Dr. Karin Wenz, director of studies of the MA programme Media Culture, is engaged in research on digital media since 1995. Her research focuses on user practices related to gaming culture. She investigated videos made by players (machinima); the building of knowledge bases of and for players by use of wikis and youtube tutorials; the use of games as laboratory for research about game mechanics; game art and modding. She is leading a research project on online communities and cultural citizenship (NWO project Narrative Fan Practices) since 2010. New cultural forms and practices challenge the old top-down relationships between consumer and producer but did not resolve them. A major question in this research is the question who is in control and how much participation is possible. Her previous research feeds into the project Hacking Heritage but the project will furthermore deepen her expertise in the field of user practices. This project will not only enable young, technically savvy audiences to participate but citizens of the mining region independent of age and media literacy. New media dynamics and practices will be investigated but also traditional oral practices by use of ethnography, participatory observation, and qualitative interviews.
You can also find her on Twitter – feel free to drop her a line!