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Sjöblom, Björn
Publications (10 of 10) Show all publications
Sjöblom, B. & Aronsson, K. (2012). Participant categorizations of gaming competence: Noob and Imbaas learner identities. In: Julian Sefton-Green and Ola Eerstad (Ed.), Identity, Community, and Learning Lives in the Digital Age (pp. 181-197). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Participant categorizations of gaming competence: Noob and Imbaas learner identities
2012 (English)In: Identity, Community, and Learning Lives in the Digital Age / [ed] Julian Sefton-Green and Ola Eerstad, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press , 2012, 181-197 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent work on education, identity and community has expanded the intellectual boundaries of learning research. From home-based studies examining youth experiences with technology, to forms of entrepreneurial learning in informal settings, to communities of participation in the workplace, family, community, trade union and school, research has attempted to describe and theorize the meaning and nature of learning. Identity, Community, and Learning Lives in the Digital Age offers a systematic reflection on these studies, exploring how learning can be characterised across a range of ‘whole-life’ experiences. The volume brings together hitherto discrete and competing scholarly traditions: sociocultural analyses of learning, ethnographic literacy research, geospatial location studies, discourse analysis, comparative anthropological studies of education research and actor network theory. The contributions are united through a focus on the ways in which learning shapes lives in a digital age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70854 (URN)978-11-0700-591-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2011-09-20 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Sjöblom, B. (2011). Gaming Interaction: Conversations and Competencies in Internet Cafés. (Doctoral dissertation). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gaming Interaction: Conversations and Competencies in Internet Cafés
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Spelinteraktion : Samtal och Kompetenser på Internetcaféer
Abstract [en]

The dissertation analyzes interaction in adolescents’ computer gaming. Through the use of video recordings in internet cafés, players’ communicative practices are illuminated. Ethnomethodological and interaction analytical perspectives are used to explicate the participants’ methods for meaning-making in the gaming. The aim of the thesis is to investigate how this co-located interaction sets conditions for game playing as a social activity. The dissertation contains four empirical studies. The first addresses the semiotic resources that the players use in collaborative gaming. It shows how gaming activities involve configurations of semiotic resources that are only available in co-located gaming, such as pointing at the screen or rotating your body towards coplayers. In the second study, the players’ use of so called professional vision is analyzed. Experienced players instruct and discipline a novice’s vision by demonstrating how the interface is connected to the rules of the game. In situations with two experienced players, visual aspects of the game can be used to question other players’ competence, by pointing out, for example, what should be visible to them. The visual aspects of the game are thereby made relevant by the players when one of them has acted contrary to conventional practice. The third study addresses the strategies that players use for highlighting their own competence and questioning their coplayers’. In this way the players create local hierarchies, and in the community of practice in internet cafés there are clear elements of exclusion and competiveness. In the final study the relevance of blame for the gaming practices is examined. Blame is used both for highlighting the player’s own competence, at the expense of another player’s, and for enabling a joint analysis “game exegesis”, in which the causal structures of the gaming are examined by the players. The dissertation shows how a player’s competence is constituted out of action both on the screen and in the gamers’ joint, co-located interactions. Their possibilities for positioning themselves in the social community of gaming are conditioned, not only by their in-game skills, but also by their ability to use the communicative resources that the co-located gaming affords.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen behandlar interaktion i ungdomars datorspelande. Med hjälp av videoinspelningar gjorda på internetcaféer belyses några sätt på vilka spelarna kommunicerar med varandra. Etnometodologiska och interaktionsanalytiska perspektiv används för att analysera deltagarnas metoder för att skapa förståelse i och kring spelandet. Avhandlingens syfte är att undersöka hur denna samlokaliserade interaktion skapar förutsättningar för spelandet som social aktivitet. Avhandlingen består av fyra delstudier. Den första behandlar de semiotiska resurser som spelarna använder sig av i kollaborativt spelande. Den visar på hur spelaktiviteter involverar resurser som  bara finns tillgängliga i samlokaliserat spelande, så som att peka på skärmen eller rotera kroppen mot medspelarna. I studie nummer två analyseras spelarnas användning av specialiserat seende (professional vision). Erfarna spelare kan instruera och disciplinera novisers seende genom att synliggöra hur gränssnittet är sammankopplat med spelets regler. I situationer med två erfarna spelare kan visuella aspekter av spelet användas för att ifrågasätta en annan spelares kompetens, genom att exempelvis påpeka vad som borde vara synligt för spelaren. Spelets visuella aspekter blir alltså relevanta för spelarna främst då någon av dem agerat i strid med idéer och normer för spelandet. Den tredje delstudien behandlar interaktionsmetoder som spelarna använder sig av för att framhäva sin egen kompetens och ifrågasätta sina medspelares. Genom dessa skapar spelarna lokala hierarkier, och i den praktikgemenskap som datorspelandet på internetcaféer utgör finns tydliga inslag av exklusion och konkurrens. I den sista delstudien undersöks de funktioner som beskyllningar har i spelandet. Dessa används både för att framhäva spelarens egen kompetens på någon annans bekostnad, men öppnar också upp för gemensam analys, vad som här kallas ”spel-exeges”, där spelets kausala struktur blottläggs. Avhandlingen visar hur spelares kompetens konstitueras av handlingar både på skärmen och i spelarnas gemensamma, samlokaliserade interaktion. Deras möjligheter för positionering i det sociala sammanhang som spelandet utgör utgår alltså inte bara ifrån deras färdigheter i spelet, utan också ifrån deras förmåga att utnyttja de kommunikativa resurser som det samlokaliserade spelandet erbjuder.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 95 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 545
Keyword
Computer gaming, interaction, ethnomethodology, peer group, informal learning, identity, competence, internet café, Datorspelande, interaktion, etnometodologi, kamratgrupp, informellt lärande, identitet, kompetens, internetcafé
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70857 (URN)978-91-7393-062-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-10-14, TEMCAS, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-09-20 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Sjöblom, B. (2008). Gaming as a Situated Collaborative Practice. Human IT, 9(3), 128-165.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gaming as a Situated Collaborative Practice
2008 (English)In: Human IT, ISSN 1402-1501, E-ISSN 1402-151X, Vol. 9, no 3, 128-165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article uses video data of gaming sessions at an Internet café in order to explore the situated and embodied resources that players use for doing collaborative gaming. Prior studies of gaming have, to a great extent, not accounted for many of the semiotic resources that players utilize for conducting gaming as a collaborative enterprise. From an ethnomethodological and interaction analytical perspective, drawing on Goodwin-s concepts of semiotic fields and contextual configurations, this study shows how both on- and off-screen semiotic resources structure the gaming interaction, and how the use of these resources relate to the players- different interactional projects, such as issuing instructions or orienting themselves in an on-screen space. These embodied semiotic resources are situated in the on- and off-screen spaces in which the players interact. They provide ways of playing computer games in collaboration that are specific for gaming where the players are co-present.

