Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

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‘Eat Who I Eat’: Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tour

Assassin's Creed Origins

I am a (not uncritical) fan of historical murder-simulation franchise Assassin’s Creed, and I’ve played pretty much every major entry in the series since it began, often gritting my teeth at the bad plot and violence to explore the worlds of Renaissance Italy, Victorian London and Revolutionary Paris. I’m also an educationalist and former history teacher, so when Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tour: Ancient Egypt was announced I was intrigued by the concept of learning history through playing what is usually a blockbuster game. The first thing that came into my head was this joke from the classic Simpsons episode ‘Marge vs The Monorail’, when Springfield Elementary School’s budget looks to be getting a huge boost: read more

Desk Job

Members from the Games Research Network recently collaborated to create a game for the No Shit Sherlock Games Jam.

After an initial planning session, we got together to hammer out the details of the game, and in an 8-hour session on Friday 9th March 2018, we created Desk Job.

Desk Job is a Detective Game that involves you trying to solve a cold case whilst putting up with the demands of your overbearing boss. It can be played either solo or as a group and should last the best part of an afternoon or evening. All you need is a printer and some scissors! read more

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

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