We are proud to present the latest issue New Media Studies Magazine, a magazine created by students of our MA programma New Media & Digital Culture. This issue focuses entirely on the theme The Age of Play.
Graduate Program Game Research at Utrecht University
Within this graduate program Game Research, excellent student can be offered a PhD position on a research project written by themselves. There is room for four such PhD positions funded by the NWO Graduate Program, two starting September 2015, two starting in September 2016.
Teun Dubbelman MA, PhD candidate at the Research Institute for History and Culture (OGC), has received the prestigious Fulbright scholarship for PhD fellows. He will spend three months at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop design guidelines for story-based computer games. Dutch designers of gaming companies have expressed a need for just that kind of knowledge.
Dubbelman’s PhD research is part of the national GATE-project (Game Research for Training and Entertainment), funded by the government to support the growing Dutch game industry. MIT has the right expertise to translate theoretical concepts into the practice of game design. With his research scholarship, Dubbelman hopes to build a bridge between scientific research and the practice of game development.
The recent issue of the magazine published by De Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch central bank) focuses on the Dutch game industry. It shows how the 160 companies working on games in the Netherlands right now already have a healthy 150 milj. euro turnover. According to the article however, the industry needs to get more ambitious and competitive in order to grow. Working together as a sector through initiatives like the Dutch Game Garden, and using the knowledge from research projects like GATE, should push the Dutch game industry in the right direction.
Starting in college year 2011-2012, we will be offering a full-fledged Minor in Game Studies. In this minor program, students will follow three compulsory courses, and a choice of one out of two noncompulsory courses, all of which can be found among the courses listed at our courses overview. Students who participate in this minor will meet the requirements to qualify for admission in the New Media & Digital Culture MA program.
The Minor in Game Studies is meant for students with a broad interest in play and games, with an emphasis on computer games. As such, the minor provides ample opportunity to investigate play and games from various perspectives, including art history, communication studies, literature studies and (new) media studies. The minor program offers an overview of different ways to study games as objects, but also games and play as cultural phenomena which have become an important part of popular culture.
The New Media & Digital Culture MA in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play are looking for enthusiastic Utrecht University students who are willing to represent the university in this year´s Best Scene in Town mobile design challenge @ PICNIC 2011
“Best Scene in Town’ is a mobile design challenge that explores how we can interact with the city through our mobile phones. In ‘Best Scene in Town’ student teams enter a series of hands-on creative sessions to design, develop and ultimately pilot their mobile concepts for a live audience with the 7scenes platform.”
Mixed student teams from China, U.S.A and The Netherlands explore the rules of how we can interact with locations and people using mobile phones. You do not have to have any technical knowledge to participate. Out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration skills is all that is required!
If you would like to participate, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org before june 17
Digital media platform SETUP is hosting a new edition of their Debite boxing ring debate evenings on games and game culture (a partnerprogram of the yearly industry event Festival of Games which takes place April 28 & 29).
I’ll be debating with (or against) Dylan Nagel, co-founder of Paladin Studios, on ethical issues in and around social network site games. Other debaters will are David Nieborg, Festival of Games’ Seth van der Meer and Control publisher Matthijs Dierckx. Keep an eye on Debite’s Facebook page to hear what their debate topics will be. You can also register for the event there.
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.
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and ICT Regie have awarded a subsidy to the Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play (GAP) for the research project Mobile Learning. The goal of this project is to improve and evaluate the learning results of mobile applications and games that are developed by 7scenes, such as the Games Atelier. The project runs from 2010 till 2012 and involves Utrecht University/GAP, 7scenes and Waag Society’s Creative Learning Lab as main partners.
More info about the Mobile Learning research project can be found here.
The Utrecht-based foundation Dutch Game Garden has received 4 million Euro from the European Union and local, regional and national governments in the Netherlands.
From press release:
The contribution ensures Dutch Game Garden is able to continue its mission for the coming five years: to establish a better climate for new companies, create more job opportunities and more possibilities for innovation in the Dutch game industry. The more full-fledged companies and start-ups Dutch Game Garden is able to attract, the more companies may profit from a spirit of collaboration, resulting in strong economical impulses.
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.