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Supporting play- symposium

Supporting play- symposium

On behalf of the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, the Experience Lab and the project “Games and Learning – a researchbased network” at Åbo Akademi University in Vaasa, we invite your participation in the
symposium called:


The aim of the “Supporting Play” symposium is to share insights on some of the myriad ways that gameplay – whether casual, intensive, educational, competitive, hardcore or not – is supported through relations of work and care, which are often meant to be invisible to players (and to researchers). This can be as (seemingly) simple as asking who’s taking care of the child, or the dog, or the housework, during a marathon play session, to considering the operations of globe-spanning networks of electrical power and Internet connectivity that we most often take for granted. While these relations might fade from view during the moments of gaming, they can also highly tangible, and problematic, for those who either lack such conditions or are exploited by them.

Starting the symposium is Dr. Nick Taylor, who is serving as the Högskolestiftelsen Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies for the 2022-23 academic year.
Taylor will provide opening remarks and a framing discussion for this event, broadly around the topic of “doing game studies without studying games”. Afterwards, we will continue with presentations of works in progress followed by feedback from an expert panel.
In the expert panel, Dr Taylor will be joined by Dr. Jaakko Stenros (Tampere University) and Dr. Tanja Sihvonen (University of Vaasa)

We encourage abstracts (500-1000 words, excluding references) or, for the truly well-prepared, drafts of full papers. Abstracts and drafts will be circulated ahead of time.

Some guiding questions:
– What is infrastructural, and/or must become infrastructural, so that we can partake in – and make sense of – contemporary forms of gaming and game-based learning?
– What are the spatial and temporal conditions for a given form of gaming; who and/or what makes time and place for us to play?
– What sorts of work are required for facilitating gameplay in educational contexts; and how might we make that work more visible and more equitable?

Refreshments afterwards at a location TBD


Send abstracts to Dr Matilda Ståhl
by the 15th of November 2022