Eludamos just published my article, “Letter from the Wilderness.” Given the dominance in game design of technical and engineering paradigms I wanted to provide a road map for the kinds of contributions that game researchers from the humanities and social sciences could make not just to the academic field of game studies, but the kind of impact such work could have on the process of game design itself.
Eludamos is peer reviewed but uses an open access model of submission and editing which took me a little while to adjust to. I’m pretty happy with the end result (there’s only one major technical screw-up in the article, which isn’t bad). I like the model also for the way in which it encourages contributors to be participants rather than people who simply submit work and then receive responses.
One of the things that getting involved with blogging has done is really made me aware of the lag in academic publishing practices. I think I first submitted the article to Eludamos back in November of last year, received an acceptance in January with feedback, worked up a revised draft by July, and then it is published in October. That is a pretty quick turnaround for a peer reviewed publication, in actual fact. But in terms of getting your work and ideas out there it feels painfully slow compared with the blogosphere.
That is the point, however, and I can’t help feeling that it is a point that society at large and even academics are starting to lose sight of. The blogosphere is a great place for first thoughts, breaking news. Unfortunately, the first thoughts that we have about something are usually blindingly obvious or not woth the energy used to flip the pixels to display them. I spent the better part of a year working on the article before I submitted it, and then received feedback from the reviewers (one of whom in particular was great) that pushed me to refine it even further. Good thought takes time (not that I’m claiming that my article is a generation-defining piece or anything like that, but it will, I hope, be useful to someone). But it is time that is increasingly short supply. Is the blogosphere, like the 24 hour news cycle, shortening not so much our attention span, but our expectation for the amount of work and thought we expect someone to put in before releasing something that claims to be for our edification?