Comic Strips as Data Representation

Really great to present at Sheffield University as part of the CSCY / Focus Sheffield Visual Methods series today.

Here’s the Storify link, courtesy of @dylanyamadarice:  Comic Strips and Virtual Models


And here’s some of what I presented today:



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Reflecting on the Power of MOOC

I was recently pleased to be invited to contribute to a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called ‘Exploring Play’, created by Sheffield University and hosted by Futurelearn. What was initially proposed as a written contribution turned into a short video segment. Whilst initially (internally) reluctant about appearing on video, I figured that I needed to overcome this aversion – partly as I had actively relied on my participants allowing me to film them, and also as it provided an opportunity to showcase some of the visual data I have collected during my Minecraft research.


I named my contribution ‘The diversity of social play in a Minecraft club’. This drew upon three examples of the children’s play (in fact, the same three examples present in a recent poster – below)  in order to act as an overview of the kinds of play the children engaged in during the year-long Minecraft club that I ran last year, as a means of exemplifying the kinds of activities that are possible in such contexts. My contribution formed part of week five’s focus on virtual world play and, aware of the negative press that is often generated around such pursuits, I suppose I also saw this as a good opportunity to dispel the myth that video game play is necessarily isolating or anti-social – not by arguing a point but simply by presenting examples of children’s creative play that arose in and around the game.

banterbury tales poster

The comments generated during the course this week have been brilliant, and these alone have convinced me of the value of MOOC participation, both as a contributor and a learner. There are currently more than 125 comments posted in the discussion thread related to my video, from a wide range of participants from different backgrounds (academic and non-academic), from across the globe. As a means of broadening engagement with my research, therefore, it has been excellent. The MOOC’s open nature, and its wide focus on play in general (rather than on virtual play specifically) means that the video has been seen by many people for whom videogame play was an unfamiliar or even negative concept, with a number of the comments reflecting that their own views had been challenged or changed by what they had seen. Some were even quite emotional about the content of parts of the video, and the (very) few voices dissent were considered, considerate and open to discussion (the polar opposite of the usual comments stream I have seen on many other online sites, in fact!).

You can view the course (and my small contribution in Week 5) by signing up (for free) here:

The Banterbury Tales: Social Play in an After School Minecraft Club Poster

Here is my poster for the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences Research Showcase event, taking place on November 11th at the Winter Gardens in Sheffield.

banterbury tales poster

(And if you spot any typos please don’t tell me as it’s gone to the printers now!)

banterbury tales poster 

Comic Strips and Virtual Models

image1chris bailey poster

Exploring Play MOOC

‘Virtual Worlds and Play – The diversity of social play in a Minecraft Club’

My video contribution about the range of play around Minecraft will form part of this free online course from Sheffield University.

Resisting the Standard

Back from attending, and presenting at, the brilliant Resisting the Standard conference at Sheffield University. A really great set of presentations from others, and some very useful feedback on mine – my abstract is here. And if you feel the urge to listen to any of the songs again then there are audio versions in this post here…
If you’ve arrived at the blog as a result then please keep in touch – my contact details are above. And hello to those who surprised me by saying they already read this blog – much appreciated and I might make an extra effort to check my spellings in future. Or maybe not.
Here is a Storify of my (barely adequate) tweets from the event, as some kind of record. I find it really hard to tweet and listen, though, so they aren’t anywhere near as reflective of my experience as I would like.
I have also created a Storify of the Twitter feedback from my presentation (below the cut) – as self interested as this might seem I am actually interested in looking at which elements prompted people to tweet.

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