Ferdig to edit new journal on video games and learning

Associate Professor Rick Ferdig (STL) has been invited to become the first editor of The International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations—a new journal that will be among the few peer-reviewed publications in the growing field of video game studies.

In May, Ferdig will begin reading manuscripts for the first issue of the journal, which is expected to print its first issue in late 2008 or early 2009.

The term “game studies” may sound a little too fun to be the topic of a scholarly journal, but Ferdig says the virtual world has more than enough weight to justify a journal. As people increasingly move their identities and social relationships into the virtual realm, Ferdig says, the world is seeing the rise of new social structures that could become powerful educational and motivational tools.

While there is plenty of pop-culture analysis of these new online worlds, Ferdig said, scholarly research on gaming has yet to become really organized.

“You could say that we’re getting in on the ground floor,” Ferdig said. “There are five or 10 popular gaming magazines that address these topics well, and there are a few scholarly journals out there—but as far as I know, we will be one of the few scholarly gaming and simulation journals with a regular publishing schedule.”

Ferdig, who was named a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor last month, is also editing a three-volume “gaming handbook” due out this summer that collects much of the existing scholarly research on gaming in a single handbook. For more information, go here.