Jim's game narrative research is developed within an overarching framework for the description, analysis and understanding of the design of narrative within electronic games and other interactive environments. The framework includes design parameters such as character, storyworld, emotion, plot coherence, and the narrativized interface. Within that overall framework he has concentrated on the narrativized interface and embodied and gestural interface as important dimensions for reinforcing narrativity within interactive environments.
His other research direction concerns the future of the moving image. This direction grows out of his own history as a filmmaker, cinematographer and video artist. As a scholar, he is interested in the ways digital technologies support and transform the expressive use of the moving image as a vehicle for visual experience. His work in this direction is complemented by his creative work in Ambient Video art
Jim is a humanities scholar trained at MIT's Comparative Media Studies program. His preferred research approach is the classic humanities methodology of close-reading. His close-readings rigorously observe, deconstruct and analyze the creative designs instantiated within exemplary artistic and commercial media artifacts. The purpose is to reveal design parameters and decisions which have broad significance for the further development of the medium.
Jim is the recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Teaching, and teaches undergrad and graduate courses in New Media Theory, Narrative Across Media, Advanced Video Production, Stereo 3D Video, and Interactive Video. He is grateful to his students - and in particular his own grad students - for helping him to understand the ever-changing realities and possibilities of the emergent digital mediascape.