Keyword
Action, collaboration, computer games, embodiment, interactivity, video analysis
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-44778 (URN)77600 (Local ID)77600 (Archive number)77600 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Sjöblom, B. (2008). Instructed gaming: Learning in co-located multiplayer gaming-sessions. In: Designs for learning,2008. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Instructed gaming: Learning in co-located multiplayer gaming-sessions
2008 (English)In: Designs for learning,2008, 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

 Computer games are always played in particular places by particular people, but this fact is often -glossed over- in order to build general accounts of what computer gaming is and what knowledge the player might acquire through playing. This study explicates some features of the immanent pedagogies of co-located computer gaming, utilizing an approach in which interaction analysis is used to explore the details of gaming practices in an internet café. Recordings of on- and off-screen data was obtained during fieldwork in such a location, capturing the various semiotic resources that participants use to interact, including verbal and corporeal actions as well as on-screen actions such as cursor pointing and avatar movement. The study focuses specifically on instructional sequences in cooperative game playing, exemplifying these practices through the display of two gaming sessions, one of equally competent players and one where one of the players is a complete novice to this game. Differences and similarities between these two constellations are highlighted. In sessions where players have a marked difference in skill, instructions often take the form of direct imperatives, in which a more competent player will order the one being instructed to do some specific action. Rather than trying to get the less competent player to reflect upon actions, instructions are geared to demonstrate concrete sequences of on-screen actions. In the session with equally skilled players, instructions are more subtle, as knowledge of the game-s mechanics and game tactics is assumed. Common to both these constellations of players is the way in which instructions are focused on getting players to act in ways directly relevant to the current game-state. Instructions also serve to demonstrate the professional vision of gaming, and practices of concerted highlighting relevant aspects of the game-s interface are commonplace.

