My name is Kristopher Purzycki, a dissertator in the English department at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. After a professional career in advertising public communications, I went back to school to research digital rhetoric and the influence of media. My research has since forked into a pragmatic pedagogy towards composition and a critical approach towards the rhetorics of subculture. Both are highly influenced by my ongoing work in the digital humanities and the arts, radical play theory, and game studies.

I am currently working on my dissertation and expect to be completed by the Spring of 2019. The short shrift of my project is a discussion about how participants in digital space (such as computer game players) acquire a sense of place. To do this, I take a phenomenological approach to the experience of the computer game player likening their capacity to emplace themselves as a sort of pilgrimage. In engaging a three-dimensional computer game, the player sets out on a ritualistic process through liminal space towards a goal – much like a pilgrimage. This journey and the subsequent demonstration of having taken that journey is crucial to an intersubjective experience and the gaming subculture.

It has been a great deal of fun – please give me shout if you’d like to share your thoughts.

This site is a curation of my various endeavors creative and academic. You may find some pages are still under re-construction as I continue to migrate from an older site. Unfortunately, I lost all of my old blog posts but such is life. If you have any questions regarding my work or anything you see, please contact me directly at purzycki@uwm.edu.

Thanks for stopping by!


Meaningful Play 2018

Meaningful Play is a conference held at Michigan State University where academics and indie game developers gather for a three-day event. Like most conferences aimed at higher education, this one includes panels, roundtables, and workshops. During the evenings, however, the developers take center stage to showcase their games, discuss motivations behind the project, and describe …

Classic Quests: the Mise en Abyme of Ultima IV’s Opening Screen

Author’s note:  This post originally appeared on the blog for the Digital Cultures Collaboratory at UWM. Released over three decades ago, Origin Systems’ Ultima IV in an anachronistic computer game to be playing in an age of ultra-real aesthetics and NPCs fueled by rudimentary forms of artificial intelligence. True, it’s graphics are crude even by …