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Playing with the Past in the Present and into the Future: How Games Change our Relationship with History

Time: 9/27/2017 at 1:00 PM,

Event type: Research profile seminar

There can now be little doubt that games have become a potentially important popular cultural resource for the production of meaning about, and engagement with, history. Like all forms of historical representation, games introduce particular challenges, limitations and possibilities, each of which has the potential to influence the ways we relate to the past and the histories that are written about it. In this talk, Adam Chapman explores how the past is represented in games, how these games both inform and reflect the present, and how they might change our future engagements with history in popular culture. In particular the lecture considers the enfranchising potential of the popular access to historical practices, such as reenactment, heritage experiences and counterfactual history, that the game form offers. The lecture also concludes by considering the implications of new hardware developments (such as VR) and the latest directions of research in the historical game studies field.

Lecturer: Adam Chapman

Getting it Right or Being Top Rank: Games in Citizen Science

Time: 10/9/2017 at 1:00 PM,

Event type: Research profile seminar

The use of games with a purpose (GWAPs) in citizen science is growing, but can create tension as gaming and science can be seen as incompatible areas of activity. For example, the motivations for winning a game and scientific pursuit of knowledge may be seen as contrary. Over a one-year period, we conducted a virtual ethnographic study of the public forums of two online citizen science projects, Foldit and Galazy Zoo. The first where gaming is an explicit design feature and the second where it is not. The aim was to give a nuanced view of how participants topicalize and respond to tensions between gaming and science. Thematic analysis of discussion forum posts suggests that participants in the two projects respond differently to the tension. By unpacking participant responses to the tension between games and science, our study highlights that citizen science projects using games are not just about fun. To enrol and retain volunteers, these projects must also recognize and manage the implicit normative scientific ideals that participants bring with them to a project. We further conclude that ideals of science embraced by citizen scientists appear to influence the reasons why they participate, either emphasizing quality, like in Galazy Zoo, or meritocracy, like in Foldit.

Lecturer: Marisa Ponti & Thomas Hillman

Fingu-A Game to Support Children's Development of Arithmetic Competence: Theory, Design and Empirical Research

Time: 10/18/2017 at 1:00 PM,

Event type: Research profile seminar

This presentation describes Fingu, a virtual manipulative housed in a game environment, which is designed to support young children's learning and development of number concepts and flexible arithmetic competence. More specifically Fingu targets the understanding and mastering of the basic numbers 1-10 as part-whole relations, which according to the literature on early mathematics learning is critical for this development. The presentation, provides an overview of the theoretical grounding of the design, development and research of Fingu as well as the theoretical and practical design rationale and principles. The potential of Fingu as a research platform is pointed out and examples of some of the empirical research conducted to demonstrate the learning potential of Fingu is presented.

Lecturer: Wolmet Barendregt


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