Hector Postigo

I’m Hector Postigo and I’m a professor of new media studies in the Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media at Temple University.  My research focuses on new digital media. Specifically, I study video game culture and online environments and I’m pursuing two lines of research. The first line of research focuses on value production on the internet. I was one of the first researcher to study video game fan communities that make valuable modifications to popular PC games (modders). I recently gave a talk on this topic at the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The second line of research is a study of social movements and their use of hacking and social networking technologies. My work on social movements is funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Sean Lawson

I am Sean Lawson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008 with a dissertation titled, “Info@war.mil: Nonlinear Science and the Emergence of Information Age Warfare in the United States Military.”  My research focuses on the relationship between the histories of science, technology and the development of military theory and discourse. My research interests include the intersection of science, technology, and international affairs, including national security, defense policy, military strategy, WMD nonproliferation, and of course, new media and ICTs.  I blog about these issues at my Transformation Tracker website.

At the University of Utah, I teach courses on new media, ICTs, and society, including “Communication Technology and Culture,” “Information Technology and Global Conflict,” “Introduction to Web Design,” “Introduction to Mass Communication,” and a graduate seminar in technology studies.  I have also taught “Science and Technology in Western Culture” for the State University of New York’s Empire State College.

Before beginning my Ph.D. work at RPI, I worked as an Associate National Security Analyst with DynCorp Systems & Solutions, LLC (now Computer Sciences Corporation) in Alexandria, VA. I have an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University (2002) and a BA in History from California State University, Stanislaus (2000). I interned in the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Project at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (1999) in Monterey CA.

Roger Altizer

Roger Altizer, Jr.
Hello World, again! Videogame culture and design, digital rights, virtual labor (mmmm goldfarming) and a bit of new wave music, these are my passions. Between the Ph.D., covering all things PlayStation for About.com, teaching videogame design and development for the Film Division at the University of Utah, and feeding my one eyed cat (Jack) I am one busy hombre, but, I will always have time for you. Always. – Roger Altizer, Jr.

Ray Dahl

I’m Ray Dahl, a graduate student studying new media at the University of Utah. I am neither hip nor young but Hector has allowed me to join the posse. I am a geek, I work as a web application programmer (Mmm, there is nothing like a steaming cup of Ajax in the morning). That said I take a rather pragmatic and application oriented approach to my studies. I’m interested in usability, information architecture, open source/hacker culture and CMC.When school and work aren’t consuming my life I enjoy cycling, rock climbing, Tai Chi, playing the violin and spending time with my wonderful wife and three kids.

Casey O’Donnell

Canned “Intro and Elevator Life History” Statement: I began my academic life as a computer scientist and mathematician, started studying computer graphics, that led to 3D scientific visualization work for JPL, was snatched up by a game company in La Jolla, worked on 3D sound systems for N64, PS1, PC, Mac, Linux until it(‘s clients) went bust, tried graduate school in CS, wasn’t happy, worked for an Autodesk subcontractor (and general design automation company), put people out of work with automation tools, got tired of that, and with the help of a Marxist feminist and a sociologist found “STS” as a (un)discipline, got in, studied Open Source Software development for a while, got tired of it, did some pilot research studying work at a video game company, that company got bought by Activision, and decided to study “the game industry” in the US and India. Simple right?

Extemporaneous Ad Lib:My name is Casey O’Donnell. I’m a PhD candidate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the Science and Technology Studies program. I’m on the job market this year, and it gives me indigestion. I’m interested in work first and foremost, and my studying the game industry is inextricably tied to an interest in production. I think the game industry has a lot to offer as an empirical lens onto work and globalization. It is also exemplary of current controversies of user rights in relation to intellectual property rights and copyright.

That said, I think it also provides a wealth of tools for thinking about all sorts of things. Games, play, fun, magic circles, and even stories and characters created in this space provide us with concepts that frequently have a different affective orientation than other theoretical constructs.I’ve spent three years in the field primarily in the US, but with time in India. I’m sitting back right now and writing the dissertation and doing a whole lot of data management and analysis. I’ve currently title the dissertation “Playing the New Economy: Video Game Development in the US and India,” might need a bit of a change, but good enough for now.

You can find my website here and my other blog here.