For the first time in Games Institute history, we’re bringing together two professors with different research backgrounds to have a collaborative discussion about a game: Insomniac’s Spider-man (2018). Dr. Lennart Nacke is an Associate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Dr. Gerald Voorhees is an Assistant Professor of Communication Arts. Both professors have research interests in the study of games, yet they very in their focus and methodological approach. Dr. Nacke is a Games User Research scientist and teaches User Experience, Human-Computer Interaction, and Game Design; Dr. Voorhees is a scholar of Communication and Critical-Cultural studies and teaches about Race, Gender, and Identity in mediated public communication.
We asked Dr. Nacke and Dr. Voorhees to play Spider-Man and analyze their experience with the game. What makes it engaging? How they would they employ their disciplinary perspective to study it? Through exploring how they've tackled this challenge, this panel will highlight how their approaches to studying games are interconnected and, when brought together, provide a more robust understanding of games overall.
Join us on March 19, 2019 to see collaborative thinking in action.
This event is free and anyone interested in the study of games, media, interdisciplinary research, and Spider-man are encouraged to attend!
Dr. Lennart Nacke
Dr. Lennart Nacke is an Associate Professor at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business and the Department of Communication Arts and the Director of the HCI (human-computer interaction) Games Group at the University of Waterloo’s Games Institute. Professor Nacke teaches User Experience, Human-Computer Interaction, and Games User Research at the University of Waterloo. As part of the Games Institute, he is researching cognitive and emotional elements of player experience in video games, immersive VR environments, and gameful applications, often using physiological measures together with surveys and player interviews. Professor Nacke has served on the steering committee of the International Game Developers Association Games User Research Special Interest Group, is the past chair of the CHI PLAY conference steering committee (2014-2018), the full papers co-chair of the INTERACT 2019 conference and an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. His publications have won awards at the premier HCI conferences, CHI, CSCW, and CHI PLAY. He has published more than 100 scientific papers with more than 11,000 citations. He firmly believes in understanding users first to build more engaging games and compelling player experiences.
Dr. Gerald Voorhees
Gerald Voorhees (Ph.D., The University of Iowa, 2008) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on games and new media as sites for the construction and contestation of identity and culture. He is also interested in public discourse pertaining to games and new media, as well as rhetorics of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity in mediated public discourse. He has co-edited four books about digital games, and published in the flagship game studies journals Games and Culture, the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and Game Studies. Gerald is co-editor of Bloomsbury’s Approaches to Game Studies book series and managing editor for a trilogy of books from Palgrave Macmillan examining the intersections of gender studies and game studies. He is a former member of the Executive Board of the Digital Games Research Association, and a prior to that, co-chair of the Game Studies area of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Nation Conference. Prior to joining the University of Waterloo in Fall, 2013 Gerald taught in the Speech Communication and New Media Communication areas at Oregon State University and created the Game and Interactive Media Design track for the Communication B.A. at High Point University in North Carolina, USA. He has taught theory, criticism, and practice classes in communication studies, media studies, cultural studies, rhetorical studies, and game studies.
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