Season’s Greetings 2019

Season’s Greetings 2019 and Happy New Year 2020

On behalf of the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, we want to wish everyone happy holidays and New Year!

This has been the second full year of operation for the Centre. This year, we have both continued our existing research tracks, opened some new ones, and particularly put emphasis on international collaboration and visits. We want to thank all our international visitors and research partners!

There has been c. 40 researchers and experts working with the CoE GameCult this year (you can have a look at the Researchers page on our website: This team has been highly productive, and the total count of published outputs is already well above one hundred. This includes peer-reviewed scientific articles in key journals, book chapters in important volumes, and conference proceedings papers – as well as entire books, edited special issues, publications written for professional audiences and the general public, and various online publications and audiovisual materials. Our experts have also extended their work into other areas, including experimental game design (e.g. by Sabine Harrer & co, “Schrödinger’s Livingroom”), organisation of game jams (particularly by CoE-affiliated “Growing Mind” project) and special exhibitions reaching wider audiences in the Finnish Museum of Games (e.g. curation of a location-based games exhibition by Dale Leorke).

The research approach in the Centre is organised around the ‘circuits of culture’ model, with four main Themes: 1) Meaning and Form of Games, 2) Creation and Production of Games, 3) Players and Player Communities, and 4) Societal Framing of Games. The more detailed research topics are numerous, having so far covered at least (but not limited to): location-based gaming, eSports, gamification, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, video game development & business, ethics, player experiences, gaming memories, board games & social games (drinking games), heuristic methods, learning & games, role-play, communication in play, money, games and playing, queer players, player profiles, games and fandom, history of Finnish gaming, norms and transgressions, transmedia and games, game journalism, game jams, activism, game music, ontology of games and play, agency of game play & game cultures, games and cultural, social, economic capital.

If we’ll only highlight examples from the book and edited volumes publications category, the CoE publications include already the following: Ashley Brown & Jaakko Stenros (eds.), Games and Culture, Special Issue: Adult Play (2018); Dale Leorke, Location-Based Gaming: Play in Public Space (2018); Jaakko Stenros, & Jukka Särkijärvi (eds.), Seikkailuja ja sankareita: Katsauksia suomalaisen roolipelaamisen historiaan ja nykyhetkeen (2018); Sarah Lynne Bowman & Evan Torner (eds.) International Journal of Role-Playing, Special Issue 8 (“Role-Playing and Simulation in Education 2018”) and Special Issue 9 (“Living Games Conference Proceedings 2018”); Raine Koskimaa & K. Olkusz (eds.) International Journal of Transmedia Literacy, Special Issue: Expanding Universes. Exploring Games and Transmedial Ways of World-building (2018); Raine Koskimaa & al. (Eds.) Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja 2018; Johanna Koljonen & al. (eds.) Larp Design: Creating role-play experiences (2019); Veli-Matti Karhulahti, Laura Saarenmaa, & Ashley Brown (Eds.) WiderScreen, Special Issue: Sexuality and Play (2019); Jonne Arjoranta & al. (Eds.) Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja 2019.

On top of the impact through academically published research, the researchers of the CoE GameCult, together with many collaborators, have organised numerous events, targeting both many different academic communities, professional and indie communities, and general public alike. Such include the international game studies Spring Seminars in Tampere (annually: most recent ones: Making Games 2018; Urban Play 2019, and the forthcoming Immersive Experiences 2020) GamiFIN: leading annual conference, organised by the Gamification Group (see: We continue to be very busy with the organisation of DiGRA 2020 ( the world conference of game studies that will be coming to Tampere & Finland in June 2020. Previously, our research teams have been strongly present e.g. in: DiGRA Nordic 2018; DiGRA 2019 Kyoto; and the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). We have also taken part in organising e.g. MindTrek conference series, and our experts have been presenting in leading industry events (e.g. Harrer in GDC’19). We have produced and published as open access data for public discussion: e.g. the Finnish Player Barometer studies series of reports (Pelaajabarometri).

There has been many other CoE GameCult events and collaborations as well, including the 1st Collaborative Game Histories seminar, Celebrities of Gaming 2019, Complicating Play 2019, Pelikenttänä kaupunki seminar 2019, Ropecon 2019 academic seminar, Pelitutkimuksen päivä (& pelialan opinnäytekilpailu; the annual Finnish game studies event and student awards), and Jamology 2019.

We have also organised a public series of OASIS Talks in Tampere, put all those videos out as live streamed videos, and also created a video archive on the CoE website and on YouTube (see: ). Our aim is to be as open and inclusive in our approach and operations as possible, also in the future.

After a very busy year it is good to slow down for a while, relax and spend some time possibly e.g. playing games together with the family and the loved ones.

We wish for a peaceful and relaxing vacation time
and a good start for the New Year 2020!