Web Portfolio for Nick LaLone

Welcome to my portfolio!

I am a PhD Student in the Information Science and Technology Program at Penn State University. My work centers on the intersection of play, design, literacy, and simulation. This is a fancy way of saying that I study communication between development teams during design, the impact of literacy and comprehension of virtual environments, and the loss of complexity as we virtualize simulated content.

Within all the work I produce, you will see an evaluation of the concept of play in culture. I begin with the understanding that culture is in itself play. Since all participants must relinquish some facet of themselves in order to belong to a culture, we understand that the rules and procedures we find ourselves following function as the rules of a game do. As such, all manner of activity can be investigated through this conceptual realm.

What makes different types of designers, all involved with the same creative act behave differently through their understanding of their role in the game? For example, why can an engine architect only conceive of a game through their point-of-view. Is this actually true?

How is it that depending on the type of product, different types of rules come into question? For example, inside of a board game all rules can be bent or broken if the players agree. Inside a virtual environment, especially one online with multiple players, why do broken rules often result in ejection from the game?

I believe that games and design of games is a means through which to see facets of society laid bare. While I study games, I am not a scholar of game studies. I started in Anthropology, moved to Sociology, and have ended up in the realm of Information Science because it allows me to remain flexible both in method and theory.

Like all portfolios, the work posted here is almost always tragically behind. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via your preferred method of communication!

Twitter: Nick_LaLone
E-Mail: nick.lalone@gmail.com