“This is How We Play It: What a Mega-LAN Can Teach Us About Games,” co-authored with Emma Witkowski, Foundations of Digital Games, Monterey, CA, June 2010.[PDF]
Using data gathered through our participant observation and informal interviews at DreamHack Winter 2005 and 2009 we explore a number of themes that not only provide insight into aspects of face-to-face real-time play at LAN parties but also highlight considerations for game studies more generally. In particular, we focus on the heterogeneity of play and experience, the role of spectatorship in computer gaming, the public performance of leisure and gamer identity, and the growing presence of women in game culture. We conclude by suggesting that researchers should begin to consider the much larger trend in which this form of leisure activity is integrating itself into mainstream pop/youth/network culture.