we were the only two people who showed up. Looking back I'm amazed that it happened at all. On this day it was a balmy 45 degrees in town, and raining harder than I've ever seen (strange fact: every time that I've seen this person since, its been raining...). I suppose most people had nice excuses for not coming, being busy with other work and not wanting to brave the trek through what could have been Noah's Flood. 

I almost didn't come myself. It was the end of a week in which I had worked a minimum of 12 hours a day (Winter Break, what's that?). When I saw the rain, I just wanted to stay inside (sure didn't help that I was wearing my favorite new sport coat and tie). I had LOTS of work to do, and this was just a seminar I wanted to attend, not a mandatory event.

"Maybe if I skip this, I can go home earlier." 


Once we arrived, we waited a few minutes to see if anyone else was coming. When it became apparent that we were the only people crazy enough to walk across campus in the deluge, we considered heading our separate ways to get back to the grind. I admit that I was relieved at the idea, I just got 2 hours of my work day back. Instead, I found myself swimming across a parking lot to a trendy coffee shop (you know, the kind with a broken glass door taped back together for the past 2 years because the hipsters that run the place think its a symbol for something? they're probably right). So there we sat, and he asked me a fairly standard question: 

"What makes Tony tick? Tell me your story."


What happened next doesn't happen very often. Most of the time when people ask that question, they really just want to talk about themselves. Usually, its lasts a few minutes and then splits off into a discussion of something else. We sat there for 2 hours, listening intently to each other's stories. Asking questions, laughing at the funny parts, empathizing and making light of the challenges we had faced.

I left that coffee shop and had one of the most inspired, creative days I've ever had.


When you're faced with a To-Do list that is weeks long, and you have something scheduled for more than 80% of every day, it can be down right impossible to stop and reflect. The time we spent over coffee was the first I had stopped to think about how I ended up where I am in so long that I can't remember.

Stopping to think about my journey had a couple strong effects on me. First, I realized how fortunate I am to be here. My home life is awesome. My wife and I are best friends, and we've come a long way together.  I could never have made it to this point without the love and support that we share. The truth is that I love my job, and I would probably do it for free (Boss, if you're reading this don't get any ideas...). Second, I got a chance to look over the challenges I've faced, and realized that I am much stronger than I think I am. Nothing about my experience has "fit the mold," nothing has gone according to plan. The whole trip has been very messy. I realized that I like it this way. I've worked hard, never knowing exactly where I was going, but feeling hopeful. And I ended up in a place that I feel ALIVE.



How to Inspire Someone


Do you want to find inspiration? Do you want to inspire those around you to do great things? Then do for others what my new friend did for me: Ask them to tell you their story. Listen, and mean it.

A funny thing happened while we were talking. We discovered some deep-seated common ground. We both have a strong passion for education and learning. Now we meet to talk about these things once a week, and we are working together on a project that I hope will awaken a whole new way of building creativity in education. For me, it very well may change the direction of my career, who knows? But that's a story for another day. One thing is certain: I won't let myself get too busy to have a cup of coffee with good company.

Thanks GC.

How to Inspire Someone

I recently had coffee with a new friend that changed may have changed my life.


I say "new friend" meaning that we barely knew each other when we first sat down. We had met a few times in seminars around campus, and decided to grab a cup of joe when we arrived at a seminar and found that we were the only two people who showed up. Looking back I'm amazed that it happened at all. On this day it was a balmy 45 degrees in town, and raining harder than I've ever seen (strange fact: every time that I've seen this person since, its been raining...). I suppose most people had nice excuses for not coming, being busy with other work and not wanting to brave the trek through what could have been Noah's Flood. 

I almost didn't come myself. It was the end of a week in which I had worked a minimum of 12 hours a day (Winter Break, what's that?). When I saw the rain, I just wanted to stay inside (sure didn't help that I was wearing my favorite new sport coat and tie). I had LOTS of work to do, and this was just a seminar I wanted to attend, not a mandatory event.

"Maybe if I skip this, I can go home earlier." 


Once we arrived, we waited a few minutes to see if anyone else was coming. When it became apparent that we were the only people crazy enough to walk across campus in the deluge, we considered heading our separate ways to get back to the grind. I admit that I was relieved at the idea, I just got 2 hours of my work day back. Instead, I found myself swimming across a parking lot to a trendy coffee shop (you know, the kind with a broken glass door taped back together for the past 2 years because the hipsters that run the place think its a symbol for something? they're probably right). So there we sat, and he asked me a fairly standard question: 

"What makes Tony tick? Tell me your story."


