Jakob Wonisch

Jakob Wonisch is a high school graduate of SLSZ Wien West, a school for aspiring professional athletes. In his spare time, he has developed an interest in computer programming and game development. Coming fall, he will begin to study computer science at the TU Wien.

SLSZ Wien West

The Advantages of Using a Scripting Language As a Tool for Designers of Point-and-Click Adventure-Games

VWA presentation, FROG main conference | Saturday, 14th October, 09:30 – 09:45

Point-and-click adventure games are often developed using custom scripting languages to design the stages. The designers who build the game’s story and puzzles are often inexperienced in programming. What makes those languages such a great tool is the separation of technical tasks and the creative design process. In this paper, the exact advantages have been discovered through analysis of SCUMM, LucasArts’ in-house game engine. They were implemented in a point-and-click game engine with a custom scripting language designed to showcase those exact features. In addition, a short game was developed as an example.

Simon Wimmer

Simon Wimmer holds Bachelor’s degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology from the University of Vienna. In his Elective Modules “Museum and Educational Work” and “Art-Media-Narration” he took every chance to write about game related topics. He is attending “Game Studies” at Donau-Universität-Krems since 2015.

Participant Observation As a Tool to Delve Within the Magic Circle

Thesis presentation, FROG main conference | Sunday 15th October, 16:30 – 16:45

In my talk I will point out why the participant observation can be a great tool to gather qualitative data within the magic circle. I will prove my points with my theoretical bachelor thesis, which sketches how anthropology handled “game” since Johan Huizinga. In this thesis, I also refer to three anthopolical case studies. Each of these case studies used a form of participant observation as a research method. Further I will talk about my empirical bachelor thesis where I did my own participant observation.

Philipp Söchtig

Philipp Söchtig (M.A.) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese Studies and Philosophy as well as a Master’s degree in Literary and Media Studies. As part of his studies he has been at the Waseda University in Tokyo for two semesters. Philipp Söchtig has been a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg since 2017. His main fields of research include Game Studies, Intermediality, Gamification and Virtual Reality.

Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

Video games as art – How players create their own worlds

Thesis presentation, FROG main conference | Friday, 13th October, 16:15 – 16:30

The aim of my Master’s thesis was to look at how players create their own meanings and worlds in and out of context of games and how they can be seen as artists in doing that. Umberto Ecos concept of open works of art, John Fiskes theory of productive consumers and Johan Huizingas and Roger Caillois notions of play served as a theoretical base. To illustrate the many ways players use to engage with digital games, the main part of the thesis was divided into four sub-categories of with regard to the field of creativity: narration, mechanics, technology and communication.

Lyubov Stafyeyeva

Lyuba Stafyeyeva works as a Social education worker in Caritas St. Pölten. She received her Bachelor of Education from Gorlovka University of Applied Science in Ukraine and obtains a Master Degree in Applied Knowledge Management at FH Burgenland. Her current research interests include Integration of Digital Games in Learning and E-learning Environments in school and enterprises.

FH Burgenland

Game-based learning in schools: Is it for everyone?

Thesis presentation, FROG main conference | Sunday, 15th October, 09:30 – 09:45

Danai E. Gavranidou

Danai E. Gavranidou received her Undergraduate degree at Theatre Studies Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and obtained a master’s degree in Theatre Studies at Freie Universität Berlin in 2017. During her studies she focused on the role of the audience, posthumanism and Game Studies. This resulted in a master thesis on children as videogame players.

Getting Lost in the Game World? – Approaches on Children as  Video Game Players

Thesis presentation, FROG main conference | Friday, 13th October, 15:30 – 15:45

To this day video games have often been attacked for their supposed negative impact on their audience. These attacks become especially fierce when the consumers are children, as this specific group is both valued and generally perceived as not being able to protect themselves against possible threats. This talk seeks to display research from the field of Game Studies that places the game in the everyday life (of children) and focuses on the contexts, situations, and socio-political relations of gaming. Thus, the emphasis no longer lays on the immersive, virtual experience that is perceived as threatening to young recipients.

Alesja Serada

Alesja Serada has BA in Oriental Philology from Belarussian State University (Minsk, 2006) and BA in Media & Communication from European Humanities University (Vilnius, 2017). She turned to game studies in 2016 after gaining several years of working experience in game marketing. Currently she is a student of MA programme in Sociology (specialization: Visual and Cultural Studies) at European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania.

