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Brandnamecommercial avatar 11:57 PM on 01.27.2010
Doing Performance Studies Research at a GameStop: Part 1

What I’m supposed to do and why:

As a Com Studies major one of the classes I am required to take is called Performing Culture. In it I will essentially be seeking to apply and analyze how the foundations of performance and cultural studies shape human interactions, the presentation of self, culture, monkey sex, identity, blah, blah, blah. A big part of my grade for the class will come from a semester long research project which requires me to select a site where people congregate (bar, frat house, sporting event, outlet mall, ect.) and by acting as a participant/observer of that site form an argument about some aspect of performance which I feel is taking place. For example, I could choose to study how/why men consciously/unconsciously exert their masculinity in an E.R. waiting room.


A proposal describing the site, my research question, and featuring a listing of relevant peer-reviewed literature, is due next week.


My unofficially proposed site:





Why the hell I chose it:

1. There’s a dynamic at a Gamestop which is really only ever appreciated by gamers. I know there have blogs about it before, but the different types of people that visit a Gamestop – from the parents who don’t know a Playstation from a Snuggie to the 16 year olds who need to constantly try and dick measure their video game knowledge with the clerk – are all ripe with research boner potential.

2. It involves something I’m actually interested in.

3. I’m supposed to spend at least 10 hours ‘on-site’ so I’d prefer if it was somewhere with some redeeming qualities. In other words, I’d rather kill a homeless man by shoving change into his eyes (while yelling, “Here’s your spare change, hope you can afford SOME SPARE EYES.”) than spend my time at a club or a Walmart.





Why I’m telling you all this:


To ask if y’all have any suggestions as to what I might want to specifically look for in this research. Are there some annoying behaviors or interesting quirks you find when visiting a gamestop you’d like to have analyzed and translated into boring, pedantic cultural research?


***
In the process of writing this blurb I came up with one idea, which I kind of like. It’d be interesting if I found a GameStop with a female employee in the area, and documented how the predominately male cliental interacted with her (“OMG a girl that likes teh gamez 2!”) as compared to her vagina-less counterparts.

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