Tinderbox PlayAway Games Festival: Game Studies in the Wild

7.Games Research with University of Glasgow Games & Gaming Lab copy (1)

Happy New Year, folx! While I’ve been busy with a range of projects behind the scenes, here’s some news I can finally reveal. Specifically, we’re talking about the Tinderbox PlayAway Games Festival — and where you can find me on 25th February.

You already may be familiar with the Tinderbox Collective and their work in opening up the creative arts to young people. This time they’re hosting a two week online festival over 22nd February to explore different aspects of Gaming, from music and education to design and technology. On Thursday 25th February, the University of Glasgow’s Games and Gaming Lab is hosting a special day on Games Research, not just showcasing the kind of research you can do in Gaming, but where that research can take you. That’s where I come in.

I’m running a panel called Game Studies In The Wild: Practical Applications of Games Research, where I’ll be speaking to Games Researchers working outside of the industry, including The Kilted Otter Initiative‘s work with Celtic Language and promoting indigenous culture, Digital Fantastic‘s explorations of emotional well-being in games (recently highlighted on The Scottish Games Network), and how games research can help improve online event management. Click here to pick up your pay-what-you-can ticket!

This is a panel I was keen to get on the programme, and while some might see the spectre of the Big Bad Gamegater behind this one, my intentions are a lot less kneejerk than they might appear to be. Over the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet and even work with some of the most wonderfully creative people in Games and Games research. Some of them are fans who show their love in other media; some of them use games technology to create amazing music; some of them work directly with the power of games to create empathy with those in need of urgent help or uplifting in our worldwide community. While astonishing things grow come from the tiniest acorns of projects within the Games Industry, there are also lots of projects rooted there that blossom in other areas – including the arts, language learning, emotional literacy and mental health, live event management, and more.

In short, I wanted to show how Games Research can go beyond the Games Industry. That this work can provide the tools, the spark for projects that light the dark corners of a thousand different parts of our world. To this end, I’m delighted to be talking to a range of creative researchers whose work in different aspects of gaming is helping in different parts of our lives. We’ve got Charly Harbord from The Kilted Otter Initiative, talking about promoting indigenous cultures and language through games; Gabriel Elvery from the Digital Fantastic blog, talking about Games, emotion, and (para)sociality; and last but not least, Arthur Ehlinger joins us to talk about his work into live event management and stream chat.

This is going to be a fascinating exploration of where games can take you, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Game Studies In The Wild: Practical Applications of Games Research kicks off on Thursday 25th February at 1:30pm. Click here to pick up your pay-what-you-can ticket!

~ Ruth EJ Booth