I have always found introductions to be strangely awkward, mostly due to that self-referential tone that is so jarring to many of us. However I am hoping that this will be an enjoyable post that helps me remember who I am, and connects me with some of the awesome scholars in this year's program.
My name is Cody Mejeur, and I am a PhD student in the English department at Michigan State University. This is my first year as a HASTAC scholar, and I am excited to share ideas and projects with my fellow scholars! I saw someone else organize their introduction into different categories, and I am going to borrow that great idea here.
My work focuses on video game narrative, and as such I work mostly in the fields of game studies and narrative theory. I am interested in how exactly games go about telling their stories, how narrative functions in a ludic setting, and what games can tell us about traditional narrative theory. My MA thesis dealt with narrative in MMORPGs, using Guild Wars 2 as a case study. I proposed a model for narrative structures in the game, and hope that that model could help in the analysis and critique of game narrative in future work. My end goal (perhaps more of a pipe dream at this point) is to lay the foundations for critical work in game studies similar to and yet different from that being done in other media. For example, I am currently playing with the ideas of "close playing" and "distance playing" as analagous to close and distance reading in literature.
Beyond the theoretical, I am very interested in the intersections of play and learning as they pertain to higher education. I am currently working on several projects dealing with methods for teaching games in English classrooms, including the idea of using Twitch.tv as a learning tool (hoping to present on this at HASTAC in the Spring).
I currently work as a graduate teacher at Michigan State, teaching in a course called Race in American Literature and Film. I often bring games and pop culture references into my classroom discussions, and love seeing my students draw connections between time periods, ideologies, and media forms.
I also work as adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech Community College, teaching online courses such as Exposition and Persuasion (college comp course), Technical Writing, and Modern World Fiction. Online teaching/distance learning comes with its blessings and its curses, both of which I would love to discuss more with other scholars!
I enjoy a variety of extracurricular activites and service opportunities, including:
-Working with MSU's Graduate Employee Union
-Serving on MSU's Council of Graduate Students
-Working with Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honors society
-Volunteering with the Literary Cognition lab in MSU's English department (wish I had time to do more with this!)
-I am hoping to be part of an upcoming game studies podcast that grew out of connections made at this year's Meaningful Play conference.
-I still raid regularly in World of Warcraft, and try to keep abreast of all of the awesome games coming out these days.
Feel free to get in touch with me about any of this, or if you just want to talk about game studies!