I started my PhD at the beginning of 2020, so this information will change as the project evolves but as a starting point here is the working title and abstract.
Title: “Radical Game Development: Putting relationships at the heart of code”
Abstract: Through the construction of an interactive narrative engine and an exploratory exegesis this project aims to explore the question “How can we put relationships at the heart of code?”. Using games’ structure as a unique software microcosm this project asks how the norms, values and structures imbedded in the code shape what the software is able to become. Many values-based decisions that affect our everyday lives are obfuscated behind graphical interfaces or layers of technical infrastructure. This creates an environment where the very use of the technology gives implicit support for the value assumptions imbedded within it.
In games, the game code mediates the relationship between player action and consequence, empowering or disempowering various potentials based on the implemented logic. In creating an interactive narrative engine, I get to explore how this mediation of action and consequence affects the evolution of narratives for the user and how values imbedded in this mediation manifest themselves in the game.
#Expanding on the ideas explored through critical code studies, this project takes a similar stance to Inke Arns who’s work explores the idea that code is not only a cultural artefact but also a creative one, particularly as an expressive tool for questioning software as culture and culture as implemented through software. It also draws on idea of games as transformational tools drawing on the long legacy of transformational, activist, reflective and socially critical game development methodologies.
 Inke Arns. 2004. Read_me, run_me, execute_me: Software and its Discontents, Or: It’s the Performativity of Code, Stupid. In Read_me : software art & cultures, Århus, Denmark. Retrieved from http://art.runme.org/1107863582-4268-0/arns.pdf
1 Min Researcher Profile
As part of UC’s Faculty of Arts Festival I participated in the 1 min Researcher Profile and PhD Summary. As always as time goes along the idea will evolve, but here is my first year 1 min PhD video.
Gall, J., Tucker, J. J. R., Sutherland, P., & Tito, A. (2007). Our Park, Our Community: stories from the Narrabundah Longstay Park. Kingston, ACT: SoftLaw Community Projects.
Download from: https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/141157