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Kick-off meeting of the focus area Game Research of Utrecht University

On Monday 30 of June took place the kick-off meeting of the interdisciplinary and interfacultary focus area Game Research of Utrecht University, in which GAP is involved. 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. During the kick-off meeting we informed about the plans of the focus area Game Research of Utrecht University, and we presented examples of game related activities at UU.

You can find more information about the Focus Area Game Research of Utrecht University and its activities at: www.u-gate.nl.

European Summerschool in Game Research

Together with our partner universities, we have received funding of 60,000 euro for an ERASMUS Intensive Programme ‘Identity and Interdisciplinarity in Games and Play Research’. Together with four other Dutch en thirteen foreign universities we will organize a short programme of study in the form of aSummer School in games and play research, in 2014 in Utrecht (16-31 August).

The main objective of the Summer School is to strengthen the European excellence in games and play research by providing a two-week intensive course and workshop in this interdisciplinary field. It aims to teach excellent PhD and MA/MSc students the state-of-the art theories and methods of game and play research. The current situation is such that students who are interested in the study of games and play have limited opportunities to broaden their horizon internationally, let alone to study this subject interdisciplinary. The goal is to fill this hiatus by offering an innovative interdisciplinary platform for learning about games and play that doesn’t yet exist anywhere in Europe or beyond.
More information about the Summer School can be found here.
About ERASMUS Intensive programmes:

An Intensive Programme (IP) is a short programme of study which brings together students and teaching staff from higher education institutions of at least three participating countries. It can last from 10 continuous full days to 6 weeks of subject related work.

The Citizen Scientist on the Move: Digital Play, Politics and Epistemology Conference

In June 2012 the GAP organized The Citizen Scientist on the Move: Digital Play, Politics and Epistemology! conference. The conference was a two day invitation-only academic conference at Utrecht University and an open workshop day at Waag’s Theatrum Anatomicum in Amsterdam. The conference was the result of our GATE-funded Knowledge Transfer Project in cooperation with 7scenes and Waag Society.

About the conference:

With the advent of digital and mobile technologies scientific knowledge production has changed profoundly. As interactive, affordable, networked and ubiquitous technologies they invite people to engage with, alter and probe scientific ‘facts’. Play is essential to think about this new kind of engagement with science. It offers citizens powerful ways to become involved with and knowledgeable about scientific practices and offers subversive and exciting possibilities to actively contribute to and transform them. During this conference looked at citizen science developments through the lens of play. We explored how the playful potential of digital media and cultures strengthen citizen’s scientific engagement and knowledge about their environment; and how the relationship between professional and laymen knowledge production is shifting through the ludic use of digital technologies. 

For more information, please visit the conference website.

Videogame Music Symposium

On September 13 2011, Utrecht University hosted the Videgame Music Symposium aimed at new media, game studies & musicology students and researchers as well as videogame designers and composers. From the symposium website:

With internationally renowned speakers from the fields of game studies and game music research, game designers and students, this one-day symposium at Utrecht University seeks to outline an agenda for videogame music research. The symposium investigates music’s contribution to three important domains of videogaming: Play, Fans, and Space. In addition, a game music workshop enables researchers, students, designers and gamers to join forces in the development and study of videogame music.

Level 5: Mob Fest – Mobile Gaming Festival @ Mediamatic

 

Mediamatic hosted in March 2011 a three day festival about mobile gaming at the Mediamatic Bank (Vijzelstraat 69, Amsterdam), which was the closing event of their impressive Arcade exhibition. Day one and two were hosted by GAP member Michiel de Lange.
From the Mediamatic site:
March 23rd: Thinking Mobile

How can mobile games excel beyond the level of ‘play once and never use again’? In other words: what makes a good mobile game? Speakers: Kars Alfrink of Hubbub, Richard Birkin (UK) of Mudlark, and NIMk artist in residence Duncan Speakman (UK).

March 24th: Doing Mobile

Games are an easy way of addressing complex issues and igniting people to get involved. How can mobile games contribute to a better future? What good can a mobile game do? Speakers: Louise Down (UK) of Tate Modern, Karel Millenaar of FourceLabs and Emer Beamer of Butterfly Works.

March 25th: Ignite Amsterdam 7

Ignite is a fast-paced and merciless evening, full of fresh ideas and clever insights. Speakers get five minutes to present an idea or project. They make use of twenty slides that auto-advance every fifteen seconds. The seventh edition was all about mobile games. Speakers: 15 game developers, journalists, artists and programmers.

Expert Meetings: The Future of Serious Gaming

In March 2011 the STT Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends organized two expert meetings with The Future of Serious Games as main topic. Below is one of the presentations by GAP research member Michiel de Lange, which deals with mobile media technology, urban life and playful identities.

The Expert Meetings: The Future of Serious Games is a joined initiative by STT Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends and GATE Game Research for Training and Education (the latter of which GAP was also involved in).

Level Up, inaugural conference of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA)

Gamefest

In November 2003 the GAP organized Level Up, the inaugural conference of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) in cooperation with DiGRA and leading academic and industry partners.
Computer games have become one of the main parts of the entertainment industry and an important element in our daily life. They also challenge the academic community with opportunities in a rapidly developing field of enquiry.
Approaching computer games as an autonomous field of academic research, the presentations of the conference studied computer, console, mobile and online games from the points of view of game design and reception, from social and cultural perspectives and paid special attention to computer game methodologies. You can find the conference proceedings HERE. You can also enjoy some pictures below via Jason Della Rocca.