Keyword
computer gaming, instruction, interaction analysis, professional vision
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-42354 (URN)62882 (Local ID)62882 (Archive number)62882 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2018-01-12
Sjöblom, B. (2008). Language and perception in co-located gaming. In: Language, Culture Mind III,2008. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language and perception in co-located gaming
2008 (English)In: Language, Culture Mind III,2008, 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Language and perception in co-located computer gaming The study of computer gaming has risen as a field of study in recent years, but although attempts have been made to move research agendas from computer games to the practice of computer gaming there is still a lack of empirical work concerning itself with the how game playing gets accomplished in various contexts. This paper takes as its focus the communicative practices that make up multiple-party computer gaming in venues such as internet cafés and LAN-parties. In these kinds of places, people (of varying ages) gather to play computer games together. These games are usually available for cooperative and competitive gaming online, but something about these places make people come there to play face-to-face with each other. The local forms of playing entails for the player to involve him- or herself in a specific community of practice (Lave & Wenger), including specialized (and to the outsider highly esoteric) language games. This study explores the semiotic resources (Goodwin, 2000) used in the language games of concerted co-located gaming, providing an explication of the ethnomethodology of computer game playing. Video data was gathered during short term fieldwork in internet cafés and a large LAN party. Cameras were set up so as to capture both the participants- bodily actions as well as on-screen activities, using single or multiple cameras. In total, around 15 hours of video data was recorded. Relevant parts were transcribed using conventions of conversation analysis, adapted to be able to capture the visual details of the interaction. The semiotic resources utilized in co-located gaming include both on-screen (-in-game-) and off-screen resources. The contextual configuration of resources vary (Goodwin, 2000), but interaction is typically comprised of both bodily actions (gestures, posture and leaning) and computer based actions (cursor-pointing, screen-scrolling, avatar movement and other in-game abilities). Talk is intrinsically intertwined with the gaming activity, providing an ongoing commentary and formulation by the players and onlookers of their actions. Results of the study indicate that the game is generally available as a topical focus of the interaction. Players and onlookers may, without any other specific conversational work being done, switch topic to the current or future events on the screen. Even though they may talk about things that are not part of the game, the on-screen activities are central to the interaction in the way that they are always available as a next possible topic. Such topic-switches can take the form of short response-cries (Aarsand & Aronsson, 2007) or of lengthier stretches of interaction. These topic-switches are interesting as they provide insights into what the participants demonstrate as being -locally relevant- or -noticeable features- of the gaming. Thus, the participants- topical foci may be used in order to explore the -professional vision- (Goodwin, 1994) of gaming, making language, perception and action in co-located computer gaming understandable as fundamentally associated phenomena. References Aarsand, P. & Aronsson, K. (2007/accepted). Response cries and other gaming moves: Building intersubjectivity in gaming. Journal of Pragmatics. Goodwin, C. (2000).Action and Embodiment Within Situated Human Interaction. Journal of Pragmatics 32: 1489-522. Goodwin, C. (1994). Professional Vision. American Anthropologist 96(3): 606-33. Lave, J & Wenger E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-44779 (URN)77602 (Local ID)77602 (Archive number)77602 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2018-01-12
Sjöblom, B. (2008). The relevance of rules: Negotiations and accounts in co-operative and co-located computer gaming. In: The [Player],2008 (pp. 335). Proceedings of the [player] conference: IT University of Copenhagen.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The relevance of rules: Negotiations and accounts in co-operative and co-located computer gaming
2008 (English)In: The [Player],2008, Proceedings of the [player] conference: IT University of Copenhagen , 2008, 335- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Rules are everywhere in computer gaming, determining everything from simulated physics to the success of avatars- actions. These rules may or may not be known and available for the players in their comprehension of the game. This study shows some interactional circumstances in which the players- formulations of their gaming, their accounts of their play, are done with reference to the game-s rules. Video data is taken from a short period of fieldwork in an internet café, and shows co-located concerted game play in World of Warcraft (2005) and Warcraft III (2003). Analyses evidentiate that player account for, and hold each other to accountable to, the game-s rules in a variety of ways. Rules are shown to figure in players- account as discursive devices to determine which actions are appropriate at a specific time, but also to describe the enjoyment of the game or to demonstrate and test the players- own gaming competence. In this way, the rules of the game and the players- own rules of behavior can be seen as interconnected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Proceedings of the [player] conference: IT University of Copenhagen, 2008
Keyword
Gaming, rules, accountability, ethnomethodology
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-44781 (URN)77604 (Local ID)77604 (Archive number)77604 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2018-01-12
Sjöblom, B. (2007). Gaming as a situated collaborative practice. In: . Paper presented at Game in’ Action, Göteborg 13-15 juni. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gaming as a situated collaborative practice
2007 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

