Centre of Excellence, Game Culture Studies: 2-4 postdoctoral researcher or university researcher (senior researcher) posts

The Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (CoE GameCult) has started in January 2018 its operation in the Academy of Finland’s Centres of Excellence (CoE 2018-2025) program.

There will be 2-4 researcher positions (postdoctoral researcher and university researcher) available in the CoE University of Tampere research team.

CoEs are the flagships of Finnish research, operating at the very cutting edge of science in their fields, seeking out new avenues for research, developing creative research environments and training new talented researchers. The CoE GameCult is joint centre established by the universities of Tampere, Jyväskylä and Turku, which have over 30 game researchers within their researcher communities. Bringing together three leading research teams, the CoE GameCult aims to integrate the multidisciplinary research carried out in game culture studies, and to develop original theoretical and empirical approaches that are crucial for understanding, anticipating and influencing the direction and impact games have on contemporary and future developments in culture and society.

Two overarching research questions will be examined in CoE GameCult are:
A) What are the key processes and characteristics of meaning making that are significant for understanding changing game cultures?
B) How is cultural agency being reshaped, redistributed and renegotiated in games and play, and in their associated societal contexts?

The interconnected dimensions of game cultures are addressed through four themes that organise the work carried out in the CoE: Theme 1: Meaning and Form of Games (coord. JYU, prof. Raine Koskimaa), Theme 2: Creation and Production of Games (coord. UTA, assoc.prof. Olli Sotamaa), Theme 3: Players and Player Communities (coord. UTA, prof. Frans Mäyrä), Theme 4: Societal Framing of Games (coord. UTU, prof. Jaakko Suominen).

A person appointed as a postdoctoral researcher must:

– hold an appropriate doctoral degree
– be able to pursue scientific research independently
– have the instructional skills needed in the post

A person apppointed as a university researcher (senior researcher) must:

– hold an appropriate doctoral degree and a track record of scientific research
– have the instructional skills needed in the post

Tasks, work descriptions

CoE GameCult will start its operation in the beginning of year 2018, and (subject to a successful mid-term evaluation) will continue up to the end of eight-year period, the end of year 2025. There are multiple positions that are opened for applications in the CoE. In this fall 2018 call 2-4 postdoctoral or senior researcher (‘university researcher’) positions are available in the University of Tampere Game Research Lab team.

Filling of researcher positions will be based on consideration of the overall skills profiles of CoE research teams, and the number and length of researcher service contracts will be subject for negotiation, typically initially planned for one to four years contracts.

The successful applicants will have both strong research profiles in games, player or game culture studies, well formulated individual research agendas, as well as evidence of capabilities for interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork.

The more specific skill profiles that CoE is particularly looking for are experts in:

1. game hermeneutics, and experts in game analysis method
2. game aesthetics, and player experience studies
3. game history, and specialists in the evolution of game genres and various game cultural forms
4. game development practices and experts in game design research
5. ludic work, focusing on the changing relations between play and work
6. gaming communities and various player subcultures and diverse player groups
7. player motivations and social play, or play in society
8. games as sites of identity politics and resistance
9. the institutionalization of (digital) game cultures, and public discourses on gaming
10. gamification in culture and society
11. statistical data analytics of games and play

Particular emphasis will be put on multidisciplinary skill profiles, and for candidates who show evidence or promise for bridge building between two or more, currently disconnected research fields related to games, play, game players, design and development of games and research of those societal and cultural contexts. Applicants are asked to specify in their application, which one, or which ones, of the above skill profiles they most closely identify with.

The minimum starting salary of a postdoctoral researcher will range between €3500 and €4500 and salary of an university researcher will range between €4000 and €5000 a month. Higher salaries maybe agreed dependent upon experience and/or performance.

These posts are subject to a six-month probationary period.

Applications should be written in English and submitted electronically via the University of Tampere’s electronic recruitment system by 15:00 pm. on 24 September 2018. (Link below)

The following documents should accompany your application:

– A CV (excluding publications, max 4 pages, recommended format: http://www.tenk.fi/en/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae).

– A list of publications compiled preferably according to the Academy of Finland guidelines (http://www.aka.fi/en/funding/how-to-apply/application-guidelines/guidelines-for-list-of-publications/guidelines-for-complete-list-of-publications/). Please indicate (by e.g. bold text) most important publications (max. 10).

– A letter of application (max 2 pages) in which you set out the reasons why you are applying for the post and why you are particularly suited to it.

– A research plan (max 3 pages), outlining your proposed research within the CoE research themes.

– The names, positions and contact details of two referees who can support your application

The CoE UTA team will hire at this point 2-4 researchers, to the levels of postdoctoral or senior research fellow (‘university researcher’), typically to periods ranging from one to four years (up to negotiation). The researchers will be placed in Tampere, and work closely with other CoE research teams at three participating universities, across institutional and disciplinary boundaries. The hired researchers would start their work in the CoE at the beginning of 2019, or as agreed.

Enquiries that concern these positions can be directed to the CoE director, prof. Frans Mäyrä (frans.mayra@uta.fi), and the University of Tampere team leader, prof. Olli Sotamaa (olli.sotamaa@uta.fi).

For queries related to the application process please contact Head of Admin, Kirsi Aalto, kirsi.m.aalto@uta.fi.

If deemed necessary, the University of Tampere reserves the right to leave the post unfilled and extend the application period.

Deadline for applications: 24 September 2018, at 15:00 hours (Finnish time).

