Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Author: games_research_network (page 1 of 5)

What is LARP?

On Wednesday 13th December, we will be running a horror-themed LARP for members of the Games Research Network at MMU. LARP stands for “live action role play”, and may be sometimes called LRP or “live gaming”. LARP was once the subject of derisive mockery in mainstream culture – the 2008 movie, Role Models, provides one particularly excruciating example. However, with the rise of broader “geek culture” to the mainstream, LARP in the UK is becoming more visible and more popular (see this recent article on “The Art of LARP”). Elements of LARP (costume, staged dramatic scenes, live character interaction) are increasingly incorporated into theatrical events and tourist attractions, such as the zombie walk, ghost tours and immersive theatre experiences. read more

It’s all fun and games until someone learns something

In a guest post for Errant Science, Sam Illingworth talks about how science can be effectively communicated using tabletop games:

I think that it is actually the games that use science which offer the greatest potential for developing meaningful engagement. As well as being (for the large part) extremely well-designed games, they also offer the opportunity for further discussion and debate. Questions such as ‘how effective have previous efforts been at virus containment?’ or ‘should we be investing time and money on creating a liveable planet on Mars, or instead focus on trying to make the one that we live on now more habitable?’ are interesting and important questions that have arisen when playing these games with both scientists and non-scientists. read more

How to Fail Your Research Degree

Daisy Abbot, Research Developer in the School of Simulation and Visualisation at the Glasgow School of Art tells us about a game that she has been developing which teaches research skills, and which is also fun to play.

In 2014 I took over a course teaching postgraduate research skills from a departing colleague. As my students and I worked our way through 12 weeks of Powerpoints, I experienced for myself the acknowledged difficulty of teaching research skills in a way that is both meaningful and motivating to students [1]. This issue is exacerbated by students’ transition to a postgraduate context [2], making courses on research skills all the more important to get right. Immediately after this first semester, I began developing an educational game as a teaching tool to complement my course. The game would likely only be played once during the course and therefore had to be high-impact and memorable; it had to be obviously relevant to students; and (unlike a 2 hour lecture on literature reviews) it had to be fun! read more

International Games Week

International Games Week is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games. This year, International Games Week is October 29th – November 4th, 2017, and the Games Research Network have teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University Library to help contribute. read more

The psychology of gaming: Are we still talking about gender?

There is an assumption that if I say I’m a gamer, we’re talking mobile game Candy Crush, not retro classic Super Metroid (which is not as easy as speed-runners make it look). Women who are brave enough to identify as gamers are often exposed to hostile online gaming environments and are subject to a lot of gatekeeping. There is still the feeling that men decide who ‘gets’ to be a gamer and what a ‘real gamer’ looks like. read more

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