Monday, November 21, 2011

DiGRA 2011 paper online

The paper I presented at the Think Design Play: DiGRA 2011 Conference is now online in the DiGRA Digital Library.

The abstract and other info can be found here, while the full text is located HERE.

Make sure to also check out the papers written by my colleagues at Utrecht University (overview here)!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Book chapter out!

After a long wait, Online Gaming in Context, a fine collection of texts about online gaming published by Routledge, is finally out. Together with Torill Mortensen, Kristine Jørgensen and Luca Rossi I co-authored a chapter in there called “Framing the Game: Four Game-related Approaches to Goffman's Frames” (a title which I guess speaks for itself).

I haven’t held the book, which was edited by Gary Crawford, Victoria K. Gosling and Ben Light, in my hands yet, but it looks to be a highly interesting work which I would recommend to all interested in (the study of) online gaming. Here’s the book description – a full table of contents can be found on the Routledge site.

There is little question of the social, cultural and economic importance of video games in the world today, with gaming now rivalling the movie and music sectors as a major leisure industry and pastime. The significance of video games within our everyday lives has certainly been increased and shaped by new technologies and gaming patterns, including the rise of home-based games consoles, advances in mobile telephone technology, the rise in more 'sociable' forms of gaming, and of course the advent of the Internet.  
This book explores the opportunities, challenges and patterns of gameplay and sociality afforded by the Internet and online gaming. Bringing together a series of original essays from both leading and emerging academics in the field of game studies, many of which employ new empirical work and innovative theoretical approaches to gaming, this book considers key issues crucial to our understanding of online gaming and associated social relations, including: patterns of play, legal and copyright issues, player production, identity construction, gamer communities, communication, patterns of social exclusion and inclusion around religion, gender and disability, and future directions in online gaming. 

While the release of a paperback edition will apparently take some more months, the hardback can be bought through the usual channels like amazon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paper presentation on pervasive cheating.

I'll be presenting a paper called "Breaking Reality: Exploring Pervasive Cheating in Foursquare" at Think Design Play, the upcoming Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference. The Think Design Play program can be found here. For those interested, here's the abstract:

This paper explores the notion of cheating in location-based mobile applications. Using the popular smartphone app Foursquare as main case study, I address the question if and how devious practices impact the boundaries between play and reality as a negotiated space of interaction. After establishing Foursquare as a prime example of the gamification phenomenon and pervasive gaming, both of which require us to rethink notions of game and play, I will argue that cheating in location-based mobile applications challenges not just the boundaries of play, but also of playful identity.


Friday, June 10, 2011

WANTED: participants for Best Scene in Town @ PICNIC 2011


We (the New Media & Digital Culture MA) 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!

From bestsceneintown.com:

"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!

Please read the challenge page for more info on the how, what, and where of Best Scene in Town @ PICNIC 2011.

If you would like to participate, please let me know at r.glas @ uu.nl before june 17.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Debite - boxing ring debate

















I'll be fighting in a boxing ring on April 27th. Well, not really fighting, debating. 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 collegue 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.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mobile Learning research project announced

The GATE Knowledge Transfer Project: Mobile Learning has just been officially announced! In this research project, in which I participate, we aim to improve and evaluate the learning results of mobile applications and games by addressing particular ways of storytelling, spatiality and online collaboration amongst players through social media. The project involves Utrecht University/GAP as well as 7scenes, developer of a mobile storytelling platform for smartphones.

From the GAP website research project description:

To use mobile applications and games for learning purposes an appropriate use of design principles for story-telling, spatial indication and social networks is indispensable. To improve learning results, stories have to be aptly integrated in game-play, maps have to be properly incorporated in the game and must be open for development by players, and social networks have to facilitate a sharing of learning results and processes.

More info on the research project van be found here. For the Utrecht University press release (in Dutch) go here.

Below is a video demonstration of the 7scenes platform.


Gamesandplay.org launched










The website of the Center for the Study of Digital Play and Games (Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University), of which I am a staff researcher, is now live and can be found at gamesandplay.org. Have a look around!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Playing (with) Infographics

I will present at the upcoming Infographics conference (March 4, 2011, see HERE for more info). I will be talking about infographics in games, with a focus on different ways information about the state of a game (for example, a charactar's health) can be communicated to players through infographics within the game's fictional world.

Here's a nice video promotion of the conference:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My favorite films of 2010

I've done this before, so here's my list of favorite films of 2010. I could not force myself to make an actual top 10, so below you will find them listed alphabetically.
A few films nevertheless stuck out this year, primarily A Single Man and Un Prophète. I put Herzog’s mesmerizingly awkward My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done in there as well, a far better film than his ho-hum Bad Lieutenant “re-imagining”. Other films that did not receive theatrical releases but really should have are Refn’s raw Viking-film Valhalla Rising and Matsumoto’s wonderfully insane Shinboru. From the runners-up, The American, How to Train Your Dragon , Winnebago Man and Winter's Bone came closest to the top ten.

My Favorite Films of 2010 (alphabetically):

Inception (Christopher Nolan, USA/UK, 2010)
Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn, USA/UK, 2010)
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (Werner Herzog, USA/Germany, 2009)
Un Prophète (Jacques Audiard, France/Italy, 2009)
Shinboru (Symbol, Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan, 2009)
A Single Man (Tom Ford, USA, 2009)
The Social Network (David Fincher, USA, 2010)
Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, USA, 2010)
Valhalla Rising (Nicolas Winding Refn, Denmark/UK, 2009)
Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze, USA/Germany, 2009)

Runners-up:
The American, Catfish, Enter the Void, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Four Lions, Greenberg, How To Train Your Dragon, De Leugen, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, A Serious Man, Winnebago Man, Winter’s Bone.

Guilty Pleasures:
Jack-Ass 3D, New Kids Turbo, Piranha 3D, Universal Soldier: Resurrection.

Film I wish I’d seen but still haven’t:
R U There, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Hadewijch, L’Illusioniste, Summer Wars, Trash Humpers, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

Disclaimer: this list primarily consists of films released theatrically in the Netherlands or premiered on a Dutch film festival in 2010.