Courtesy the Media School at IU.

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.


Leading an IDAH “Code with Your Kid” Workshop. Photo by Andreas Bueckle.

In the news at IU


With game design profs. Will Emigh (left) and Mike Sellers (right) after winning the 2016 CEWiT Outstanding Student Leadership Award.

In Other News


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