Ulrika Bennerstedt is a PhD student and research assistant in the Department of Education and has a background in education (M.Sc.) and applied information and communication technology (M.Sc.). Her research interests include avatar-mediated-interaction in multiplayer online games and game designers work of creating digital games. In particular, she is exploring the learning, cognition, skills and competencies related to these settings. Previously she has studied gamers’ skills and competencies when playing a first-person shooter video game by conducting video-based interaction analysis of people playing in pairs. She has also worked with questions concerning high consumption and problematic usage of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs).
In the PhD project, Ulrika is focusing on the virtual playgrounds in the game genre MMO and is investigating anonymous players’ collaborative combat practices. Ulrika has done ethnographic work in two MMOs (The Lord of the Rings Online, World of Warcraft). The aim of this project is two folded. Firstly, it explores and elucidates some of the skills and competencies of computer-mediated collaborative play. Secondly, it contributes to the ongoing discussion on how we can relate the gamers’ knowledge to arenas beyond the games. The studies conducted in this thesis can be seen in the light of an ethnomethodological body of empirical research that are concerned with the ways in which remotely situated players produce and recognize virtual actions and activities and achieve to cooperate in these interactive temporal environments. Screen-captured video data from the MMOs is used for detailed investigations.
In the research project ROF she is exploring the ways in which game designers produce digital games with an emphasis on how cultural, social and technological conditions stipulate what kind of fiction that in the end is implemented in the games. In this three-year long project, two empirical studies is planned, one at a game design education and the other at a professional game developer. Ulrika has just finished the first part of the fieldwork at a qualified vocational education in 3D graphics and game design. During a four weeks period, she followed and video-recorded the collaborative work of the students’ final game project and also the presentation and evaluation of their playable games for a jury.
In the research co-operation "The Learning and Media Group" she is participating in the writing of a book that explores issues of how learning and communication of knowledge are transformed by the increasing multimodality of digital media.
Ulrika is also engaged in the following projects and networks:
Bennerstedt, U., Ivarsson, J., & Linderoth, J. (2012). How gamers manage aggression. Situating skills in collaborative computer games. The International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(1), 43-61.
Bennerstedt, U., & Sjöblom, B. (2011). Spelvärldars kontinuitet och förändring: Gemensamt minne i ett onlinerollspel. In R. Säljö (ed.) Lärande och minnande i sociala praktiker. Stockholm: Norstedts.
Bennerstedt, U. & Ivarsson, J. (2010). Knowing the way. Managing epistemic topologies in virtual game worlds. CSCW, 19(2).