The GrogHeads Call for Research (again!)

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GrogHeads Staff, 29 January 2014

Hobby games and gamers – especially in the strategy gaming and wargaming world – have rarely been the subjects of much serious published research inquiry. And yet, some of us know from personal experience that such research is, in fact, being conducted in graduate schools and academic institutions all over.  Distinct from marketing analyses in that they are not focused on improving commercial performance, these studies are frequently conceptualized and executed by members of the broader gaming community who are seeking to fuse their love for the hobby with an academic pursuit in the social sciences or humanities.

Although there are a few academic outlets for such research – the journal Simulation & Gaming springs to mind – not every paper was written with the intention of journal or conference submission. Nevertheless, the research is still interesting and useful, and for GrogHeads everywhere it is certainly relevant. Papers shared may inspire better research by later investigators, and the ideas discussed may help designers and developers craft better games.

Here at GrogHeads, we’re kicking off a new monthly series on Research and Gaming. The first of these papers was published in early August, and we plan to follow with one each month[1]. And we’d like you to submit your research to us. We’re not a peer-reviewed journal, but we do have some academics on our staff and among our “Friends of GrogHeads” network that include PhD’s in history, political science, and business, as well as other grad degrees in social sciences and the humanities. So if you’ve got something interesting that you want to share, here’s your chance. Email us your papers at research-at-grogheads-dot-com . Make sure you include all of your citations and footnotes in the document, and attach any graphics as separate files. We will also need a short bio from you about who you are and how people can contact you. One great way for people to contact you is to create an account in our forums, so that you can join any discussions of feedback that go on there. We even have an area dedicated to references and research.

A few caveats, of course:

  • Don’t send us something you’re hoping to see presented at a conference, or in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Don’t send us something you expect to try to claim on a CV when you’re hunting for a future academic job
  • Don’t send us blatant marketing, political, or religious tracts
  • Don’t expect  detailed, in-depth critiques of your work from our advisory team, but do expect a lot of questions from our audience, many of whom do not have a great academic background, and for whom there will need to be some gentler discussion of the finer points of how your research got to where it is.

So please send us your tired, huddled research projects yearning to breathe free, and let’s share them with the wider gaming audience. Who knows what great insights they may spawn for someone else to build on, what feedback you’ll get to improve your own work. Either way, it’ll be in the public and being discussed, which sure beats languishing on a digital shelf somewhere, next to the Ark of the Covenant.

You might want to check out other research-related articles we’ve run to see what we’re looking for:

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[1] Yeah, well, not so much.  How about one per quarter for now until you guys start contributing more!

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