Official job announcement:

Application submissions system:

Group photo from the get-together 20.8.2018

Centre of Excellence starts the fall with a get-together in Tampere

The Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies has started its operation in the beginning of the year, and after hiring several new researchers, the big consortium is now up to full speed.

In 20th August an important event took place, when almost 40 games researchers gathered at Tampere to discuss the goals of the Centre of Excellence and the plans for reaching those goals.

A few more researchers will still join us during the coming months, but its not a common sight to see tens of games researchers, all either employed or affiliated with one research initiative. International reinforcements have been hired to Jyväskylä, Tampere and Turku to strengthen their already strong focus on games research.

There are already plans going ahead, focusing on several specific topics within the CoE GameCult research temes, like studying Overwatch, eSports, live-action role-playing games, and fandoms around games, to name just a few examples of the research underway in the Centre of Excellence.

If you’re interested in what the Centre of Excellence is up to, you can follow us on Twitter, subscribe to this blog’s feed or come see us e.g. in Jyväskylä, in the Seminar on eSports, Exergaming, and Fantasy Leagues (in November 22nd–23rd, 2018).

Call for Papers: GamiFIN 2019

Levi scenaryWelcome to the 3rd Annual International GamiFIN conference, April 8-10, 2019, Levi, Finland!

GamiFIN is a leading international conference for gamification research. GamiFIN is chaired by the professor of Gamification, Juho Hamari and gamification scholar Jonna Koivisto. The conference is organized by the Gamification Group and past keynotes have included notable scholars from the field of Gamification such as Sebastian Deterding, Richard Landers and T.L. Taylor.

GamiFIN 2019 conference welcomes 1) paper submissions, 2) posters, and 3) doctoral consortium applications from a wide array of topics around e.g. gamification, serious games, VR/AR/MR, eSports, streaming, free-to-play.

The GamiFIN conference will offer an entry to the Gamification Publication Track that can help authors develop their papers from the first manuscript version to the final journal paper and thus aim to increase the predictability and rigorousness of the publication process. Papers accepted to the GamiFIN 2019 conference will be welcomed to a fast/light-track in the HICSS 2020 conference and to a journal special issue in Internet Research (revealed in more detail soon).

For more information please see: http://gamifinconference.com/

DiGRA 2018

photo of DiGRA 2018 venue: Campus Luigi Einaudi – CLE; Università di Torino, Turin, Italy

DiGRA 2018 venue: Campus Luigi Einaudi – CLE; Università di Torino, Turin, Italy

The CoE-GameCult was strongly present in the Digital Games Research Association’s (DiGRA) 2018 conference, which took place in Turin, Italy, in 25-28 August, 2018.

There were over ten CoE-GameCult researchers talking and presenting their work in the conference, including Frans Mäyrä, Olli Sotamaa, Jaakko Suominen, Aleena Chia, Jan Svelch, Katriina Heljakka, Heikki Tyni, Niklas Nylund, Maria Ruotsalainen, Maria B. Garda, Jonne Arjoranta, and Jaakko Stenros.

Here is link to the conference program: https://easychair.org/smart-program/DIGRA2018/.

ICory Project Kick-Off at the New Children’s Hospital

The new ICory (Intelligent Customer-driven Solution for Orthopedic and Pediatric Surgery Care) research project’s kick-off meeting was held on 28th May in Helsinki. As a new, CoE-GameCult affiliated project, ICory is about digitization and gamification of patient journey for orthopedic and pediatric surgery. The Game Research Lab of University of Tampere is part of the research consortium and will focus on the gamification aspect.

During the kick-off meeting we had the opportunity to visit the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki. Here is a picture from the main entrance lobby.



Annual conference: Pelitutkimuksen päivä 2018

The CoE GameCult researchers were active in organising the Pelitutkimuksen päivä 2018 – the annual conference of games research in Finland. Professor Raine Koskimaa chaired the event in University of Jyväskylä in 4th May 2018, and the special theme of the event was focused on eSports. The annual thesis awards were delivered there, and the day started with the Spring meeting of the Finnish Society for Game Research (Suomen pelitutkimuksen seura).

The full program is here (in Finnish): https://www.jyu.fi/hytk/fi/laitokset/mutku/tutkimus/konferenssit-seminaarit/pelitutkimuksen-paiva-2018.
Below are some photos from the event:


Pelitutkimus Suomessa 2018 -luentosarja

Studia Generalia Ludica 2

Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies arranges a public lecture series titled Game Studies in Finland 2018. Lectures will be streamed online and videos will be published later on. All lectures are given in Finnish.

Kaikki luentosarjan luennot ovat katsottavissa luentosarjan YouTube-kanavalta.

Miten pelejä tehdään? Mitä pelit merkitsevät? Miten sukupuoli näkyy peleissä ja pelaamisessa? Pelitutkijat avaavat pelien salat kattavassa studia generalia -luentosarjassa, joka on tarkoitettu koko kansalle. Pelitutkimus Suomessa 2018 -luentosarja on osa Suomen Akatemian rahoittaman huippuyksikön ensimmäistä toimintavuotta.  Continue reading

Call for Applications: Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies

Background, enquiries

The Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (CoE GameCult) is starting in January 2018 in the Academy of Finland’s Centres of Excellence (CoE) program. The CoE will hire initially 6-8 researchers.

CoEs are the flagships of Finnish research, operating at the very cutting edge of science in their fields, seeking out new avenues for research, developing creative research environments and training new talented researchers. The CoE GameCult is joint centre established by the universities of Tampere, Jyväskylä and Turku, which have over 30 game researchers within their researcher communities. Continue reading