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Sometimes you can see yourself through the mirror of time

Chris from November 2005 (via Xanga blog archives):

"...My term on the JET Programme will be finished by July of 2006, at which time I'll have to move on to something else. Of course, I have been thinking a lot about Graduate School, but I find my academic passions meandering about in a VERY obscure field (as usual, I suppose).

I want to study narrative in video games using a comparative studies angle, sort of like trying to study the "literature" of video games with maybe Joseph Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces as a framework to go by. I find that as media technologies become more and more advanced at ever-increasing rates, entire libraries of well-written, well-though-out narratives are being passed over as merely "the plots of video games." The constant advent of new technologies is allowing video game developers to tell more complex and theme-driven stories now more than ever (well, at least more than in the days of Pac-man--no denounment to be had there...). Although, I haven't the slightest clue as to what field that is exactly. My research online has yielded one very close match--the Comparative Media Studies curriculum at MIT. This course of study offers a two year program culminating in a Master of Sciences degree. That's not really the degree I want in the end, but out of all my searchings thus far, the old boys at MIT seem to have the only well-fleshed out program for anything like what I want to attempt to study.

Well, I guess my question is, just off the top of your head, what college of University would you recommend for that kind of a study? Subsequently, if you think of any problems with my proposed area of study, please let me know so I can start rephrasing myself in a way that doesn't make me sound like a video game geek trying to get a degree by playing video games all day (which of course, I'm not).

I suppose I'm trying to find a University that would foster this inquiry as opposed to laugh at it from behind a copy of Homer's Odyssey, you know?"

Yes, I do know.

You're going to be just fine, Chris.

About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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