Research journal about MMORPG?
There is currently on Terra Nova a very relevant discussion about having or not a peer-reviewed journal about MMORPG studies (started by Constance Steinkuehler).
Am I naive in thinking that we exist as a field? If we do, where do we send our students to read through the literature? So far, I've treated Terra Nova as a sort of repository of ideas. But this will not easily sustain us as more scholars join the field. So... I wonder. Is it time we publish a journal of our own? Or at least a yearly review of some form? I worry that knowledge gets lost as generations move on to other topics/activities and newcomers will see nothing but a whole lot of webtalk without much scholarly, peer-reviewed writing on the issues.
And, yes, it does matter. If academensian's (pun intended) are to take virtual worlds seriously, then we have to give them reason to do so. R. Bartle, you question why it is that MMOG's are constantly translated into the home fields of those who write on them. Well, without a defined audience of our own that proves itself legitimate, we risk becoming nothing more than a fandom community around a technology that will, itself, grow tired, as all eventually do.
So, my questions include: Are we ready for a peer-reviewed journal on MMOGs? And, if so, who exactly ought to serve as peer review? And too, would we be "selling out" or whatever to establish such a forum for paper publication? And could we create one that worked in conjunction with the lively discussions here?
Why do I blog this? I think it's a very pertinent issue but I see few problems. Apart from the feasibility (running a journal has a cost, even an online one), there would be some concerns related to the multi-disciplinary aspects of this project. I cannot imagine a journal about games focused on jsut one discipline. Then arises issues derived from the multi-disciplinary aspects of the projects. Since video games are recent "research objects", there is no consensus yet about how it shoudl be treated. Actually there are different opinions depending on disciplines, How can we take them into acocunt. For instance, HCI, media studies or 'user experience' fields are already taking video games very seriously which is not the case of cognitive pschology for which the debate is still lively. And it's event worse in other fields. Let's see what happen, but I'll be very interesed in a journal about the 'user experience' of MMORPG with regards to cognition, social aspects, user experience and interactivity, that's for sure