Researchers

Frans Mäyrä

Frans Mäyrä

Professor, Director
frans.mayra@tuni.fi
telephone +358 50 336 7650
Frans Mäyrä is Professorial Fellow at IASR, and Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, with specialization in digital culture and game studies in the University of Tampere, Finland. Dr Mäyrä is the founder of the University of Tampere Game Research Lab, having taught digital culture and games since early 1990s. He is widely consulted as an expert in socio-cultural issues relating to games, play and playfulness. His research interests range from game cultures, meaning making through playful interaction and online social play, to borderlines, identity, as well as transmedial fantasy and science fiction. He is the leader for Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, Ludification of Culture and Society and over 40 other games research projects.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6283-417X
Website: www.unet.fi
Blog: www.fransmayra.fi

Raine Koskimaa

Raine Koskimaa

Professor, Vice Director

raine.koskimaa@jyu.fi
telephone +358 40 840 5968
Raine Koskimaa, PhD, is a Professor of Contemporary Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä. He conducts research in the fields of game studies, digital literature, transmedia storytelling and digital culture. Koskimaa has published widely, especially on digital culture and digital literature, and his writings have been translated to several languages. He is a long time member of the ELO Literary Advisory Board and the Board of Reviewers for Game Studies. His current research interests are eSports, games and transmedia, and time and temporality in digital fiction.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1492-4074

Olli Sotamaa

Olli Sotamaa

Professor

olli.sotamaa@tuni.fi
telephone +358 50 420 1472
PhD, Docent, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Game Research Lab, University of Tampere.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2169-8685

Jaakko Suominen

Jaakko Suominen

Professor

jaakko.suominen@utu.fi
Telephone +358 50 328 9586
Jaakko Suominen received his PhD in cultural history and is a professor of Digital Culture at University of Turku, Finland. With a focus on cultural history of media and information technologies, he has studied computers and popular media, Internet, social media, digital games, and theoretical and methodological aspects of the study of digital culture. He has lead several multidisciplinary research projects and has over 100 scholarly publications.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1352-7699

Juho Hamari

Juho Hamari

Professor

juho.hamari@tuni.fi
Dr. Juho Hamari is a Professor of Gamification (Associate & tenure-track) and leads the Gamification Group that has spread itself to three universities in Finland: Tampere University of Technology, University of Turku and University of Tampere. Prior to current engagements, Dr. Hamari has been a researcher at Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT as well as a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley School of Information (2015-2016).

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6573-588X

Jaakko Peltonen

Jaakko Peltonen

Professor

jaakko.peltonen@tuni.fi
I am a professor of statistics and data analysis, and lead the Statistical Machine Learning and Exploratory Data Analysis (SMiLE) research group at University of Tampere. My research interests include helping human analysts explore complicated data sets by creating methods of exploratory data analysis, methods of visualizing data, and many types of methods for modeling data including modeling social media data and methods that learn from multiple different data sources together. Game culture data offers a rich variety of high-dimensional data to explore from surveys to gameplay recordings to online articles and social media discussion, and my aim is to work together with CoE researchers to explore such data.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3485-8585

Usva Friman

Usva Friman

Main Research Coordinator

usva.friman@tuni.fi
Usva Friman is CoE GameCult’s Main Research Coordinator and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Tampere University. Friman’s research is focused on themes of equity, cultural participation, and cultural agency in digital gaming and esports, particularly from the perspective of women players.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1537-5297
Website: http://usvafriman.net

Maria Ruotsalainen

Maria Ruotsalainen

Coordinator

maria.a.t.ruotsalainen@jyu.fi
MA Maria Ruotsalainen is a Doctoral Candidate in Digital Culture at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her doctoral thesis focuses on the representations gender and nationality in Overwatch esports. She is furthermore interested in questions of equity and equality in esports and esports fandom. She is a board member of the Finnish Game Research Society.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5727-5820

Lilli Sihvonen

Lilli Sihvonen

Coordinator

lilli.sihvonen@utu.fi
Lilli Sihvonen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Turku. Her research focuses on enduring product relationships and the cultural neo-production process of products, in which the same product circles around the markets. She studies the board game Kimble in her dissertation. Her other areas of interest include planned obsolescence and revivification and media archaeology of online forums.

