I'd like to say thank you to everyone who participated in my survey - the response has been overwhelming. I'm still working to catch up with email and get back to everyone who has expressed interest in being interviewed, so I will do that soon.Hi, everyone! Although this is my first post on the forum, I’ve been lurking for a few months and have been following development of the game since around 2009. I also realize I’m a little late to the research party (which, now that I think about it, doesn’t sound like a very fun party), given that Prof. Coyote has already posted a research survey here (and not that long ago).
Even though I’m in the same discipline as Prof. Coyote (I also teach writing), I think it’s interesting that we want to look at very different things in and around this game. Game studies is one of my primary research areas, and I’ve written a lot about gameplay, narrative, and player interpretation in the past, so it’s that intersection that I want to explore. So, without further ado, here’s who I am:
My name is Kevin Rutherford, and I’m a PhD student in the Department of English at Miami University (it's in Ohio; the one in Florida is the University of Miami). I’m interested in studying player responses and interpretations of Katawa Shoujo. To do that, I’ve set up a survey on SurveyMonkey (link removed - I have over 200 responses now, holy crap) and I’m asking that you consider participating. The survey itself will be hosted off-forum because I’m asking some numerical and ‘check all that apply’ kinds of questions, and so I’d like to have the site do all of my data calculation for me. Additionally, I want to offer confidentiality, so I’d rather set up a space to do that than wade through PMs. It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to complete, depending on how much you write in the open-ended questions.
In the survey, I'm asking questions such as: “How many games have you played that included a representation of a person with disabilities?”, “On a scale of 1-5, how positively do you think Katawa Shoujo represents physical disability?” and “Do you think Katawa Shoujo’s interface/gameplay influences players’ identification with the protagonist? If so, how?” Also in the survey I will ask interested people to contact me for a follow-up interview if they wish.
Because disability is underrepresented in video games and because Katawa Shoujo has a loyal community of fans (including me) who are invested in the game’s subject matter, I believe this research will be of tremendous benefit to the academic community of games studies scholars and educators, as well as to the game development community at large. In addition, I will share my results with forum members by posting some survey results.
This research has been reviewed by the Research Compliance Office at Miami University for adherence to the principles of the ethical conduct of research: protocol # E00489. If you have any questions for my university (about the project, research in general, or my approval to do this) please contact Miami University’s Office of Advancement of Research and Scholarship at 513.529.3600 or email@example.com.
If you have any questions for me (about the research or anything else), feel free to post them here, PM me, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to answer them. I’d also be happy to share my credentials in more detail (including previous research I’ve presented at conferences).
I have over 200 responses now - time to call this survey finished!
Thanks in advance for any participation!
By the way, I don't want to step on any toes with this research - I'd be ecstatic to work with Prof. Coyote (or any other lurking academic presences on these forums) to put together a panel for a conference.
I really want to emphasize how grateful I am to the whole community. I'll be posting some aggregate data for quantitative responses in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully that will also give me time to look for some trends in the open ended responses and provide them too.
Seriously, you guys. You're awesome.