I was entertaining the idea that my PhD work so far has revolved around a trivial problem that I had invented for the sake of a PhD. This morning, an intense conversation with my supervisor (supported by a lot of drawing and writing) gave me more confidence that there is some good work accomplished so far (that might be useful to some educators). I heave a sigh of relief.
I’m reading Thomson and Kamler’s (2013) Writing for peer reviewed journals. I must learn to keep these three questions in mind as I write:
- Who cares?
- How is it like what others have done?
- What is new?
Today, after reading a few books/articles and writing a few drafts, I seem to have come to the (provisional) conclusion that there is no problem. That my past 18 months of PhD work was my searching for a problem where there is none.
I hope “provisional” is right. At the same time, I will accept the situation if there is actually no problem.
Some research in video game violence indicate that playing different game characters (good guys vs bad guys) results in different social behaviours (e.g. Happ et al., 2013). They also identify some factors that influence this relationship: e.g. how far the player identifies with the game character, shares the character’s goals, experiences the character’s feelings.
What I still don’t know is how symbolic game play (symbolic ‘actions’) can result in changes in real-world behaviours. Role-modelling (social learning theory)? Or that the same psychological processes get activated (Winn, 1993)? Mirror neurons (observation of others)?
And is this process similar to the effects of watching TV programmes? Reading a novel?