ORCID:

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5293-6693

Elisa Wiik

Elisa Wiik

Coordinator

elisa.wiik@tuni.fi
Elisa Wiik is a doctoral researcher who is researching Finnish lapsed playes for her PhD in Tampere University. She is also one of the coordinators of Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies and her other research interests include transmedia and science fiction.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2434-4935

Thomas Apperley

Thomas Apperley

Senior Research Fellow

thomas.apperley@tuni.fi
Tom Apperley, is a Senior Research Fellow (Yliopistotutkija) at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies. He conducts research on digital games and playful technologies with an emphasis on their impact and influence on culture, particularly areas such as social policy, pedagogy and social inclusion. His previous writing has covered broadband policy, digital games, digital literacies and pedagogies, mobile media, and social inclusion. His open-access print-on-demand book Gaming Rhythms: Play and Counterplay from the Situated to the Global, was published by The Institute of Network Cultures in 2010. Tom’s more recent work has appeared in Games and Culture, New Review of Multimedia and Hypermedia, and Media International Australia.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6390-6593

Mattia Thibault

Mattia Thibault

Senior Researcher

mattia.thibault@tuni.fi
Mattia Thibault is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Tampere University. He is a member of the Gamification Group and Senior Researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies. His research projects “LudoSpace” (CoE GAMECULT) and “ReClaim” (EU MSCA-IF 793835) focus on urban gamification and the relationship between play and the built environment. In 2017 he earned a PhD in Semiotics and Media at Turin University, where he subsequently worked as research fellow in 2018. Thibault has been visiting researcher at Tartu University (Estonia), The Strong Museum of Play (Rochester, NY, US), Helsinki University (Finland), Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Nederland) and Waag (Nederland).

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3593-0350

Kati Alha

Kati Alha

University Lecturer

kati.alha@tuni.fi

Jaakko Stenros

Jaakko Stenros

University Lecturer

jaakko.stenros@tuni.fi
+358 40 752 0515
Jaakko Stenros (PhD) is a game and play researcher who has published nine books and over 50 articles and reports. He has also taught game studies for a decade. Stenros’ research interests include norm-defying play, game jams, queer play, role-playing games, pervasive games, game rules, and playfulness. His work has received many awards, such as the prize for the best dissertation of the year at the University of Tampere. Stenros has also collaborated with artists and designers to create ludic experiences and has curated many exhibitions at the Finnish Museum of Games. University of Turku has awarded Stenros the Title of Docent in 2019 in Game and Play Studies.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0320-7042
Website: https://jaakkostenros.wordpress.com

Joleen Blom

Joleen Blom

Postdoctoral Researcher

johanna.blom@tuni.fi
Joleen Blom (PhD) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Tampere University Game Research Lab and at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies. She wrote her dissertation on dynamic game characters, developing a transmedial approach to study their proliferation across popular cultural media, with special attention to the role of games and characters within the Japanese media mix. Currently, she studies mediated intimacy, and players’ affective and parasocial relationships with game characters.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2206-4497
Website: http://joleenblom.com

Emil Lundedal Hammar

Emil Lundedal Hammar

Postdoctoral Researcher

emil.hammar@tuni.fi
Emil Lundedal Hammar (PhD) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Game Research Lab and at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies at Tampere University. His research expertise intersects between game studies, political economy, critical race theory, and cultural memory studies, where his doctoral thesis addressed how digital games, race, colonialism, and political economy intertwine to reinforce dominant hegemonic understandings of the past. His current research focuses on labor conditions in the Nordic game industries.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2640-5949

Lobna Hassan

Lobna Hassan

Postdoctoral Researcher

lobna.hassan@tuni.fi
Dr. Lobna Hassan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence on Game Culture Studies (GameCult), University of Turku, Finland and Hanken School of Economics, Finland. She received her PhD (2018) in Economics and Business Administration from Hanken School of Economics and her BSc (2012) and MSc (2014) in Technology Based Management from the German University in Cairo, Egypt with high honours. Hassan’s research interest are diverse and include motivational technology, social media, e-participation, storification, accessibility and Virtual Reality. Hassan’s research papers and presentations received awards for best paper and best presentation and she has authored several articles in prestigious academic journals such as User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, International Journal of Information Management, Simulation & Gaming and Information and Software Technology.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6201-9159

