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Games and Play Research Seminar #4

On Thursday November 5 the Centre for the Study of Digital Games and Play (GAP) will host its fourth seminar at Muntstraat 2a, room 1.11 from 15:00-17:00 with drinks afterwards. The aim of these regular meet-ups is to create a physical space for game scholars and excellent students to present research, to provide room for game-related discussions, and to expand our academic and professional network. This meeting, we will share three game-related projects from Utrecht University and research fellow Pierre-Yves Hurel from Université de Liège will present the state of the art in French game research.

Game Studies Across the Boundaries: – Pierre-Yves Hurel (Université de Liège)
This presentation focuses on main contributions from French and Belgium researchers. Who are the authors? What are they doing? With which institutions?

The Preservation of Digital Games as Dutch Cultural Heritage – Dr. René Glas & Jasper van Vught (UU)
The research project sets up the first unified effort between game research, cultural heritage institutions and the Dutch game industry to define, preserve, archive and exhibit the history of Dutch digital games and game development. Beeld en Geluid, the institute dedicated to the preservation of Dutch audio visual heritage, forms the key partner.

Bridging the Gap between Game Design and Policy-Making: Analytical Game Design and Participatory Scenario Development – Dr. Stefan Werning (UU)
The project explores (participatory) scenario planning as a still understudied context for serious games and analytical game design as a method to inform the creation and application of scenario planning games. For that purpose, a sample game will be iteratively modified as well as extended through digital augmentations in cooperation with dr. Joost Vervoort and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University.

The Playful City – Dr. Michiel de Lange (UU)
The Playful City is a project that investigates how games and play can be used to foster a smarter civic engagement for specific complex urban issues, and how can we design gaming tools to accomplish this. The project seeks to connect research and development in the up to now largely separate sectors of smart city policy and design, and game research and design. It combines the most recent insights from these fields into a new agenda for smart city making through games and play, which will strengthen interdisciplinary collaborations, and increase academic impact.

Date: Thursday November 5, 2015
Time: 15:00 – 17:00 + drinks
Location: Muntstraat 2a, room 1.11
Registration: Please register via e-mail.

Joost Raessens travels to China to establish connections among possible partners in the field of serious gaming

Joost Raessens recently visited Beijing (China) in order to establish connections among possible partners in the domain of creative industries (universities, academies, companies), particularly in the field of serious gaming.


The initial reason for this trip was the Chinese-Dutch Joint Scientific Thematic Research Programme (JSTP), an NWO research programme that enables bilateral collaboration between research groups within the field of the creative industries. A delegation of Dutch academics, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Beijing visited, among others, Tsinghua University (Academy of Arts & Design), the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), and several fashion and gaming companies. As part of the Beijing Design Week 2015, Prof. Dr Anneke Smelik (Radboud University Nijmegen), Prof. Dr Eric Postma (Tilburg University) and Prof. Dr Joost Raessens (Utrecht University) presented their research on fashion, artificial intelligence and persuasive gaming at The Nurturing House, a creative industries hub sponsored by the Dutch Embassy.


The creative industries are booming in China. Especially media (digital media, including games, film and television), art (museums, photography and cultural heritage) and design (fashion, architecture and urban environment) are important clusters within China’s growing cultural industries. According to the Beijing Official Guide, the creative industries are Beijing’s second economic pillar industry, just after the finance sector. Because of China’s growing youth culture, (online) games take up a prominent position. Serious games can help solve China’s urgent problems in the areas of, for example, healthcare, (future) food, energy, sustainability, and urbanization.

Persuasive Gaming GAP research project at Control Conference 2015

The Persuasive Gaming in Context project, in which GAP researchers Joost Raessens and Teresa de la Hera are involved, was one of the five projects selected to be pitched at the Research Showcase of the Control Conference 2015, Holland’s premier game development event, organised by game dev publication Control. The Research Showcase is a session that aims to facilitate collaboration between game researchers and the game industry and give visibility to game research studies out of the academic environment.


Furthermore, Teresa de la Hera was invited to talk at the conference about the challenges of finding a good balance between fun and efficiency in persuasive games. In a 30 minutes talk De la Hera went through 5 useful tips that were thought to help persuasive game designers to prevent common and easy avoidable mistakes by facilitating the integration of communication strategies within fun games.