UEA Games Culture Day

Introducing Game Studies: A Programme of Talks from UEA

Thursday 31st March

This day of short talks from researchers at the University of East Anglia aims to introduce various topics of interest within game studies. UEA was at the forefront of recognising film as a valid object of study, and now we seek the same recognition for games.

The talks are free and are designed to be accessible, which makes them perfect for scholars, gamers, designers and the curious public. So come along and find out about a new perspective on the videogames you know and love.

Book your space!

Exploring Narrative Architecture in Bloodborne

10am - Dean Bowman

Narrative has become an important part of videogames, but it hasn’t always had a comfortable relationship with them. Many have noted a tension with a game’s story and mechanical elements or condemned games for being too reliant on cinematic techniques.

Using the game Bloodborne as an example we will explore the ways in which narrative can be built into a videogame, drawing on Henry Jenkins’ categories of evoked, embedded, enacted and emergent narratives.

Preserving Videogames in the Age of Remasters

11am - Dr Paul Gooding

Despite their cultural importance, videogames are almost entirely absent from the collections of major libraries and museums, and the history of gaming is being lost as a result. But the idea of games as an authentic archival object is complicated by digital delivery, post- release patches, and the trend for remastered versions of classic games.

How can we preserve videogames when the way we experience them is in a state of flux?

How Minecraft Shows Us Games Are Important

1pm - Dr Tom Phillips

What value do games have to everyday life? Can they tell us something about culture, politics, or the economy? Focusing on Minecraft, this talk will look at how one game can be used to start making sense of the world in which we live.

From the billion-dollar purchase of Mojang, to the display of Minecraft-inspired art in art galleries, this talk will examine the way the game has crept into our culture, and how the Minecraft phenomenon demonstrates the importance of games to everyday life.

Gender in Games,
Gendering Games

2pm - Tarnia Mears

Considering that many see videogames as a form of escapism, why is it so hard for the medium – which escapes to other worlds, other times, other realities – to escape the gender binary? Anything is possible within a videogame, so why are many still engrossed with a pink-or-blue approach to gender?

This talk will analyse gender in videogames and consider how a more open-minded approach to the topic could affect the medium.

Feeling Games
SOMA and the Body

3pm - Merlin Seller

What does it mean to see or touch a virtual world? How can games be powerfully affective? Like other art forms, games can give us intense perceptual and emotional experiences, from euphoria to dysphoria, terror as well as empathy.

Focusing on Frictional Games’ SOMA, and utilising phenomenology and visual cultural studies, this talk will explore how visuals and interface can express profound and surprising thoughts and sensations.