As promised, here is the most recent episode of Spot Check, the video series documenting my dissertation research into tabletop gaming. New episodes will be posted every Thursday. If you’d like to start at the beginning, you can go directly to the Youtube channel, or catch the archived episodes as they go up every Saturday. In this episode I talk about insider anthropology and gamers’ enthusiasm for bringing new people into the hobby.
This week, we are introducing a first paper from the Geek Anthropology session Nick Mizer and myself put together for the 2013 American Anthropological Association annual meeting which took place in Chicago last November. You may remember Nick Mizer’s Connecting The Dots Towards A Geek Anthropology, introduction to this session, which he presented on TGA last March.
After I wrote a post about “vexing” and then disappearing for six months, you could be forgiven for thinking that by “vexing” I mean “troll the blog by never posting.” My absence was not prompted by the lulz, however, but by needing to focus all of my attention on fieldwork for my dissertation on tabletop role-playing games. I still have some fieldwork left to do, but have finally been able to come up for air and share some of how my research has been going and how that relates to geek anthropology.
For many years, whenever people would tell me that girls are rare in geek culture, my instant reaction would always be: well, no.
I would be surprised and a little puzzled at their assumption and would instantly think of all the women who were fans or contributors to the Star Trek fanchise.
Last November, when I started compiling the data from the Geek Girl Survey, I was delighted to find that the wonderful individuals who took part in this project took the time to provide dense material for me to analyse (as well as several Portal references). I took the time to sort through everything carefully and I improved the questionnaire as much as possible for a second round of data collection. I will soon make it available again, so if you haven’t filled it out yet or if you know geek girls who might want to contribute, be on the lookout.
Before I start publishing the results from the survey, however, I’d like to share with you a shortened version of the paper I presented last November at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting. This paper, titled (Fake) Geek Girls: Unicorns, Sluts and Nerds? serves as a good introduction to the Geek Girl Survey and will be published in two parts this week.