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September 11th, 2008 - Aaron Delwiche
aaron.delwiche@gmail.com | Carbonel Tigereye (Second Life) | adelwiche (skype)

Aaron Delwiche
Date: 2008-09-11 12:00
Subject: Back to School
Security: Public
The handful of people who occasionally read this blog might have noticed that postings have been irregular during the past eighteen months. Now that I'm back at Trinity after a year of academic leave, I'm hoping to blog at least once or twice a week.

The past two years were a blur. In August 2006, I launched a virtual world start-up company with some friends and former students. I left that agency in November of last year to launch a new virtual world consultancy with my colleague Jennifer Henderson. Elastic Collision specializes in the use of virtual worlds for education and workplace collaboration, and the company has been active. During the past year, we've had the chance to work with Fortune 500 companies, local non-profit groups, a public television station, Federal Government agencies, and several colleges and universities. We have also been designing some exciting game-related projects that I hope to blog about in the near future, but our lips are sealed until after the launch.

My academic leave is over and I've returned to my post at Trinity University. I'm thrilled to be back in the classroom, and am excited about teaching courses on media interpretation, political propaganda, and a course on using ethnographic research methods to study on-line role-playing games. This semester, students will investigate the game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. It feels good to dip into the game-worlds again, and I'm excited about the student research projects. My only regret is that it was too late to order Richard Bartle's Designing Virtual Worlds as a required text. The reading list is packed with excellent articles, including his classic piece on player-types, but DVW provided a great historical and conceptual framework for the course as a whole.

Meanwhile, I'm in the final round of pulling together materials for my tenure application. The entire package, including the personal statement, the CV, and the infamous "tenure box," is due in just four days, so I'll be much more relaxed when September 16th rolls around.

In other news, I was married in February of this year and am happily savoring the thrills of domestic life. My wife is brilliant, beautiful, and funny, and it's awesome to be married to her. We share many of the same passions and temperamental quirks, but we are different enough from other to keep things interesting. I've also become a step-father to an intensely smart, cool, and creative second grader, and this has transformed my world-view in countless positive ways.

Emma (our cat) also seems pretty pleased about these changes on the home front.

OK. Enough procrastination. It's time to get back to finishing my personal statement. To friends or colleagues whose e-mails have not been answered in weeks (or months), please accept my deepest apologies for the delayed replies. Life has been hectic, but things should start to stabilize once the tenure box is filed.

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