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June 30, 2013

Funding for European summer school 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 a Summer 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.

June 26, 2013

PhD Defense Teun Dubbelman: Narratives of Being There: Computer Games, Presence and Fictional Worlds

On July 9 2014, our colleague Teun Dubbelman will defend his PhD dissertation, entitled Narratives of Being There: Computer Games, Presence and Fictional Worlds. Feel free to attend the ceremony!

When: 9/7/2013 10.30
Where: Academiegebouw - Domplein 29, Utrecht

The full dissertation can be found HERE, but here's the abstract:
Narrative game designer, or simply narrative designer, is a role in contemporary computer game development. The narrative designer is responsible for designing the player’s experience of a game’s fictional world. This study delves into the practice of narrative design from the perspective of embodied presence. In comparison with books, movies and other media, the medium of computer games excels in offering the media user the feeling of being a physically present participant in the fictional world. When exploiting the merits of embodied presence, narrative designers are challenged to express fictional worlds without disrupting this feeling of “being-there”. Close-ups, flashbacks, ellipses and other narrative devices–common to other audio-visual media–cannot be employed to the same extent. This study reconceptualises and apposes the notions of presence and narrative by critically expanding on Presence Theory, phenomenological media theory and narratology. Drawing from insights and practices in game, film, performance, architecture and literature studies, the study subsequently proposes alternative narrative devices, more compatible with the interactive and spatial nature of computer games, enabling designers to express fictional worlds while maintaining the player’s feeling of embodied presence.