What happened next doesn't happen very often. Most of the time when people ask that question, they really just want to talk about themselves. Usually, its lasts a few minutes and then splits off into a discussion of something else. We sat there for 2 hours, listening intently to each other's stories. Asking questions, laughing at the funny parts, empathizing and making light of the challenges we had faced.

I left that coffee shop and had one of the most inspired, creative days I've ever had.


When you're faced with a To-Do list that is weeks long, and you have something scheduled for more than 80% of every day, it can be down right impossible to stop and reflect. The time we spent over coffee was the first I had stopped to think about how I ended up where I am in so long that I can't remember.

Stopping to think about my journey had a couple strong effects on me. First, I realized how fortunate I am to be here. My home life is awesome. My wife and I are best friends, and we've come a long way together.  I could never have made it to this point without the love and support that we share. The truth is that I love my job, and I would probably do it for free (Boss, if you're reading this don't get any ideas...). Second, I got a chance to look over the challenges I've faced, and realized that I am much stronger than I think I am. Nothing about my experience has "fit the mold," nothing has gone according to plan. The whole trip has been very messy. I realized that I like it this way. I've worked hard, never knowing exactly where I was going, but feeling hopeful. And I ended up in a place that I feel ALIVE.



How to Inspire Someone


Do you want to find inspiration? Do you want to inspire those around you to do great things? Then do for others what my new friend did for me: Ask them to tell you their story. Listen, and mean it.

A funny thing happened while we were talking. We discovered some deep-seated common ground. We both have a strong passion for education and learning. Now we meet to talk about these things once a week, and we are working together on a project that I hope will awaken a whole new way of building creativity in education. For me, it very well may change the direction of my career, who knows? But that's a story for another day. One thing is certain: I won't let myself get too busy to have a cup of coffee with good company.

Thanks GC.

Blogging and Brainstorming


Hello, Everyone!

So here I am, writing my first blog post for the world to see. It's funny how my online presence has morphed over the past few months, and so I think I'll start by telling you about it. Along the way you'll get to see what this whole "Tony Brainstorms" thing is all about.

I actually created the "Tony Brainstorms" pseudonym with blogging in mind. Blogs represent a low-risk, but public, forum for us to try out and refine new ideas. Engineers call this brainstorming. When we start to solve a new problem as a team, engineers usually begin with a brainstorming session. The team agrees to share every idea, no matter how ridiculous. During brainstorming, there is no such thing as a wrong or bad idea. There is great power in this form of free thinking. In most cases, out of the multitude of silly ideas rise a few great, new, unique ideas that can be pursued and refined into a solution that no one else has tried.

So I've got a name, now it's time to start blogging, right? Wrong. At the time that I created this blog, I really hated blogging! Here is what I was thinking:

"The internet has brought us a vast array of new information and sources that are very useful. Along with this new information has come a new ability: anyone can publish anything for the world to see. As a "connected" culture, we are able to instantly tell the world how we feel about the tuna fish sandwich we are eating, a breakup, a job promotion, gripe about a class, or share our thoughts on politics. Some of this information is useful to others, or at least interesting. The rest, however, represents a new form of pollution. I hate to cite statistics without sources, but I can't seem to find the article I read that says: We are now generating more written content in a day than was generated in the entirety of human history before the internet!
This information requires storage (i.e. huge data centers with operating costs, power consumption, etc...), indexing (Google, Yahoo, etc...), maintenance (both site hosts and individual "publishers"), and filtering (it takes me a long time to filter out the content I am not interested in). I read that a "google" search takes about the same amount of energy as boiling a cup of water. I wonder what the power bill will be for storing this post for the rest of time? We are going to need to solve these problems if we ever hope to be a modern, "green" society.
On top of all of this, I am way too busy to take up monitoring and contributing to blogs (Grad School is much more than a full-time job!). And lastly, I just don't enjoy it."

"So why did you create a blog?"


Mainly because I had to. I was in a teaching course that was exploring the use of blogging in education, and the blogs were to be an extended online discussion forum. During my time in that class, I wrote about a dozen blog posts. I saved them all as drafts and never published a single one. I couldn't get past the idea of publishing something for the world to see, and then changing my mind and not being able to take it back.

