AG Game Studies
About AG Game Studies
What is our purpose?
Game Studies are interested in the academic analysis and research of (video) games as formal systems, player interaction, and as both product and producer of cultures.
Video games are a mass media of extensive and intensive use (Klimmt 2009: 58), but also with a technological and interactive complexity which is centered around problem solving (Gee, Jenkins etc.). In spite of their rather novel emergence during the past decades, they are intrinsically connected to the origin of arts, literature, and the culture(s) of playing in general (see the seminal study Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga, 2004).
Todays cultures of games are expanding with the development of interactive technologies. Games are, for example, "invading" real life through the gamification of multiple domains of life (like economics and education). Furthermore, video games as a medium are ever expanding into new genres, like casual games, retro- or indie games, social impact games, etc. The academic study of games must consider and interpret these cultural and medial changes.
Who are we?
The AG Game Studies is a group of young researchers and students interested in tackling some of the complex issues surrounding video games. True to the nature of the study of video games, we offer an interdisciplinary approach, providing multiple and diverse perspectives (ranging from history to language didactics, literary and cultural studies, as well as media studies) on the study of video games.
What are we doing?
Specific Current Interest: Within the months to come, the AG Game Studies will engage a range of new and intriguing texts to enrich our theoretical background, for example on game aesthetics. Furthermore, the group aims at the conceptualization and organization of a scientific conference on (post-)apocalyptic story worlds and tropes in video games. These offer a rich supply of material to further probe the interfaces of inter- and transmedia issues, narratology, and video game aesthetics, thus inviting a wide range of critical attention.
Apart from that, the group has been focusing on questions concerning horror in video games for some time now. How can horror be experienced in video games? How do video games as narrative media differ from other media, such as literary texts? These issues center on questions regarding intermediality in the context of “game design” and “game play,” which the AG has been approaching from two angles: first, the group engaged with theoretical texts on the topic. Second, the group utilizes the software “Game Maker” in order to (re-)create some key scenes, plots, and settings from the fictions of H. P. Lovecraft. Through this mixture of theory and practice, we investigate how elements of Gothic horror, the Lovecraftian Cthulhu myth, as well as game design can fuse to make it possible to experience horror within the digital realm of video games.
Visit our Blog to learn more: https://gamestudiesgiessen.wordpress.com
Goals: Networking with external research partners to organize academic presentations and classes to bring in other views on our topic of interest.
- the study of theoretical texts
- bottom-up approach: "close readings" of games
- formal as well as informal presentations and discussions of projects and ideas
Who and what are we looking for
Our group is open to new members from all academic backgrounds and levels. We are also interested in networking with external researchers, working groups and game studies programs from other institutions.
- Cheong, Y.-G., Khaled, R., Grappiolo, C., Campos, J., Martinho, C., Ingram, G. P. D., Paiva, A. & Yannakakis, G. (2011): A computational approach towards conflict resolution for serious games. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games. Bordeaux, France: ACM.
- Harwood, Tracy (2012): Emergence of Gamified Commerce: Turning Virtual to Real. IGI Global.
- Huizinga, Johan (2004): Homo Ludens: Vom Ursprung der Kultur im Spiel, Reinbek: rororo.
- Juul, Jesper (2005): Half-Real. Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds, Cambridge, MIT Press.
- Klimmt, Christoph (2009): Die Nutzung von Computerspielen. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven. In: Thorsten Quandt, Jeffrey Wimmer, Jens Wollig (Hrsg.): Die Computerspieler. Studien zur Nutzung von Computergames. S. 57-72.
- Koubek, Jochen; Mosel, Michael; Werning, Stefan (2013): „Didaktische Überlegungen zur Gamifizierung von Lehrveranstaltungen“. In: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft, Familie und Jugend (Hrsg.): Game over. Was nun? Vom Nutzen und Nachteil des digitalen Spiels für das Leben. Konferenzband zur Konferenz „Future and Reality of Gaming 2012 (F.R.O.G.), Wien
- Salen, K., Torres, R., Wolozin, L., Rufo-Tepper, R. & Shapiro, A. (2011): Quest to Learn: Developing the School for Digital Kids, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.
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Join us on Mattermost!
On Tuesday, the 29th of April, Prof. Dr. Jochen Koubek from the Institute of Angewandte Medienwissenschaften (Digitale Medien) from the university of Bayreuth will give a presentation titled "Die Wissenschaft von Spiel. Computerspiele in Forschung und Lehre" (engl. The Study of Games: Video Games in Research and Teaching). Since video games become ever more prevalent and popular in every day life, the critical attention of academia must equally adapt to and focus on this development. Prof. Koubeks presentation aims at the raising of awareness among his audience for the cultural significances of video games.
Immediately following the presentation we have planed for a themed event, in the context of which we will focus on some of the aspects of gaming culture on the basis of examplary games. The goal of this subsequent event will be to introduce the audience to some of the raised topics by means of short presentations, as well as to illustrate and exemplify them. Furthermore, we want to provide the audience an opportunity to engage themselves with the medium and to get in touch with another interactively.