Refractory Journal Issue 13

The Refractory journal's Issue 13: Games and Metamateriality, is online. It includes an article by Gameology's own Zach Whalen.

I remember making a short film with some friends after one of them had bought an early digital video camera, and being somewhat surprised that the whole process didn't consist of lining up actors in front of the lens, having them say their lines in order and then calling it a day. There was makeup, props, continuity, sound and lighting to worry about, and scenes were shot in haphazard order. Then it was all editing, editing, editing.

Working on a journal issue has similarly opened my eyes to the fact that composing such a publication involves a bit more than sending out a CFP which magically turns into essays that post themselves on the web. Suffice to say I'm less inclined to chortle at the haphazard updating schedules of journals – in many cases nobody is being paid for this work and academics are adding more to an already busy schedule when they agree to edit or review.

All that said, I think we have a strong issue for those interested in new media and videogames, with a wide variety of topics and methodologies represented in the articles. Big thanks to my co-guest-editors Tom Apperley and Christian McCrea, and particularly to Associate Professor Angela Ndalianis for giving us the opportunity to play in the Refractory's open-ended sandbox with such a weird issue theme.

Publication schedules

I always seem to overestimate my ability to complete things in a timely fashion. For example, I thought I'd have my final pre-defense draft done on Friday, but here I am still working on it. I read somewhere recently (probably Lifehacker) that one way around such dilemmas of overestimation is not to re-train yourself to give more realistic ETAs on completing projects, but rather to learn your overestimation ratio and factor that in. So, if you know you tend to overestimate by 60%, go into assessing a new project by predicting how long you think it'll take, then adding 60% to it.

(My wife thinks I'm on about a 100% ratio -- so if I say it will take 1 hour, it takes 2.)

Anyway, I'm very glad to see the issue out, and I'm honored to be listed among the contributors -- at the top of the Table of Contents, no less!

The article is a bit of an experiment for me, stepping out into Film and Media Studies more broadly than I have before. It's also my first (public) attempt to deal with psychoanalysis in any degree, so I hope I got it right. I look forward to comments/suggestions/corrections.

Congratulations to the Refractory Games Issue Editors!

Timing, backpats and feedback

Like Zach, I'm not yet at the point of completing things (especially academic ones) with the timing of Star Trek's Scotty (saying it'll take 4 hours knowing I'll be doing it in 1). Maybe someday.

I'm stoked to see the issue out, and looking forward to reading it in more depth than the skimming I've done on a couple of articles so far. I'm honoured (like Zach, but with the Canadian spelling) to be one of the contributors to this issue, which seems as strong as Darshana suggested. It's my first publication, and it was an encouraging and educational experience delays and all. Editors, I congratulate and salute you on getting it done.

Zach: I'll offer what feedback I'm able to on your piece - psychoanalysis is not my forte, but I should be able to conjure up a question or two.

Vol. 13

Looks like a very interesting issue, and I'm glad that you all were, in the end, able to traverse the long road of editing. I've seen a few scattered treatments on games and metamateriality, but it's neat that they're being brought together as the focus of a whole issue.

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