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February 28, 2011

Utrecht University opens Gamelab

We congratulate our colleagues in Game and Media Technology with the launch of their Gamelab, a joined venture of the Department of Computing Sciences, Utrecht University, and Microsoft Corporation.

From Microsoft's press release (in Dutch):

Op dinsdag 1 maart opent Universiteit Utrecht officieel het Gamelab: een plek waar nieuwe games met behulp van geavanceerde technologieën ontwikkeld worden. Dit initiatief werd mogelijk door de samenwerking van Microsoft met het departement Informatica van de Universiteit Utrecht.


In september startte Universiteit Utrecht met de nieuwe studierichting Gametechnologie, speciaal gericht op de technologische achtergronden van games. Om studenten en docenten optimaal te faciliteren werd de samenwerking gezocht met Microsoft, dat de nieuwste hard- en software beschikbaar stelt. “Zo openen we 1 maart het Gamelab, door studenten al snel omgedoopt tot Gamehol, een plek voor de ontwikkeling van nieuwe games en het experimenteren met nieuwe technologieën”, aldus Maarten-Jan Vermeulen, Academic Lead bij Microsoft.


Het Gamelab werd direct na de officieuze opening intensief gebruikt door de studenten om games te ontwikkelen voor de PC en Xbox 360. Adriaan Jansen, voorzitter van studenten game development club DGDARC is enthousiast: “Het Gamelab is een perfecte werkomgeving voor studenten die serieus aan de slag willen met game development."

February 24, 2011

Playing (with) Infographics

From the blog of René Glas:

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:

February 21, 2011

Ludotopia II, 24-25 February








Teun Dubbelman will present at the Ludotopia II Conference, The University of Salford, Greater Manchester. This conference on the spatial aspects of computer games is organised by Mathias Fuchs, Espen Aarseth and Stephan Guenzel.

From the conference website:
"LUDOTOPIA" is the key term and programmatic notion for spatial aspects of computergames. The questions we are interested in range from cartography in games, pervasiveness of game spaces, narrative and spatiality, theories of space as applicable to videogames, space as threat, and analyses of videogame space in terms of traditional conceptions of topology.
Scholars from Game Studies, Philosophy, Media Studies, Cultural Studies and related fields handed in proposals for the Ludotopia I held in Copenhagen in May 2010. Ludotopia II built upon the findings and emerging questions raised at Ludotopia I and tries to critically review and revise the body of research accumulated at an earlier stage.
More info...

February 13, 2011

Bastard Culture! now available.

From the blog of Mirko Tobias Schäfer:

"Profound and meticulously researched work, which has expanded my worldview."
Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs. The Next Social Revolution
"Invited or not, the brilliant and not-so-brilliant members of our digital culture are actively participating. We're not just using but changing, repurposing, and re-inventing the technologies set before us. Bastard or not, the reality we are creating together is an odd and often unconscious collaboration between people, corporations, and technology itself. Schaefer has patiently, deliberately, and quite engagingly exposed this hidden landscape of cultural production, and shown us what we might do to direct it toward positive, even evolutionary ends."
Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed. Ten Commands for a Digital Age
From the back-cover:
New online technologies have brought with them a great promise of freedom. The computer and particularly the Internet have been represented as enabling technologies, turning consumers into users and users into producers. Furthermore, lay people and amateurs have been enthusiastically greeted as heroes of the digital era. This thoughtful study casts a fresh light on the shaping of user participation in the context of, among others, popular discourse in and around new media.
Schäfer’s research into hacking, fan communities and Web 2.0 applications demonstrates how the dynamic of innovation, control and interaction have shifted the boundaries of the traditional culture industry into the user domain. The media industry undergoes a shift from creating content to providing platforms for user driven social interactions and user‐generated content. In this extended culture industry, participation unfolds not only in the co‐creation of media content and software‐based products, but also in the development and defense of distinctive media practices.
Order the book at AUP
Download the pdf version.