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Dr. David Kirschner earned his PhD in sociology in 2014 from Nanyang Technological University in sunny Singapore, where he lived for four+ years. His dissertation, “Gameplay Socialization: Meaning-making, Player-computer, and Player-player Interaction in Digital Games,” explores how novices experience socialization into the virtual environments of popular video games. How do they make sense of unfamiliar digital worlds and game rules? What stages comprise gameplay socialization? What roles do non-human interactants play in the learning process? How do players handle increasing complexity in digital gameplay? The answers to these questions outline an argument for the serious study of digital games, and digital media more broadly, in everyday life.
Dr. Kirschner has published research in various outlets, including the journals Symbolic Interaction and Simulation & Gaming, in edited books, and conference proceedings. He regularly presents at academic conferences, including annual meetings of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, Southern Sociological Society and Digital Games Research Association.
Current research projects include exploring communities of practice in role-playing games, analyzing the roles of non-human digital objects in socialization processes, and understanding the relationship between motivation and changing health behaviors.
Dr. Kirschner has been teaching in various capacities for 12 years. He first worked in Georgia high schools in special education and the social sciences while earning an M.Ed. During his PhD, he taught Social Psychology, Environmental Sociology, Media and Society, and Culture, Self and Identity. At GGC, he teaches a lot of Introduction to Sociology and upper-level courses in both media and disability studies.
The following is a combined list of publications.
2016. Kirschner, David. “The Development of a Gamified System for Health Activism as a Collaborative Graduate Student Project.” In Handbook of Research on Serious Games for Educational Applications, edited by Robert Zheng and Mark Gardner. IGI Global.
2014. Kirschner, David and J. Patrick Williams. “Measuring Video Game Engagement through the Gameplay Review Method.” Simulation & Gaming 45(4-5):593–610.
2014. Kirschner, David, and J. Patrick Williams. “A Microsociological Perspective on Non-Verbal Communicative Strategies in MMORPGs.” In Nonverbal Communication in Virtual Worlds, edited by J. Tanenbaum, M. Seif el-Nasr, and M. Nixon. Carnegie Mellon: ETC Press.
2014. Williams, J. Patrick, David Kirschner and Zahirah Suhaimi-Broder. “Structural Roles in Massively-Multiplayer Online Games: A Case Study of Guild and Raid Leaders in World of Warcraft.” Studies in Symbolic Interaction 43:121–142.
2013. Kirschner, David and J. Patrick Williams. “Experts and Novices or Expertise? Positioning Players through Gameplay Reviews.” In Proceedings of DiGRA 2013: DeFragging Game Studies. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. August 26-29.
2013. Williams, J. Patrick and David Kirschner. “Elements of Social Action: A Micro-Analytic Approach to the Study of Collaborative Behavior in Digital Games.” In Proceedings of DiGRA 2013: DeFragging Game Studies. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. August 26-29.
2012. Williams, J. Patrick, and David Kirschner. “Coordinated Action in the Massively Multiplayer Online Game World of Warcraft.” Symbolic Interaction 35(3):340–367.
2010. Zuiker, Steven J., J. Patrick Williams, David Kirschner, Manikantan Krishnamurthy, and Katherine Greer Littlefield. “Alone Together in Cyberworlds? Bridging Cyberworld Development and Design through Educational MMOs.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on Cyberworlds. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. October 20-22.