At GAP we do not limit ourselves to games and their surrounding culture as such, but also want to view games and play from the larger viewpoint of cultural transformation. We are witnessing a “ludification of culture” in which our (social) identities have become progressively more playful. Games and playing increasingly saturate other cultural practices, both in terms of content and use. Playful and gaming perspectives can be found everywhere from traditional media like film and television to new media like mobile technologies and social network sites, as well as in the growing emphasis of learning through games. These cultural and medial changes form the focal points of our research.
We believe that such developments call for a re-evaluation of the manner in which we study media and culture. One approach we use for this purpose is the notion of play as a conceptual framework for the analysis of media use. The study of digital games and play therefore enables us to address fundamental changes in the way we create and use media. Through this website we want to share our research with the world.
GAP regularly organizes international events dedicated to sharing expertise about the study of computer games and other forms of digital play. An overview of upcoming and a selection of past events can be found on this website.
Focus Area Game Research
GAP participates in the interdisciplinary and interfacultary focus area Game Research of Utrecht University. Games play an increasingly important role in (arts) education, healthcare, safety, creative industries, and other economic, cultural, and societal sectors. It is a “game changing” phenomenon. The unique position of UU in gaming will be reinforced and used as a lever to expand scope, quality, volume, and impact of its research and education. All UU groups involved in game research contribute to this focus area, from disciplines such as computer science, humanities, social sciences. Together, these groups form the Utrecht Center for Game Research and Technology (U-GATE, www.u-gate.nl). The research and education in the center address aspects of game research, such as the design, development, and application of serious games and simulations.
Prof. dr. Joost Raessens
Dr. René Glas
Dr. Michiel de Lange
Dr. Teresa de la Hera
Drs. Alex Gekker