Jani Kinnunen

Jani Kinnunen

Postdoctoral Researcher

jani.kinnunen@tuni.fi
Jani Kinnunen is a researcher and doctoral candidate at the University of Tampere. He has worked in numerous research projects about gambling. His research is focused on qualities of play money and gam(bl)ing related social interaction.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0154-6617

Heikki Tyni

Heikki Tyni

Postdoctoral Researcher

heikki.tyni@tuni.fi
Heikki Tyni, PhD, is a post-doctoral researcher at Game Research Lab in Tampere University, Finland. His work has covered various topics related to digital games industries, including the formation of the Finnish game industry, material aspects of the digital game culture, and various business and production models for games. His doctoral dissertation examined the political economy and audience reception of games crowdfunding trough an interdisciplinary approach.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0140-4755

Mikko Meriläinen

Mikko Meriläinen

Postdoctoral Researcher

mikko.merilainen@tuni.fi
Mikko Meriläinen is a postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University in Finland, and holds a PhD in Education from the University of Helsinki. He is currently focusing on studying youth gaming cultures, and is one of Finland’s leading experts on the subject. Being a life-long gamer and having previously worked in problematic gaming prevention, the complex relationships between gaming and well-being are among his key research interests. He has also worked in developing and studying game jamming, a process of rapid, time-constrained game creation, as an educational method. In the field of non-digital games, Mikko has studied miniaturing, the activity of collecting, painting and gaming with miniature figurines.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9621-684X
Website: http://www.mikkomerilainen.com
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mikko_Merilaeinen

Riikka Aurava

Riikka Aurava

Doctoral Researcher

riikka.aurava@tuni.fi
Riikka Aurava (MA) is a PhD researcher at the Tampere University Game Research Lab. She is writing her PhD on game jamming in schools and has a strong background in teaching in the Finnish upper secondary school. Her other interests are the materiality of role-playing games, maker movement, co-creativity, games in education and the gamification of education.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4323-2664

Chien Lu

Chien Lu

Doctoral Researcher

chien.lu@tuni.fi
I am a doctoral researcher at the University of Tampere. My research focuses on Bayesian approach and its applications to game culture studies.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3143-4202
Website: https://humblelu.github.io/personal_website

Elina Koskinen

Elina Koskinen

Doctoral Researcher

elina.m.koskinen@tuni.fi
Elina Koskinen (M.A.) is a doctoral researcher at the Tampere University Game Research Lab. She has been studying free-to-play games, location-based games and ethics & game design. Her PhD work concentrates on memorable player experiences in Pokémon GO. She is an active volunteer in different games related associations, e.g. IGDA Finland and Finnish Game Jam organization.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4082-6582
Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Elina-Koskinen

Ville Kankainen

Ville Kankainen

Doctoral Researcher

ville.kankainen@tuni.fi
Kankainen is a doctoral candidate at CoE in Tampere University, and a researcher in Aalto University. He is currently finishing his PhD dissertation on creative online practices in tabletopgaming cultures. Kankainen has been teaching and publishing on various game research topics since 2014, and his current research is focused on analog gaming cultures, post-digital aesthetics, hybrid play and game design praxeology. Kankainen is also a game designer, acts as a game design consultant in the third sector, has been organizing the Ropecon Academic Seminar since 2018 and is a board member at the Finnish Game Jam organization.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1356-3948

Leland Masek

Leland Masek

Doctoral Researcher

leland.masek@tuni.fi
Leland Masek (M.S.) is a doctoral researcher at the Tampere University Game Research Lab and the HEAL lab at Oregon State University. His PhD work focuses upon studying the meanings of playfulness and the nature of playful experience. He currently runs the Playful Life Project further exploring the nature of playfulness and how it connects to mental health.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2694-9129

Taina Myöhänen

Taina Myöhänen

Doctoral Researcher

taina.myohanen@tuni.fi
Taina Myöhänen (MA in Cultural Studies, MA in New Media) is a researcher at IDA project in Tampere University, currently researching game industry data practices.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6701-5459