 This paper uses video data of gaming sessions at an internet café in order to explore the situated and embodied resources that players use for doing collaborative gaming. Prior studies of gaming have, to a great extent, not accounted for many of the semiotic resources that players utilize for conducting gaming as a collaborative enterprise. From an ethnomethodological and interaction analytical perspective, drawing on Goodwin-s concepts of semiotic fields and contextual configurations, this study shows how both on- and off-screen semiotic resources structure the gaming interaction, and how the use of these resources relate to the players- different interactional projects, such as issuing instructions or orienting themselves in an on-screen space. These embodied semiotic resources are situated in the on- and off-screen spaces in which the players interact. They provide ways of playing computer games in collaboration that are specific for gaming where the players are co-present.

Keyword
computer gaming, interaction analysis, video analysis, embodiment, collaboration, semiotic resources
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-42355 (URN)62883 (Local ID)62883 (Archive number)62883 (OAI)
Conference
Game in’ Action, Göteborg 13-15 juni
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Sjöblom, B. (2007). The third man: Necessitating your presence at a gaming session. In: The Virtual,2007. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The third man: Necessitating your presence at a gaming session
2007 (English)In: The Virtual,2007, 2007Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

 This paper is a case study of a particular kind of gaming arrangement in an internet café, in which two people play a Warcraft III mod called Angel Arena, seated next to each other, while a third person is seated beside them, providing an ongoing commentary and fomulation of the gaming. This session is interesting as a case study because while the two players are controlling avatars in the game, the -third man- is present as a commentator and instructor for the other two, and is therefor not a necessary part of gaming in any -game technical- sense. The question that this gives rise to is if and how -the third man- manages to become part of the gaming interaction, how he gets involved in the situation and how he influences the way in which the game gets played by the controlling players. Interaction in gaming has often been glossed over and could, using the ethnomethodological terminology, be considered a -missing what- in research on games and gaming. Even though ethnographic studies of computer gaming can say something about the contexts and activities of gaming, it will very rarely say anything about the detailed, embodied interactions, on- and offscreen, that make up that gaming. Such details of interaction are only recoverable through the use of video recordnings, and careful and detailed transcription and analysis of the ongoing interaction. Interaction analysis has been conducted under the auspices of ethnomethodology in a wide variety of lay and professional setting, but have only rarely been applied to sessions of computer gaming. This paper is based on a video recording showing the present players and their screens, and has been transcribed and analyzed using conventions of conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. The recording is part of a larger collection of video recordings of gaming sessions at an internet café, and were collected during a short-term fieldwork, where young people-s (aged 11-21) gaming practices were studied. The -third man- tries to ensure that the two controlling players are constantly orienting to his presence as a necessary part of the gaming, and how this orientation is mutually constructed in interaction is interesting as it allows for an analysis of how collaborativity is manifest as a concrete phenomenon in gaming interaction. The -third man- uses a variety of embodied interactional resources in order to secure his place in the gaming session, and the orientation towards him as a bona-fide collaborator to the gaming is observable in a multitude of ways. The gaming as an intersubjective, mutual and concerted activity is accomplished using embodied resources such as pointing, gesturing, posture and spatial positioning, as well as talk and on-screen activities. In negotiating his status as a participant to the activity, the -third man- uses these embodied resources for producing himself as a more competent gamer (in this particular game) than the other two players, who rely on him for tactial and strategical advice, as well as for input on aesthetics and general commentary on the state of the game. By orienting to the assymetirical distribution of knowledge in the gaming session, the -third man- is constructed by the participants as a necessary part of the interaction. Also, by carefully negotiating between the two players, he ensures that he is seen as a neutral party in the gaming activity . This serves as an additional resource by which the -third man- necessitates his presence in the gaming. The ways in which competence gets done and understood by the participants in naturally occuring gaming is related to a discussion of peer cultures and young people-s ways of self-organizing in relation to computer gaming in specific contexts. By demonstrating how gaming competence is produced as an interactional phenomenon, this paper discusses peer culture not as an abstraction or thro