"What changed your attitude?"


While I wasn't blogging, I did begin building my online empire under the name "Tony Brainstorms," and it really took off. Tony Brainstorms has TwitterFacebook, and YouTube accounts. I've managed to join the conversation with people from around the world who are just as passionate about teaching and engineering as I am. On YouTube, Tony Brainstorms is approaching 2000 views, from all 6 continents that people live on (sorry Antarctica), 64 countries, and 36 states. These Social Media Outlets have brought me into a whole new world of connectedness that I've come to love. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and watching as mankind builds the most dynamic creation in history, I've become an architect. That's the beauty of the Web, we are all agents in the act of creation.

Closing



When it comes to engineering, the Brainstorming session is my favorite part. Before reality strikes and we must apply the concepts of physics and thermodynamics, before we have to solve fully-coupled non-linear transient differential equations, we get to spend a brief moment with our heads in the clouds asking only one question: "What If?" During this time of unfettered thinking, the magic happens.

I hope to treat this blog as a great big brainstorming session. Let's agree that in this place there is no such thing as wrong or bad ideas. Rather, they are leads to start thinking about concepts that could develop into great ideas. During brainstorming, we don't hold each other accountable for every word spoken, and we can always go back and change our mind on an idea or opinion. Who knows, at the end we may have something very unique, and a very interesting "paper trail" that chronicles how we got there.

(

Blogging and Brainstorming


Hello, Everyone!

So here I am, writing my first blog post for the world to see. It's funny how my online presence has morphed over the past few months, and so I think I'll start by telling you about it. Along the way you'll get to see what this whole "Tony Brainstorms" thing is all about.

I actually created the "Tony Brainstorms" pseudonym with blogging in mind. Blogs represent a low-risk, but public, forum for us to try out and refine new ideas. Engineers call this brainstorming. When we start to solve a new problem as a team, engineers usually begin with a brainstorming session. The team agrees to share every idea, no matter how ridiculous. During brainstorming, there is no such thing as a wrong or bad idea. There is great power in this form of free thinking. In most cases, out of the multitude of silly ideas rise a few great, new, unique ideas that can be pursued and refined into a solution that no one else has tried.

So I've got a name, now it's time to start blogging, right? Wrong. At the time that I created this blog, I really hated blogging! Here is what I was thinking:

"The internet has brought us a vast array of new information and sources that are very useful. Along with this new information has come a new ability: anyone can publish anything for the world to see. As a "connected" culture, we are able to instantly tell the world how we feel about the tuna fish sandwich we are eating, a breakup, a job promotion, gripe about a class, or share our thoughts on politics. Some of this information is useful to others, or at least interesting. The rest, however, represents a new form of pollution. I hate to cite statistics without sources, but I can't seem to find the article I read that says: We are now generating more written content in a day than was generated in the entirety of human history before the internet!
This information requires storage (i.e. huge data centers with operating costs, power consumption, etc...), indexing (Google, Yahoo, etc...), maintenance (both site hosts and individual "publishers"), and filtering (it takes me a long time to filter out the content I am not interested in). I read that a "google" search takes about the same amount of energy as boiling a cup of water. I wonder what the power bill will be for storing this post for the rest of time? We are going to need to solve these problems if we ever hope to be a modern, "green" society.
On top of all of this, I am way too busy to take up monitoring and contributing to blogs (Grad School is much more than a full-time job!). And lastly, I just don't enjoy it."

"So why did you create a blog?"


Mainly because I had to. I was in a teaching course that was exploring the use of blogging in education, and the blogs were to be an extended online discussion forum. During my time in that class, I wrote about a dozen blog posts. I saved them all as drafts and never published a single one. I couldn't get past the idea of publishing something for the world to see, and then changing my mind and not being able to take it back.

"What changed your attitude?"


While I wasn't blogging, I did begin building my online empire under the name "Tony Brainstorms," and it really took off. Tony Brainstorms has TwitterFacebook, and YouTube accounts. I've managed to join the conversation with people from around the world who are just as passionate about teaching and engineering as I am. On YouTube, Tony Brainstorms is approaching 2000 views, from all 6 continents that people live on (sorry Antarctica), 64 countries, and 36 states. These Social Media Outlets have brought me into a whole new world of connectedness that I've come to love. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and watching as mankind builds the most dynamic creation in history, I've become an architect. That's the beauty of the Web, we are all agents in the act of creation.

