Interview with

At the 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication, I interviewed Kevin Moberly and Ryan Moeller together. Kevin is an Associate Professor of English at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he teaches courses in rhetoric and computer gaming. Ryan is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He teaches courses in professional writing, rhetorical theory, and the rhetorics of technology. The two have recently co-authored a chapter in the collection Computer Games and Technical Communication: Critical Methods and Applications at the Intersection, "Working at Play: Modding, Revelation, and Transformation in the Technical Communication Classroom."

Ryan is actually one of the founding members of the Learning Games Initiative (LGI), having been there for its early beginnings while a graduate student at University of Arizona. As such, Ryan was closely involved with early projects hosted by LGI such as Aristotle's Assassins. In the clip below, Ryan discussed Aristotle's Assassins and the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive (LGIRA), which he estimated to have 20,000 games-related items available for checkout (for free!). [Transcript available here.]

During each interview, I asked LGI members to tell me more about their current research. Kevin brought an intriguing background to game studies: his PhD is in English with a concentration in rhetoric and composition, but he balances this with an interest in medieval studies. Here he discussed how computer games repackage a long history of medievalism, revealing important attitudes about contemporary social responsibilities. Ryan followed by describing future plans for a user research and testing lab for independent game developers at Utah State University. [Transcript available here.]

One of the places where LGI members get together regularly is at the Southwest Popular Culture/American Culture conference (SWPACA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Generally held in mid-February yearly, the conference hosts various subject areas, including one on game studies. (Judd Ruggill, chair of the Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice section, is interviewed elsewhere in this webtext.) In the interview clip below, Kevin connected the SWPACA conference and the copious amounts of published scholarship that has emerged from it. Ryan continued by detailing some of the scholars he follows and admires. He closed with a reminder to game scholars that the ongoing push toward gamification means that game studies needs critical voices who will look carefully at the role of games in education. [Transcript available here.]

Both Ryan and Kevin had smart things to say about the impacts of social media, particularly social networking, on games. As games like Candy Crush Saga become ever more popular, Ryan noted, our conceptions of what it means to be a gamer are changing. At the same time, like Kevin described in this clip, these games train individuals how to play sites like Facebook, accumulating friendship through a competitive process. [Transcript available here.]


Works by LGI Members

This section includes a bibliography of scholarly resources and further reading on games written by Learning Games Initiative Members.

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Advice and Resources

This section provides advice for those who wish to enter the field of game studies. It also describes further resources for those interested in research on games.

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About the Interviewer

This section introduces the interviewer, Stephanie Vie (at the University of Central Florida), and describes her work with video and computer games.

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