Keyword
computer gaming, interaction analysis, video data, professional vision, embodied action
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-42353 (URN)62881 (Local ID)62881 (Archive number)62881 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2018-01-12
Sjöblom, B.Professional vision in co-located computer gaming. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Professional vision in co-located computer gaming
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To play computer games means engaging in an enterprise that is predominantly based on visual information. Games that exclude visual information can be considered experimental and exotic. Games utilize visual means so as to convey information to the player in several ways. In, for instance, World of Warcraft, graphics are used to depict a virtual world, including players’ avatars and computer-controlled opponents. The game displays text and numbers to the player, and the interface contains buttons and cursors that are used to interact with the game. To a novice or non-player, the information might seem complex and opaque. Yet, somehow, players are able to manage these interfaces and progress in the games. That which to a novice appears as a jumble of text, numbers, animations and movements is a familiar environment for the skilled player. In the normal case, the skilled player has no need either to dwell or reflect upon the meaning and significance of the game world or the interface of the game; rather, he has to engage with it, move through it and act in it. Expertise in game play can be exhibited in the ways a player successfully negotiates this terrain of the game world. In co-located gaming, players have to skilfully manage the integration of various semiotic resources in order to act in coordinated ways within the games. The relative importance of these modalities is contingent upon the situation at hand, and of the temporal order of the game.

The aim of this article is to elucidate some of the ways in which the visualaspects of a computer game show up as publicly available phenomena  n-andthrough the playing of it. This article deals with both how players acquire perceptual expertise, and of issues of how they are accountable for having acquired these skills. In a broad sense, this study explicates players’ engagement in the “education of attention”. Grasseni describes this as “[…] a relational and contextual process that shapes specific skills of perception, relation and cognition, which are in turn instrumental to justify and reproduce specific contexts of action”. In the present study, this means analyzing how instructing vision builds on and establishes appropriate and “correct” ways of behaviour in local gaming communities.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70853 (URN)
Available from: 2011-09-20 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Sjöblom, B.You suck! Playing the blame game in collaborative gaming. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>You suck! Playing the blame game in collaborative gaming
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present study examines video documentation of some ways in which participants allocate blame for “untoward events” to co-present players in computer gaming. In such co-located gaming, players will communicate through whatever means available, relying on both on-screen communication (through chat as well as through avatar actions), as well as verbal and non-verbal offscreen communication. In blame sequences, an initial act of blaming provides a reason to locate a blameable event in the on-screen interaction just prior to the blame, thereby functioning as an instruction to “search” recent game-events for a cause of the blame. Blame elicits the scrutinizing of gameplay, and thereby for reflexively establishing at least one event (e.g. the death of a player’s avatar) as a potentially blameable offence. Foregrounding a player’s action constitutes a first step in establishing it as publicly blameable (a similar point is made by Mondada, 2009, in analyses of assessment sequences). Blame does not, however, once and for all decide the issue of who is at fault. Rather, blame is an interactional method for attributing responsibility, but at the same time as it is a move in a sequence of actions, where each one reflexively provides ground for understanding the next.

Playing computer games in co-located settings (such as internet cafés or LAN-parties) is not a quiet enterprise of silent contemplation. Players constantly talk to each other, about events in the game, about other players as well as on topics entirely unrelated to the playing of the game. A lot of talk concerns what is happening in the game (or what has happened), why this has happened and what can be done to make sure it will happen again (in the case of something favorable) or to ensure it will not (in the case of something detrimental to the progression of the game). In so doing, the players continuously interpret and formulate  events in the game.

A striking aspect of these conversations, during game play and in-between individual gaming sessions, was that they are confrontational and harshly disaffiliative. The players use “foul” language laden with sexual connotations, name-calling, challenging each others’ competence and skill in the game as well as general intelligence and abilities. This is not to say that this is the only way that players talk to one another. Blame is a prevalent feature of the players’ interaction, but it is not the only way of handling untoward events. All the same—and in contrast to many other studies of cooperative work conducted in a variety of socio-technical systems — participants’ confrontations is a striking interactional feature of the activity.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70856 (URN)
Available from: 2011-09-20 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
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