I am currently a PhD student in the Digital Media program in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. I joined the program in the fall of 2010 and am working with Dr. Constance Steinkuehler and her PopCosmo research group. I am also a member of the Games+Learning+Society group, an organization of video game researchers based out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but consisting of researchers throughout the world.
My research interests focus around issues of identity formation through video game play and participation in online gaming communities. Informal online learning spaces give rise to dramatic shifts in how people think, what they know and care about, and how they conceptualize their identities. Very broadly, I’m interested in those life-changing properties and how they lead to long term impacts in people’s professional trajectories and overall well-being. That being said, I am interested in how people negotiate participation and community membership in online affinity spaces, as well as how people harness informal knowledge toward professional educational and career objectives. My goal is to better understand that long term trajectory–the beginning of developing a simple interest in a media property or activity you really enjoy all the way through developing expertise and utilizing that knowledge in some professional capacity.
Before beginning graduate school, I worked on the press side of the games industry as an editor for IGN’s Green Pixels site, which focused on creating content for mainstream gamers. I also did freelance writing for IGN’s family-focused site, What They Play. One of my projects was a series of interviews with parents who play video games with their children. I also did a series of features on fitness games and families.