Hanne Grasmo

Hanne Grasmo

Doctoral Researcher

hanne.grasmo@tuni.fi
Hanne Grasmo is a doctoral researcher at the Tampere University, CoE GameCULT and Game research lab. Her PhD research centers around embodied role-play and sexual emotions, both in Nordic larp and in BDSM communities. Focus areas are role-play design, immersion, queer play and transformative play. She holds a MA in sociology, and has additional background from sexology, education, theatre and larp design. Grasmo has discussed and written about larp for more than 20 years, founded the Knutepunkt larp conferences, wrote the first book about Nordic larp (Laiv, levende rollespill, 1998) and has recently published a larp monograph (Just a little lovin’ larp script, 2021).

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1959-3072

Marko Siitonen

Marko Siitonen

Associate Professor

marko.siitonen@jyu.fi
Telephone: +358 40 576 7861
I wrote my PhD in 2007 looking into the dynamics of social interaction in online multiplayer communities. I currently work as an associate professor of intercultural and digital communication at the Department of Language and Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä. I have a broad interest in game studies, but in all my research I have been interested in the players – whether we are talking about their experiences and perceptions, or the way they construct a shared reality.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5138-437X

Veli-Matti Karhulahti

Veli-Matti Karhulahti

Senior Researcher

veli-matti.m.karhulahti@jyu.fi
Veli-Matti Karhulahti works in the Centre of Excellence as a Senior Researcher, primary contributing to the Meaning and Form in Games unit in University of Jyväskylä. At the same time, he also works as an Adjunct Professor of Play and Games in University of Turku. As to research areas and interests, Karhulahti’s work fluctuates both methodologically and thematically, constantly charting unmapped avenues of practice and substance. His present projects center around Addictions, Asian play(fulness), Cognitive Theory, Esports, Psycholudic development, Puzzles/riddles, and Romantic/sexual play. Methods-wise, he is currently solving the problems of qualitative epistemology.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3709-5341

Kai Tuuri

Kai Tuuri

Senior Researcher

kai.tuuri@jyu.fi

Tanja Välisalo

Tanja Välisalo

Lecturer

tanja.valisalo@jyu.fi
telephone +358 40 968 3731
Tanja Välisalo is a University Teacher and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Jyväskylä. Her research is focused on audience reception of fiction, fan cultures and transmedia phenomena, and she is conducting her doctoral research on the reception and use of fictional characters in games and media fandom. She is a board member of the Finnish Game Research Society and Finfar – The Finnish Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8678-4683

Jukka Varsaluoma

Jukka Varsaluoma

Lecturer

jukka.varsaluoma@jyu.fi
Telephone: +358 40 8054669

Jonne Arjoranta

Jonne Arjoranta

Postdoctoral Researcher

jonne.arjoranta@jyu.fi
Telephone: +358 40 805 5159
PhD Jonne Arjoranta holds a doctoral degree in digital culture from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and the title of docent from Tampere University. He is specialised in philosophical hermeneutics, game studies and internet cultures and is interested in playful politics, game hermeneutics and geek culture. His dissertation Real-Time Hermeneutics: Meaning-Making in Ludonarrative Digital Games deals with the structures of meaning in digital games. He has published, for example, in Game Studies, Games and Culture and International Journal of Role-Playing. He is the editor-in-chief for the Finnish Yearbook of Game Studies.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0148-7626
Website: https://jonne.arjoranta.fi

Tero Kerttula

Tero Kerttula

Postdoctoral Researcher

tero.t.kerttula@jyu.fi
Telephone: +358 40 805 4534

Hanna Järvenpää

Hanna Järvenpää

Doctoral Researcher

hanna.e.jarvenpaa@jyu.fi
Hanna Järvenpää is a doctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, where she is working on her doctoral research on digital children’s literature, audiobooks, and playful reading practices. Her research interests are subscription-based e- and audiobook streaming services, child-computer interaction (CCI), children’s playful digital practices, and the intersection of children’s literature, play and games.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6964-6542

