The National Open Science and Research Steering Group in Finland has awarded the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies with the Advancers of Open Science (Avoimuuden edistäjät) 2021 award. This prestigious honour is a recognition of the CoE’s merits in the strategic advancement of open science in their research work, and it was presented at the Open Science Autumn 2021 conference held on the 24th of November in Turku.

Two recent studies of Professor Frans Mäyrä, both published in the open access journal GAME, deal with a key research theme of CoE-GameCult – the cultural agency in games. The first article is titled “The Player as a Hybrid – Agency in Digital Game Cultures” and it outlines how the power relations informing the agency of players have evolved into increasingly complex and hybrid directions. The second article is titled “Game Culture Studies and the Politics of Scholarship: The Opposites and the Dialectic”. This study deals with the socio-cultural character and agency of game studies more generally, in an intellectual and disciplinary historical context, providing also a historical framing for the agenda behind the Centre of Excellence. Both articles have in common that they deal and emphasise the role of cultural and historical understanding, focusing on dialogue and interplay between elements that are often perceived as discrete or even oppositional.