RPG: Research. Play. Games. An Open Talk @ UNB Fredericton

I am giving an open talk tomorrow at my old academic stomping grounds tomorrow. If you are in the area, drop by!

RPG: Research. Play. Games. Adventure and Methods in Digital Game Research

Fredericton, NB – The Media Arts & Cultures program and the Dept of Culture and Language Studies at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton will present a public talk by video game researcher Dr. Kelly Boudreau entitled “RPG: Research, Play, Games: Adventure and Methods in Digital Game Research”, taking place at Marshall D’Avray Hall, Room 236 on the UNB campus on Tuesday, November 6th, at 1:15pm to 2:15pm. 

The Media Arts & Cultures program at UNB is proud to bring the city of Fredericton this opportunity to hear from a successful game researcher. Dr. Kelly Boudreau has a PhD in Film Studies with a concentration in Game Studies from the University of Montreal. With a background in Sociology, her research focuses on player-avatar hybridity developed through the networked process of play in video games. In her talk, Dr. Boudreau will address innovative methods and opportunities for the academic study of video games.

Dr. Boudreau is a former resident of New Brunswick, hailing from Moncton and studied at UNB as an undergraduate student. She is pleased to return to Fredericton to share her recent research endeavors.

Later in the afternoon on Tuesday, Nov 6th, from 5pm-8pm, the Media Arts and Cultures program will also be launching its new teaching and student workspace in Marshall D’Avray 236.  This space is intended for creative and flexible teaching about and with media, as well as a space for students to experience, develop and experiment with media tools.  The room has recently undergone the first phase of renovations and includes gaming equipment to support the coursework for Media Arts and Cultures’ new selection of courses on game studies and game design.  Join us for a few words about the ongoing project, the announcement of a new name for this space and some refreshments and gameplay into the early evening.

Once again, that’s Marshall D’Avray Hall, Room 236 on the UNB campus on Tuesday, November 6th, 1:15pm and 5:00pm. Both the talk and the launch party are open to the public and admission is free. We hope to see you all there.

Media Arts & Cultures at UNB is an Arts major that combines critical thinking about media and culture with creative work in a variety of digital forms. Understand media by making media with Media Arts & Cultures at UNB.


CFP: Geemu and media mix: theoretical approaches of Japanese video games

Geemu and media mix: theoretical approaches of Japanese video games

Edited by Martin Picard and Jérémie Pelletier-Gagnon


Kinephanos is a bilingual web-based academic journal. Focusing on questions involving cinema and popular media, Kinephanos encourages interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. The journal’s primary interests are movies and popular TV series, video games, emerging technologies and fan cultures. The preferred approaches include cinema studies, communication theories, religion sciences, philosophy, cultural studies and media studies.


Despite the global impact of games and series such as Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985-2012), Final Fantasy (Square Enix, 1987-2012) or Pokémon(Nintendo, 1995-2012), the theoretical stakes of Japanese video games (terebi geemu or simply geemu in Japanese) has managed to only capture the interest of a small group of fans of Japanese popular culture. At first glance, it may be difficult to identify specificities in video games made in Japan other than with the use of some loose categorisations ( J-RPG for example). But are there differences between games coming from particular countries or socio-cultural contexts? If one admits dissimilarities between Japanese and American or European games, what could these be and what could they mean for the gamers?

One way to better identify Japanese video games’ specificity could be to put in perspective their broad integration to an extremely dynamic media environment, the media mix (media mikkusu). While acknowledging video games’ strong ties to manga and anime, one might thus start by investigating this media mix itself, and subsequently, video games’ place within it in order to achieve this goal. Media mix, as Marc Steinberg demonstrates in Anime’s Media Mix (The University of Minnesota Press, 2012), is a popular culture and industry term that has evolved considerably from the 1960s understanding of various media being used in accordance with an advertising goal towards the practice of releasing interconnected works for a wide range of media ‘platforms’ (mangaanime, movies, etc.) and commodity types, generally through the promotion of a main character (kyara) and an attractive fictional world. From their introduction in this media environment at the beginning of the 1980s, Japanese video games are now increasingly getting both integrated and shaped by this system while still being understudied in regard to the ways in which its different modes of production and distribution affect gamers (not only in the actual play activity, but also in their consumption modes and cultural practices), and games’ content.

Therefore, this special issue aims to fill a lack present both in theories and analyses of (trans)national and (trans)cultural aspects of video games in the game studies community, as well as in interdisciplinary studies about the Japanese media culture. Admittedly, video games and popular culture are increasingly becoming subjects of interest within academia. Nevertheless, very few publications and researches have dealt with an examination of video games from a Japanese perspective, or even taken into account the possible specificities of Japanese video games. Since a theory of Japanese video games is cruelly lacking in the academic sphere, papers for this special issue would be an invaluable contribution to the fields of game and media studies, as well as Japanese studies.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

– Japanese video games and Japaneseness
– The specificity of video games within the media mix
– Aesthetics and game design in Japanese video games
– Analyses of contents, themes or recurring motifs in Japanese video games
– Japanese video games and otaku culture
– History of video games in Japan and study of its home market (Japanese video game industry; geemu sentaa [game centers]; cultural practices and preferred genres of Japanese gamers, etc.)
– Transmedia circulations in the media mix
– Amateur media mix productions (doujin geemu)

While Kinephanos privileges publication of thematic issues, we encourage writers to submit papers exceeding the theme, which will be published in each issue.

How to submit?

Please send an abstract of up to 1000 words, in English or French, by February 1st, 2013, to:

picard.martin@gmail.com and jeremie.p.gagnon@gmail.com

The abstract must include the title, the topic and the object(s) that will be studied. Please include bibliographical references, your name, email address, and your institutional affiliation.

Following our approbation sent to you by email (2-3 weeks after the deadline), please send us your completed article by July 1st, 2013.

Editorial rules

Kinephanos is a peer-reviewed Web journal. Each article is evaluated by double-blind peer review. Kinephanos does not retain exclusive rights of published texts. However, material submitted must not have been previously published elsewhere. Future versions of the texts published in other periodicals must reference Kinephanos as its original source.

Production demands

All texts must be written in MLA style. 6,000 words maximum (excluding references but including endnotes) with 1.5 spacing, Times New Roman 12pt fonts. Footnotes must be inserted manually in the text as follows : … (1) and references must be placed within the text as follows (Jenkins 2000, 134). Please include a bibliography with all your references, and 5 keywords, at the end of the text.

For the editorial guidelines, refer to the section Editorial Guidelines.

Kinephanos accepts papers in English and in French