European Humanities University

The phenomenon of playbor: Relations between labour and leisure in casual farming games (the case of “royal story”)

Thesis presentation, FROG main conference | Sunday, 15th October, 11:15 – 11:30

This paper explores specific forms of playbor that can be found in a typical free-to-play game Royal Story. The research objective is to reveal game design patterns when play becomes work, and vice versa, and explain them from the economic perspective. To achieve it, we conceptualize playbor within context of game studies and apply our updated definition of it to our observations of 60 highly dedicated players of the game. Thus, we verify existence of playbor in Royal Story in a number of sometimes unexpected forms, such as, communicating with other members of the gaming community or purchasing luxury goods.

Sebastian Felzmann

Sebastian Felzmann, M.A., studied German Literature at the KIT. Together with Adam Rafinski and Jens M. Stober he initiated the HfG GameLab. Sebastian has written a book and several scientific papers about media nostalgia and retro gaming and even held various lectures about that subject. As a book producer he supported Steffen P. Walz and Sebastian Deterding in the publication of “The Gameful World”, a 690-pages-thick handbook about Gamification.

Cologne Game Lab // TH Köln

Aptum, Agency & Aggressions – Player Reactions to „That Dragon Cancer“

Panel talk, FROG main conference | Saturday, 14th October, 16:30 – 17:00

„That’s a GAME?“ – „That is NO game!“ Core gamers are criticizing mainly the gameplay and the narrative mediation of „That Dragon Cancer“ – with harsh words and barely hold back aggression. My talk will have a closer look  into the narrative structure of „That Dragon Cancer“, the gameplay mechanics, its abuse of agency and its interconnection with the player experiences gained in prior games. For examining those I’ll use to concept of “scripts” as structured objects representing standardized generalized episodes as a tool to explain the profound unease that the players experienced.

Rudolf Inderst

Rudolf Inderst (*1978) is a third-year PhD student of media studies at the University of Passau and enjoys video games since 1986. He received a master’s degree in political science, American cultural studies as well as contemporay and recent history from Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich and holds a PhD in American cultural studies. He is interested in game studies, political theory and the history of ideas.

Follow him on Twitter: @benflavor

University of Passau

Wolfenstein: The New Order as a player-centric continuation of dystopian narrative traditions

Panel talk, FROG main conference | Saturday, 14th October, 14:15 – 14:45

The developers and publishers of Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) skillfully use marketing campaigning, in-game as well as cut scene storytelling, and game mechanics to set up a continuation of dystopian narrative traditions established in the 20th century. Media following these patterns focus upon the politics of anti-individualization and the transformation of the political human entity into a agenda-less spectator and heeler.

Rita Santoyo Venegas

Rita Santoyo Venegas studied Philosophy at the UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her main research interests are ethics, epistemology, philosophy of technology, and game studies. She is currently a PhD candidate at the UNAM and is working on a dissertation about computer games as cognitive artifacts and the foundations of an epistemology based on critical digital game play and analysis.

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

The Intellectual Power of Players: Scientific Collaboration through Digital Play

Panel talk, FROG main conference | Sunday, 15th October, 17:30 – 18:00

In this paper, I examine the notion of collaboration in player communities, for certain games can promote the creation of epistemological communities that work together to create new knowledge. I focus on the fundamental role players have while they play certain computer games that have been specifically designed to address scientific problems, such as Foldit, Play to Cure: Genes in Space, EteRNA, and Eyewire. These games are an outstanding example of the combination of scientific research and digital play as an epistemological experience, as players contribute with innovative solutions to scientific questions, and researchers analyze their contributions to incorporate them in ongoing research.

Miłosz Markocki

A PhD candidate at the Department of Cultural Studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University Faculty of Languages. His main interests are: online games, MMORPGs, players online communities, Internet culture and various cultural mechanisms occurring in the online world of the Internet.

The Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

Game within a game? – the problem of total conversion mods

Panel talk, FROG main conference | Sunday, 15th October, 16:45 – 17:15

The distinction between indie games and mainstream game mods is a seemingly easy one—one is fully developed and published game, and the other is, in most cases, a set of changes to an already created game. But what about total conversion mods (TC)? Despite the changes in some aspects or elements of the game—and the modders’ choices concerning which inscribed elements to leave and which to replace, some of the original elements and mechanics always remain. The goal of my presentation is to tackle the question of the novelty of TCs and provide arguments for an answer.