Hello. I’m Jess. Welcome to my blog – my occasional repository of media musings, graduate school endeavors, and insights on fandom/gamer culture.
I’m a Ph.D. student at Indiana University in the The Media School. I received my Master’s degree in Media Arts in the Department of Art at the University of South Carolina, Columbia in May 2014. My academic background includes courses in anthropology, sociology, history, journalism, and popular culture studies. As an enthusiastic video game player, I am specifically interested in game studies and research. I’m not only concerned with the medium’s entertainment value but also its role as a cultural artifact within communities of game makers and players. My thesis qualitatively explored historical representations in video games in service of learning, persuasion, and awareness. In conjunction with my Master’s thesis I designed the beta-version of a historically-contextualized game, Resurrection Man, that places players in the role of a 19th century grave robber.
Currently, I’m interested in understanding game development in the context of a globalized industry, within local and global contexts; the design and depiction of game characters; players’ meaning-making of game narratives; and how video games may affect self-perception and identity using social-psychological theories. Currently, my research projects explore how player’s identification with game characters effects self-perception and user experience as well as how video game fandoms creatively disrupt dominate codes of gender in games.
You may learn more about my academic and extra curricular activities on my Media School bio webpage.
Other than video games, I’m a fan of comic books (especially Thor!); science-fiction and fantasy stories (Star Wars and Game of Thrones); as well as zombie-apocalyptic narratives (Resident Evil and The Walking Dead). My gaming guilty pleasure is Dynasty Warriors and my alter-ego is an armored Mandalorian.
In the news at IU
- The Media School: Meet our grad students
- The Media School: Students win three of four top NCA paper awards
- IU’s Center of Excellence for Women in Technology Student Spotlight
- The Media School: Students collaborate at Hoosier Games pitch night
- Doctoral student Jessica Tompkins, who pitched her game at the event, said adding CEWiT’s presence meant many more women were present at this semester’s pitch night than ever before. “We want to encourage more women to get into Hoosier Games because it’s a great place to connect and network with others,” Tompkins said.
- CEWiT Announces Winners of Outstanding Mentor and Student Leadership Awards
- Guest Speaker on IU’s “Through the Gates” Podcast
- Interview in Indiana Daily Student Newspaper: Students gather on campus to play Pokémon GO
- The Media School: Game design students to attend developers’ conference
- Announcement about winning the ‘I Need Diverse Games’ Game Developer’s Conference scholarship.
- CEWiT Summit brings women to the tech table (Interview in IT Connections)
- The Media School: Grad conference to address Finding Common Ground
- The Media School: First grad research conference features presentations, networking
In Other News
- Announcing our 2017 @Official_GDC Scholarship recipients!
- IUPD provides information about active shooter situations
- The Indiana Daily Student covered the Active Shooter Training workshop I helped organize as part of my responsibilities as a representative of the IU Graduate and Professional Student Government – #iugpsg