René Reinhold Schallegger was trained in English and American Studies, as well as French, with focus on literary criticism and cultural studies at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (Austria), and Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge/UK). Currently, he is Assistant Professor for British-, Canadian-, and Game Studies at Alpen-Adria-Universität and has just finished his post-doctoral thesis entitled “Choices and Consequences: Videogames, Virtual Ethics, and Cyber-Citizenship”. His most recent publications is The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual, and Meaning in the Medium (McFarland 2018).
Challenging Challenge – Towards a Redefinition of Games
Keynote, Saturday, 20th October, 10:30 – 11:30
Since the beginning, game studies have widely associated (video-)games with the notions of challenge and conflict, expressed in the essentialisation of fail states, the overcoming of obstacles, and player skill. While earlier, more philosophical or anthropological texts that paved the way for the new field did not give these elements such critical importance, when the conflict between narratologists and ludologists subsided, the latter mostly prevailed. I would like to challenge the notion of challenge as an integral and essential component of the definition of the medium. I will use examples from videogames that already function differently and suggest ideas for alternate ways to conceive of and design (video-)games.1