Ville Malinen

Ville Malinen

Doctoral Researcher

vimajoma@student.jyu.fi
Ville Malinen is a doctoral researcher at University of Jyväskylä. His PhD work concentrates on the interaction and future between motor sports and simulated racing as a form of competitive gaming in the field of media sports. Malinen has previously written an published article about the possibilities and limitations of this interaction from the perspective of simulation. He is currently working on projects related to the history of sim racing and the cultural significance of driving games. Malinen’s interests in his works include for example simulation theory, critical cultural theory and critical discourse analysis as well the concepts of identity, representation, spectacle, consumerism, and the synergy between different forms of capital and societal power.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1854-735X

Miia Siutila

Miia Siutila

Doctoral Researcher

mimasi@utu.fi

Miia Siutila is a Doctoral candidate at University of Turku, department of Media studies. She also works as a researcher in University of Jyväskylä. Her research focuses on esports as a hobby and the cultures of play and practices where esports evolves. Siutila’s research interests also include esports relation to mental and physical health.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0287-808X

Emilia Turtiainen

Emilia Turtiainen

Doctoral Researcher

emilia.s.o.turtiainen@student.jyu.fi
Emilia Turtiainen (M.A.) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Jyväskylä. Her research focuses on gender visibility and gendered practices of video game live streaming.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0845-6403

Henri Nerg

Henri Nerg

Doctoral Researcher

henri.m.nerg@jyu.fi
Henri Nerg is a researcher and doctoral candidate at the University of Jyväskylä. His research is focused on Japanese popular culture and character affectivity especially in visual novels.

Markku Reunanen

Markku Reunanen

Senior University Lecturer

markku.reunanen@aalto.fi
Markku Reunanen, PhD, is a senior university lecturer at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Media. In 2020 University of Turku awarded him the title of docent in digital culture. His research interests range from videogames to digital (sub)culture. His PhD thesis from 2017 deals with the relationship of the demoscene and technology. Markku worked as a 50% postdoc in the CoE in 2018–2019 and now continues as an affiliated researcher.

Riikka Turtiainen

Riikka Turtiainen

Senior Lecturer

riikka.turtiainen@utu.fi
Riikka Turtiainen (PhD) is working as a University Lecturer of Digital Culture at the University of Turku, Finland. Her doctoral thesis (2012) considered digital media sports. Her current research interests focus on sports and social media, particularly (self-)representations of female athletes, embodiment, and the intersections between game and sports/exercise cultures. Turtiainen has been teaching about online cultures, online research ethics, qualitative research methods and creative scientific writing for several years.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7955-2208

Petri Saarikoski

Petri Saarikoski

Senior Lecturer

petri.saarikoski@utu.fi
Petri Saarikoski received his PhD in general history. His doctoral thesis (2004) considered the history of home computing in Finland from 1970s to 1990s. He works now as a university lecturer of Digital Culture at University of Turku, Finland. With a focus on history of media and technology, he has studied computers and popular media, Internet and BBS, social media, game cultures, and theoretical and methodological aspects of the study of digital culture. Saarikoski has been teaching about online cultures, media history, game cultures, history of technology and scientific writing (2004-).

Maria B. Garda

Maria B. Garda

Postdoctoral Researcher

maria.garda@utu.fi
Maria B. Garda has been researching video games and digital media from the perspectives of genre, nostalgia and local history. She is an expert of media history, and her current work focuses on video game cultures and contemporary forms of hacking. Maria’s recent publications have dealt with indie games, role-playing games, and roguelikes, and she was previously involved with several research projects, including: “Alternative Usage of New Media Technology During The Decline of People’s Republic of Poland” (University of Lodz, 2013-17) and “Creative Micro-computing in Australia, 1976-1992” (Flinders University, 2017-18). She is a co-founder of Replay. The Polish Journal of Game Studies and the vice-president of Games Research Association of Poland.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7481-837X

Katriina Heljakka

Katriina Heljakka

Postdoctoral Researcher

katriina.heljakka@utu.fi
Katriina “Kati” Heljakka, DA in visual culture, MSc in economics, and MA in art history, is a toy researcher. Her doctoral thesis “Principles of adult play(fulness) in contemporary toy cultures: From Wow to Flow to Glow” was examined at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2013. Heljakka currently holds a postdoctoral researcher position at the University of Turku (digital culture studies) and continues her research on toys and the cultures of play.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4534-5286

