Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

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Video Games and Gambling

Loot Box

This summer GRN member Dr. Tom Brock will be joining Dr. Mark Johnson and others at the University of Alberta to research the relationship between video games and gambling practices.

‘Skin betting’ and ‘loot boxes’ are two example of a new trend in games design called ‘online real money gameplay’ that disguise gambling practices as video gameplay experiences. The research will involve interviewing games designers, analysing game mechanics, and undertaking a ‘state-of-the-art’ policy analysis to examine the motivation and impact of designers’ choices for the future of the gaming industry. read more

#girlsbehindgames

March 8th is International Women’s Day (or, as it is known in some areas of the internet, “but when is it international mens [sic] day”?) and it offers a perfect opportunity to think about how to celebrate and make visible the contribution women make to game design and development.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress – a call to “motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.” One hundred years after women gained the right to vote in the UK, there are – depressingly – too many areas of politics, society and economics where progress is sorely needed or, else, occurring at a sluggish pace. read more

Science Roleplay

“Esofonia” is a roleplaying game created by Dr Sam Illingworth from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and Dr Mathew Stiller-Reeve from The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research (Norway).

It has now been translated into Spanish, and is being used in the Spanish School Vicente Cañada Blanch in London to teach students about climate change. read more

Tabletop Chemistry

The GRN is delighted to report that it was successful in its application to the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Outreach Fund.

Teaming up with our friends and colleagues at Errant Science, we will be developing a set of learning materials that can be used alongside off-the-shelf tabletop games to develop dialogue around chemistry.  We’re also working alongside librarians to create a series of activities during International Games Week in order to bring games and chemistry to a wider audience. read more

EGU Games Day

The use of narrative is well known as an effective technique for communication. We are fundamentally set-up to respond to stories, and where we might not respond to simple statement of facts, we are more likely to respond to something which moves us emotionally. I see games as an extension of this, and a form of story-telling where the narrative itself is not pre-determined. This is what makes games so fun, so exciting, and so powerful. read more

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