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June 13, 2006 |

My dissertation has been lying dormant for many years as I have been distracted with new research and writing projects. I’ve been slowly getting chapters out in article form though, and have just posted the most recent one, an article for the journal Discourse on the genre of edutainment in children’s software. This will make three dissertation chapters that I have published so far. The first was a framing analysis of human-machine interaction, “Interaction, Collusion, and the Human-Machine Interface” for The International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments. The second was an article, “Mobilizing Fun in the Production and Consumption of Children’s Software” for the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

I know pulling the dissertation material together needs to be the next book but I’ve felt daunted by the prospect of updating it. It is a study of the production, marketing, and consumption of children’s software, and the fieldwork was done in the late nineties, when the industry was contracting. Almost a decade later, the situation with the industry has changed again with the growth of web-based educational games. At the same time, it seems like the basic genres of gaming have not changed radically since the nineties. So I am hoping that my analysis of game and participation genres will still hold – and this is the core analysis of the dissertation.