Tero Pasanen

Tero Pasanen

Postdoctoral Researcher

tero.pasanen@gmail.com
Tero Pasanen (PhD in Digital Culture) works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Turku. He is interested in historical, political and ideological questions concerning games and gaming culture.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4538-1674

Joseph Macey

Joseph Macey

Postdoctoral Researcher

jrmace@utu.fi
Joseph Macey is a Project Researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture studies at the University of Turku, and a member of the Gamification Group, Faculty of Communication Sciences, Tampere University; his current work investigates the consumption of digital media, digital economies and virtual items. Recent work has focused on relationships between consumption motivations and behavioural intentions in online services. Associated research interests include the consumption of contemporary digital games and newly-emergent gambling activities, problematic and potentially problematic media consumption, and cognitive biases in media users. In addition to publishing in highly-respected international academic journals and conference proceeding, he has advised the Gambling Administration of Finland and been an invited speaker at several conferences and seminars.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9770-739X
Researcher profile: https://www.tut.fi/Gamification/members/joseph-macey

Henry Korkeila

Henry Korkeila

Doctoral Researcher

henry.m.korkeila@utu.fi

Henry Korkeila is PhD candidate at the University of Turku. He holds M.Sc. in Internet and Game Studies from the University of Tampere. Henry’s research examines avatarization of our analog cultures as they inevitably turn into digital cultures. Special focus is on avatars themselves, usage of avatars in their different contexts including online video game genres, such as massively multiplayer online and multiplayer online battle arena games and social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Currently, Henry approaches avatars through the types of capital, or resources, they have.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0187-2690

Karoliina Koskinen

Karoliina Koskinen

Project Researcher

Karoliina Koskinen is a Project Researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture studies at the University of Turku. She is currently taking part in projects that focus on themes such as video games and sustainability, historic and contemporary cultures of creative computing, and a study that utilises Postcolonial theory to analyse a Finnish board game from the 1930s. Karoliina is a University of Aberdeen graduate of 2020 and in 2021, she graduated from her Masters in International Relations in Historical Perspective from Utrecht University.

Alumni

Pauliina Raento

Pauliina Raento

Docent, Senior Researcher
Jonna Koivisto

Jonna Koivisto

Postdoctoral Researcher

jonna.koivisto@tuni.fi
Jonna Koivisto is a postdoctoral researcher at the Gamification Group and Game Research Lab at University of Tampere. She holds a PhD on information studies and interactive media from the University of Tampere. Dr. Koivisto’s research focuses mainly on gamification and consumer behavior and motivations online. She has authored several seminal empirical works on gamification as well as e.g. spearheaded efforts to synthesize existing academic literature on the topic.

Jukka Vahlo

Jukka Vahlo

Postdoctoral Researcher

jukka.vahlo@tuni.fi
Telephone: +358509119776
PhD Jukka Vahlo works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (CoE GameCult, https://coe-gamecult.org) at University of Tampere. He is also a a Research Manager at Turku School of Economics/Centre for Collaborative Research (CCR). His research at CoE GameCult focuses on player personas (i.e., player types & self-presentations in gaming environments), meaningful video game gameplay experience, motivations to play, game choice, and game recommendations. At CCR, Vahlo designs new interdisciplinary research projects on experience economy and digital game businesses.

Janne Paavilainen

Janne Paavilainen

Main Scientific Coordinator

janne.paavilainen@tuni.fi
telephone +358 400 473 650
Janne Paavilainen (Ms.Econ.) is a games researcher at Game Research Lab, University of Tampere, Finland. For the last decade Janne has been involved in research projects focusing on mobile, casual, and social gaming. Janne’s research interests are in game usability, playability, and player experience. Recently he has studied the free-to-play revenue model, the concept of playability, and the player experiences in Pokémon GO.

Aleena Chia

Aleena Chia

Postdoctoral Researcher

aleena.chia@jyu.fi
Telephone: +358 40 805 4543
Aleena Chia (PhD, Indiana University) is postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä. Her dissertation used ethnographic methods to investigate boundary work in multiplayer games on conceptual, infrastructural, and interpretive levels – as structuring categories in post-Fordism, as achievement systems in player communities, and as moral calculations in the new economy. Her other projects investigate the politics of algorithmic publics in digital game analytics and neuro-technological wearables. Her work has been supported by a fieldwork grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, training from the School of Criticism and Theory, and an internship at Microsoft Research New England, and has been published in American Behavioral Scientist and the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. More information about her research can be found at aleenachia.org.

