Centre for Games and Play (ARCHIVED VERSION)


20 - 24 August 2018
Drift 25, room 0.02

2018 Summer School: Multidisciplinary Game Research – Between Theory and Practice

Utrecht University (Drift 25, 3512 BR Utrecht, The Netherlands),

20-24th August, 2018 (Start: Monday 20th August, 9am | End: Friday 24th August, 5pm).


This summer course provides a multidisciplinary perspective on games and play in contemporary culture, combining current research trajectories in game analysis and design with insights into the socially transformative potential of applied games in particular. The program comprises workshops by senior researchers from the Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play (Utrecht University/UU), the departments for Media and Culture Studies and Information and Computing Sciences (UU), the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development (UU), and the Professorship for Interactive Digital Narrative (University of Arts Utrecht/HKU). All workshops will combine lecture segments and critical discussions with hands-on experimental applications and group exercises.


Games play an increasingly important role in areas like education, healthcare, safety, urban planning, sustainability, the creative industries, entertainment and other cultural, technological as well as socio-economic sectors. To address this complexity, the summer school is divided into two interrelated tracks, which combine perspectives on games from the humanities, the computer sciences and the social sciences. The first track covers state-of-the art approaches in Game Analysis and Design. Apart from formally investigating the design and rhetoric of individual games, this track also includes practice-based approaches such as experimental game-making and Let’s Play videos to capture the impact that games have on the players. Participants will create and modify their own design experiments, combining audio-visual design, writing and gameplay to explore how games can craft stories and convey persuasive messages. The second track focuses on Applied Games, specifically with regard to education, health and social change. These workshops will discuss and illustrate using case studies how games are used in formal learning and professional training contexts, how they can raise awareness of important social issues such as climate change and political radicalization, as well as how they can stimulate physical and mental health, especially if played with the body rather than a controller. Participants will learn to use and evaluate applied games, using sample applications developed at Utrecht University as case studies.

Target Audience

The summer school is aimed at students (from ambitious BA and MA/MSc students to PhD candidates) and industry professionals, who are interested in the analysis, design and social benefits of (computer) games and play in contemporary society. It offers students an innovative platform, combining theoretical and practical approaches to develop a multidisciplinary understanding of games as a software technology, a form of cultural expression, and a social phenomenon.

For a day2day program and/or to apply online visit the official Utrecht Summer School website here.