Research Methods for the Digital Humanities

Update: in March 2020, Springer Nature included Research Methods for the Digital Humanities in its COVID-19 Research Initiative, which provided free global access to key textbooks across disciplines to support instructors, librarians, and students in the emergency transition to remote learning. As a result of that initiative, my chapter has been downloaded over 83,000 times; the book in its entirety has been downloaded over 1.4 million times.

In 2018, I contributed the chapter “Building Video Game Adaptations of Dramatic and Literary Texts” to the edited collection Research Methods for the Digital Humanities. The chapter offers a step-by-step method for adapting a dramatic or literary source into a short video game. It also explains how adapting a source text into a video game enables a researcher to illuminate themes, character insights, or plot elements with new emphasis. To illustrate this method, I give examples from Something Wicked, my video game adaptation of William Shakespeare’s gory, witchy tragedy, Macbeth. Central to this constructionist methodology is that users create projects the public can use. As I describe in the chapter, this public impact encourages researchers—especially student researchers—to invest more energy and substantive analytical interrogation than might characterize a traditional research paper.

“Building Video Game Adaptations of Dramatic and Literary Texts.” In Research Methods for the Digital Humanities, edited by Lewis Levenberg, Tai Neilson, and David Rheams. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. doi.org/ 10.1007/978-3-319-96713-4_10.

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