Sabine Harrer

Sabine Harrer

Postdoctoral Researcher

Sabine Harrer is a Senior Lecturer at the Game Design Department Gotland, Uppsala University (SE). Previously, they have been a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, University of Tampere (FI). Their research focuses on critical game studies, HCI and intersectionality, and creation-based knowledge making. They are also the author of Games and Bereavement (transcript 2018), and a member of the Copenhagen Game Collective. Their game-related projects can be found at enibolas.itch.io.

Jan Švelch

Jan Švelch

Postdoctoral Researcher

Jan Švelch is a game production studies scholar, currently based at Charles University, Faculty of Arts. His research interests include video game production, monetization, paratextuality, and Magic: The Gathering. Between 2018–2020, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies at University of Tampere. Besides research, he has more than ten years of experience as a freelance journalist covering video games and music for various Czech magazines, including the Metacritic-aggregated Level. For a brief period, he worked as a data analyst for the leading Czech video game studio Bohemia Interactive.

Dale Leorke

Dale Leorke

Senior Research Fellow

dale.leorke@tuni.fi
Dale Leorke is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, based at Tampere University. His research focuses on the intersection of games, play and public space. His research interests include mobile and location-based games, participatory planning and civic engagement, and the transformation of public libraries in the digital era. His books include Location-based Gaming: Play in Public Space (Palgrave, 2018), Public Libraries in the Smart City (Palgrave, 2018) and the edited collection Games and Play in the Creative, Smart and Ecological City (Routledge, 2020).

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8741-1758
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dale_Leorke

Maria Törhönen

Maria Törhönen

Doctoral Researcher

maria.torhonen@tuni.fi
Maria Törhönen is a PhD candidate at the Gamification Group at the Tampere University of Technology, and works as a researcher at the faculty of communication sciences at the University of Tampere. In her research, Törhönen examines user-led media production on digital media formats and the gamification of media, with a specific focus on video formats, the Youtube-culture and game streaming practices. Prior to her research career, Törhönen has worked in game development for several years and she holds a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Tampere. Törhönen has presented her research in various venues and events, and is currently a board member of the The Finnish Society for Game Research. So far, Törhönen has been published in Computers in Human Behavior and her research has appeared in different media outlets.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1741-6139

Nannan Xi

Nannan Xi

Postdoctoral Researcher

nannan.xi@tuni.fi
Dr. Nannan Xi is an assistant professor at the University of Vaasa, as well as a senior research fellow in the Gamification Group at the Tampere University. She got her PhD in marketing management from Zhongnan University of Economic and Law, China and holds M.Sc. in International Business from the University of Lincoln, UK. Xi’s current research focuses on gamification in marketing, especially in gamified interaction in brand management. In addition, her research interests include customer management in gamification and virtual reality/augmented reality/mixed reality in business and sharing economy.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9424-8116

Evan Torner

Evan Torner

Visiting Researcher

evan.torner@gmail.com
Evan Torner (PhD) is Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of Cincinnati, where he also serves as Undergraduate Director of German Studies and the Director of the UC Game Lab. He co-edited the book Immersive Gameplay (2012) with William J. White, and co-founded and is an editor of the journal Analog Game Studies. His fields of expertise include role-playing games, non-digital games, science fiction media, East German genre cinema, German film history, media pedagogy and critical race theory, while maintaining active fandom of fighting games and point-and-click adventure games. In the realm of game studies, his current projects concerns the interpretation of role-playing games and larp, and interdisciplinary games studies methodologies in the humanities.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0326-9294

Lars de Wildt

Lars de Wildt

Visiting Researcher

lawjdewildt@gmail.com
Lars de Wildt is a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven and a visiting researcher (2021) at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies at Tampere University’s Game Research Lab. He studies how media technologies and industries change contemporary culture; including how videogames changed religion in a post-secular age, and how online platforms changed conspiracy theory in a post-truth age. For more, see www.larsdewildt.eu.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6901-6903
Website: larsdewildt.eu