This may be done at the individual level or paired up with someone. Keep in mind that writing a paper with a co-author introduces additional efforts in managing the process, which takes time. I have co-authored 20 or 30 publications and I can promise that it is sometimes very challenging.
For the paper, write at least a 7-8 (8-9 for pairs) page APA style paper (counting cover page and reference page). You must have at least 5 (6 for pairs) references. You must have at least 3 (4 for pairs) scientific references. Do not include an abstract.
Begin with an introduction (no heading for introduction) which should include one to two paragraphs introducing your topic, its connection to the GDC track, and the general intent and structure of the paper you are writing.
After the introduction (no heading for introduction), include at least 3 main headings. You may choose your own names for the headings, but these are examples and you should have similar content and structure for the paper in this order:
This should include a discussion describing your topic, the importance of research in your topic area to the Video Game industry, including several (>2) sources supporting your points.
This should provide a literature review. That is, provide a coverage of what has been done in the area of research on which you are working. This should include theoretical sources on the constructs and variables involved. For example, a topic addressing violence in video games has several concepts that aren’t even game relevant. What is violence? Do you mean aggression? Do you mean violent thoughts or actual behavior? Is your focus in school behavior or driving behavior or family….etc. What do you mean by games? What do you mean by violent games? How could you test or measure violence? How could you study game play content and/or performance? This section should establish a solid basis of the concepts included in your research and should have several (>3) scientific sources, and should also have several (>2) industry related sources that have attempted to address either the importance of the issue or proposed research directions and/or solutions.
New Model/Theory/Proposed Direction*
This is the section where you provide logical arguments as to what should be done. So for the above topic example, you may argue that based on previous research in both psychology, film, video game and other entertainment media, violent content should be categorized in the following manner….research should be conducted in the following manner….games should be designed in the following manner…..
This section is primarily written from your arguments. This is not an opinion section. This is where you demonstrate that by researching this topic, you have identified some contribution to the people/industry that will read you paper. It has to be convincing, which means you need to argue your ideas and support why they are valid. This should include at least some (>3) citations (possibly from previous sections of your paper) and some discussion as to why the ready should adopt your position.
Now that you have just provided logical and research based arguments for changing the industry of making video games, you must provide the reader with the limitations of your paper. You’ve already argued your positions and why they are valid. Now provide where and why the conclusions you have made are limited. So in the example above, you provided a strong argument on a design model for violent content. However, there are construct validity issues in the form of inadequate preoperational explication of the construct. That is, due to the scope of the paper, you have only considered a very limited representation of the concept of violence, violent behavior, violent content…..You should have at least 2 validity threats which should include what type of validity (either construct, internal or external) and a specific threat of the validity type. Future research recommendations should also be included on how these limitations could be addressed.
Summarize your findings. Restate the basic contributions you have made to the industry, specifically to the GDC track. Also discuss how the area of research connects to your capstone track and intended career path as you know it thus far.