Department of Telecommunications
kenarose 'at' indiana 'dot' edu
The medium of the video game has great societal and academic potential. Interactive digital systems of learning, framed with the playful and egalitarian construct of gaming, have the power to optimize people's behavior—even their emotional experience and well-being. As an ardent proponent of McLuhan's medium theory, my research interests concern the defense, legitimization, exploration, and perfection of video games as the next step in the progression of dominant media. Video games are popular enough that, even if we do not choose to completely embrace games as a total cultural paradigm, we must at least study them to confront the stifling nature of their current iteration. In my time at IU, I hope to begin my own contribution to what is, in my opinion, a vital discussion. Cultural determinism is only a negative experience when we as a society do not first determine the technology that, in turn, will shape how we conduct and perceive our existence.
I received my B.A. in Communication at the University of South Florida before migrating (just across the hall) for a Master's in Mass Communications. My thesis was an attempt to synthesize existent literature on the skills and experiences of gaming to establish a scale of literacy for the medium. I also assisted with a couple of classes and had the opportunity to teach my own version of "Mass Communication and Society." In the future, I intend to research and teach video game studies.
Currently, I write for the department's graduate student blog. I am also beginning research into how immersion, presence, and control schemes might influence parasocial interaction and morality in a virtual environment, and how morality is shaped and performed in a game-like context. My preferred methods are survey research, in-depth interviews, and laboratory-based experiments.
I also organize a multidisciplinary, grad-only social club of gaming researchers, the Monthly Meeting of Researchers Playing Games (MMORPG). We're currently working on Researchers at Play, a blog dedicated to documenting research projects and covering game-related news related to research, with a focus on what it takes for graduate students to successfully conduct social scientific studies involving virtual environments.