Ph.D., B.S., Pennsylvania State University
"You are in a cave. In the cave, a red leather book on an old rusty chain can be found." So began my adventures in the Land of Karchan, a Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) that operated out of your Web browser in 1997. Karchan was a turning point in my development as a nerd and gamer, since it was one of the first games I'd ever played that involved interacting with other people on the Internet. It was through the Land of Karchan and other MUDs that I was introduced to the concepts of basic computer repair and Web design and development.
By interacting with these other "digital faces" (other Internet players), I was exposed to new ideas and encouraged and supported in both my current passions and future interests. More importantly, these players showed me that there were generous and supportive people out there using the Internet, something that went against common information presented to teens at that time.
When it came time to select a major for college, I decided to pursue that initial interest I had developed while playing games online and applied to the Information Sciences and Technology program at Pennsylvania State University. My time at Penn State focused on trying to find a way to combine my personal interests with the business focus of my schooling, something I was finally able to accomplish in my doctoral dissertation, "Collective Action Situated in Virtual Worlds."
My current research is focused on continuing my studies of communities within virtual worlds and other Internet-based media. This includes publishing the remaining material from my completed dissertation as well as pursuing new research possibilities. I have also begun taking a more critical look at the online game community that provided me with a home in high school. Alongside Anastasia Salter, assistant professor, I have begun researching recent issues within the online gaming community involving gender, inclusiveness and identity.
Salter, A. and Blodgett, B. (2012) "Hypermasculinity & Dickwolves: The Invisibility of Women in the New Gaming Public." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Vol. 56: 3, pp. 401-416.
Tapia, A.; Ocker, R.; Rosson, MB.; Blodgett, B.; and Ryan, T. (2012) "Computer Tomography Virtual Organization." Leadership in Science and Technology. Vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: Sage Reference.
Blodgett, B. and Tapia, A. (2011) "Do Avatars Dream of Electronic Project Meetings?: The Blurring of Work and Play in Virtual Environments." Information, Technology and People, Special Issue on Digital Culture. Vol. 24: 1, pp. 26- 45.