Logo Utrecht University

Digital Humanities Lab


21 June 2016

4th Colloquium ‘Encounters between Humanities and Computing’ at UU

On Tuesday June 21st the fourth colloquium of the series ‘Encounters between Humanities and Computing’ will be held. The four PhD students of the Game Research Graduate Program at Utrecht University will present their research topics. Through this they will demonstrate the different forms that interdisciplinary research can take on in the context of games.

The contributing speakers are:

Marries van de Hoef – Game appeal: the variety of reasons why games are appealing
Why exactly are games appealing? Much research has already been done to map these reasons, however there are many large unresolved discrepancies between the theories. Interaction between the existing research is troubled by the differing perspectives on the subject (perspectives focus on e.g., motivation types, fun types, or gamer types) and the variety of disciplines involved. Using a humanities informed approach similar to discourse analysis, the project first identifies and investigates the various perspectives in the existing research on the question why games are appealing. Subsequently the existing multidisciplinary research is synthesized into an overview framework. Finally, the understanding of appealing factors in games is applied in human-computer interaction research.

Stephanie de Smale – Patterns in Conflict: Mapping Assemblages of Contemporary Conflict in Digital War Games
This research project maps the circulation of liberal war and peace frames within and through contemporary digital war games. This interdisciplinary computer science/humanities project is positioned in between software studies, conflict studies, and game studies. Its main aim is to analyse the material-semiotic network of relations in the production and circulation of dominant war frames and how they contribute to the political legitimation of contemporary conflict.

Nina Rosa – The Perceptual Link Between Player and Avatar in Augmented Reality Games
Augmented reality allows us to place ourselves in the game world, which is at the same time the real world we know: we can see, hear and feel both the real and the virtual. At the same time we have an abundance of game information that we can perceive through whichever of these sensory channels we want. When such sensory substitution methods are applied in the real world, the experience of the body can start to tend towards a “tool” rather than a “self”. However, when playing a game there are two bodies: the player’s and the avatar’s. What does this mean for the relationship between the two? The focus of my research is to undestand the influence of different perceptual configuratios on this relationship, and through this provide game design guidelines regarding multimodal AR games.

Sjors Martens – Games, Play, and the City: Fitting Game Design to Smart City Issues
Urban games are believed to facilitate the resolvement of issues that plague the city. Sometimes the act of playing is enough to instigate alternative engagement with an issue, such as role playing games that let various stakeholders explore different positions. At other times playing the game must instill a lasting change in behaviour. The form of play must be attuned to the particular issue pursued. I approach the fit between city issues and digital games by scrutinising the technological and appropriative agency of games.

The colloquium will be held on Tuesday June 21st, 2016 at 15.15 in Drift 23, room 103. There will be plenty of time for discussions in between and after the presentations.