If half of being a faculty is teaching, the other half is performing research.
Game Studies research is pretty straightforward in terms of how to approach it; it's similar to other cultural and anthropological studies, where you conduct interviews and observe player reactions to games and analyze demographic tables and such, and then you find the correlations.
Game Design isn't like that. Yes, some researchers conduct studies that try to quantify "fun", in the same way that economists might try to quantify "utility" or psychologists quantifying the exact definition of various disorders.
But look at cinema. Is anyone writing research papers on the crafting of an audience reaction, or the correlation of fun to car chase scenes, or creating emotional tension in the viewer? These kinds of things are artistic, creative and highly subjective; they don't lend themselves well to number-crunching quantitative research.
Instead, the academic side of film creation concentrates on, well, creation. Students make their own experimental films and showcase them.
Should game design research be the same way? Shouldn't we be making experimental games, using mechanics or themes that haven't been used before? If we must, we can always write an academic-style paper about the game we made, that talks about the design intent and observed player reactions.
And yet, I haven't seen anything like that coming from academic researchers. Grad students, yes, but not faculty. Am I barking up the wrong tree here, or is this a direction that game research should be heading in? Or has it already, and I'm missing out on a lot of experimental games out there?