Games Criticism, “Evidence,” and Academia

I was given an assignment this week in a class to discuss what constitutes “evidence” in my field and what the most important type of “evidence” is to consider. This question fascinates me given that the study of digital games is still being grounded in theory. It is less established that other fields of study and the terms of engagement are still being constituted by its participants both within and outside of academic walls. Given this, I decided the first place I wanted to start my inquiry was with my online community – with other scholars of game studies, creators of theory, and negotiators of the space, it’s terms and conditions, and it’s terminologies regardless of their position inside or outside the ivory tower. In other words, I took my question to twitter.

Below is the conversation that occurred and which I have attempted to present in a “message board” hierarchy that makes it more comprehensible than twitter “view conversations” can. That said, there were enough levels in the conversation to make it nearly impossible to post legibly in WordPress formatting, so I’ve converted the conversation to a PDF.

Evidence conversation on twitter

I think the responses here are illuminating to some of the important concerns we are dealing with and the terms we are negotiating in the field. I intend to return to this question on twitter a few times over the course of the week and will continue to document those interactions.

As a side note: I want to thank those who have participate in the dialogue so far. Given that so much of our engagements online lately have been focused around avoiding hostility or discussing that same hostility, the return to this type of discourse today was a reminder, for me, of the importance of our work (and what arises from healthy disagreements) and of the community we have fostered.


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