August 12th and 23rd 2019, Utrecht University is
organizing two separate, but consecutive and interrelated summer schools on
digital games and play in contemporary society and culture, supported by the
Center for Game Research, and conducted by senior staff members from the
Department of Information and Computing Sciences and the Department of Media
& Culture Studies, the University of Arts, as well as affiliated
The first summer course “Game Design and Development” (August 12-16)
provides a step-by-step introduction to making games in the industry-standard
game engine Unity, accompanied by workshops and lectures on topics like
entrepreneurship as well as (serious) game design. Students will form teams and
create a game of their own on a “games for good” topic, tying into the ongoing
public and academic debate about the benefits of games in promoting e.g.
wellbeing and a sustainable lifestyle. Expert feedback on the content as well
as the design process will
be provided by experienced game designers.
The second summer course “Applied Games – A Multidisciplinary Research
Perspective” (August 19-23) offers an overview of current research
perspectives on the complex phenomenon of Applied Games, which range from
(digital) serious games over interactive digital narratives (e.g. in journalism
or activism) to playful interventions and pedagogies. Each day is dedicated to
a different angle, starting with applied game analysis, moving on to games for
learning, games in environmental communication and policy-making (Eco games),
narrative aspects of Applied Games, and finally games and play experiences that
involve the whole body. Apart from the interactive workshops, joint social
activities with the UDS summer school ‘Exploring Culture Through Data’ and a
tour of the Mo-Cap Lab at Utrecht University round off the program.
the summer courses can be followed individually, they
are designed to be complementary, and together provide a holistic perspective
on the creation, interpretation and deployment of (applied) games in
contemporary society and culture.