Closing



When it comes to engineering, the Brainstorming session is my favorite part. Before reality strikes and we must apply the concepts of physics and thermodynamics, before we have to solve fully-coupled non-linear transient differential equations, we get to spend a brief moment with our heads in the clouds asking only one question: "What If?" During this time of unfettered thinking, the magic happens.

I hope to treat this blog as a great big brainstorming session. Let's agree that in this place there is no such thing as wrong or bad ideas. Rather, they are leads to start thinking about concepts that could develop into great ideas. During brainstorming, we don't hold each other accountable for every word spoken, and we can always go back and change our mind on an idea or opinion. Who knows, at the end we may have something very unique, and a very interesting "paper trail" that chronicles how we got there.

(

Interview Debriefing

Pilot Interview

Recruitment

  • I recruited the participant in an interesting manner. The assignment being to interview someone with whom we were unacquainted, I was unsure where to find them. Luckily an acquaintance agreed to be interviewed by a student for an assignment in that student’s class, and I was able to ask the student if she might be willing to be interviewed herself.

Observations

Meta

  • participant had speech variant or impediment.
  • participant spoke very quickly.
  • may not need to transcribe the entire interview.
  • hard to see time on recorder due to glare
    • no watch
      • phone in pocket

Games

  • acontextually, people may not realize that they play games
    • “Well, I don’t really play many games.”
  • may not identify themselves as “a person who plays games” or a “gamer”
    • “I know my friends play lots of games…. My boyfriend plays games obviously….”
  • plays different games with different groups
    • such as
      • family
        • immediate family
        • grandmother
      • friends
    • because
      • don’t want to teach/learn new game
      • ease to learn
      • time it takes to play the game
      • different games support different
        • moods
        • levels of competition
      • diff games require diff
        • attention
        • time
        • intellect
        • energy
        • intensity
        • attitude
  • cheating
    • varying severities
      • based on mood of game as enacted by participants
        • playing Cranium just to have fun with a group, not a big deal if challenge is completed a moment after time runs out
        • playing Settlers to win, big deal if someone takes an extra card
    • intentional
    • dishonest
    • trying to make someone else lose
    • unshared advantage
    • not following the rules
    • using 3rd party resources (searching for words in scrabble, unbeknowst to other players)

Games: Rules and Sharing

Research Questions

  • How do people construct “game” and “play” in high-tech and other circumstances?
  • How do people construct the “rules” of their “play” and “games?”

Introduction

We’re interested in what people think of as play and games in high-tech and other circumstances. I’m going to ask you about your recent experiences with games, gameplay, other kinds of play, and technology. People disagree about what games are, and about the relationship between games and play, and they disagree about what’s following the rules and what’s cheating in different contexts. I’m particularly interested in understanding how you think about rules and cheating, so I will be asking you “why” often, it is not because I disagree with you or think you’re wrong, I just want to be sure I understand your perspective. Do you have any questions before we begin?

Consent and Confidentiality

If it’s alright with you, I’d like to record our session with this audio recorder. This would relieve me from having to write every thing you say, so that I only have to make a few notes. Regardless of whether we use the audio recorder today, your identity will be confidential when I am sharing these results, and I will only be sharing these anonymized results with my classmates and professor of a class I’m taking this semester.

Questions

Demographics

  1. To start, I want to ask you a few things about yourself:
    1. How old are you?
    2. What is your gender?
    3. What is your ethnicity?
    4. Are you a student? What year? What major?

Experience of Games: Past & Present

  1. What kind of games do you like to play? (e.g. card games, board games, playground games, mmorpg, fps)
    • Probes
      1. different kinds of games like/not like
      2. What are the rules of that game?
        1. does anyone else play by different rules?
        2. have you ever played by different rules?
  2. Were there times when you played different games/kinds of games?

  3. Who do you play games with?

  4. Do you consider a jigsaw puzzle to be a game? Would it be a game if you worked it with others? Is it “play?”

Cheating

  1. How would you define cheating (in games, or specific game the informant)?
    • Probes
      1. Are there levels of cheating? Is it a spectrum or are there only 2 buckets?
  2. Have you ever cheated? Why?
    • Probes
      1. Is it ok to cheat? when? never?