Game History Annual Symposium – Montreal, June 27-28, 2014

Pleased to announce the upcoming Game History Annual Symposium to be held June 27 & 28, 2014 at Grande Bibliothèque, Montréal, 475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est, Montréal, QC.

The 2014 edition of the symposium features panels on the many communities and social practices that define the history of video games: the role of engineers, game designers and store owners, the retro gaming phenomenon, user generated content, marginal themes and the place of minorities, etc. It is our pleasure to welcome four distinguished keynote speakers at the symposium: Tristan Donovan (journalist, author of Replay), Mia Consalvo (Canada research chair in game studies, author of Cheating), Philippe Ulrich (founder of Cryo) et John Szczepaniak (journalist, hardcoregaming101).

Includes the exhibit ‘Micromakers. Early ZX Spectrum Homebrew Development’: In 1982 the introduction of the ZX Spectrum color microcomputer created an affordable platform which catalyzed hobby programming cultures in the United Kingdom. This exhibition will chart notable contributions by hobbyist Spectrum game makers, commenting on the larger microcomputer development scene, and exploring possible connections to contemporary independent game production. (Curator: Skot Deeming; Consultant: Alisson Gazzard).

The Game History annual symposium is a platform to connect media historians, sociologists, museum curators and any other researcher interested in the cultural history of games. The event is presented in partnership with Université de MontréalLUDOV (Lab @UdeM for the Documentation and Observation of Video games)Homo Ludens (UQAM), TAG (Technoculture, Arts and Games research center) (Concordia University) and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.

 Access is free!
 For information about the program and registration, please visit our website or our Facebook page


Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer l’édition 2014 du Symposium Annuel Histoire du Jeu, qui aura lieu les 27 et 28 juin 2014 à la Grande Bibliothèque, Montréal, 475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est, Montréal, QC.

Le symposium propose des panels sur diverses communautés et pratiques qui ont forgé l’histoire du jeu vidéo : le rôle des ingénieurs, des créateurs de jeu et des marchands, le phénomène du jeu rétro, la création de niveaux par les joueurs, la place des minorités et des thématiques marginales, etc. Nous accueillerons également quatre conférenciers invités : Tristan Donovan (journaliste, auteur de Replay), Mia Consalvo (Chaire de recherche du Canada en jeu vidéo, auteure deCheating), Philippe Ulrich (fondateur de Cryo) et John Szczepaniak (journaliste, hardcoregaming101).

Inclut l’exposition ‘Microfabricants. Les débuts du développement ‘fait maison’ sur la ZX Spectrum’: En 1982, l’arrivée du micro-ordinateur couleur ZX Spectrum a engendré une plateforme de création abordable, qui a agi en tant que catalyseur pour la culture des programmeurs au Royaume-Uni. Cette exposition s’attachera à retracer les contributions importantes des créateurs de jeux amateurs sur Spectrum, proposant un commentaire sur le milieu du développement sur micro-ordinateur, et explorant les connections éventuelles avec la culture actuelle de création indépendante. (Commissaire: Skot Deeming; Consultante: Alisson Gazzard).

Le symposium annuel Histoire du jeu est un lieu d’échange pour les historiens des médias, les sociologues, les journalistes, les conservateurs et tout autre chercheur qui s’intéresse à l’histoire culturelle du jeu. L’évènement est présenté en partenariat avec l’Université de MontréalLUDOV (Laboratoire Universitaire de Documentation et d’Observation Vidéoludique, le groupe de recherche Homo Ludens(UQAM), le groupe de recherche TAG (Technoculture, Arts and Games) (Université Concordia) et Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.

 L’accès est gratuit!
Pour plus d’informations sur le programme et l’inscription, veuillez visiter notre site web ounotre page Facebook


History of Games International Conference: working with, building, and telling history

Program is up and it looks greatJune 21-23, 2013. Montreal, QC. Bad timing for me personally (daughter’s high school graduation and kazillion affiliated events start the 21st) but will do my best to get to as many panels as possible – at least it’s local!! 

The International Conference on the History of Game is the first event dedicated in its entirety to the ongoing research on the history of games in all its shapes. It brings together many researchers working in such disciplines as media archeology, preservation, museology and the formatting of history, as well as industry professionals. The development of games in the digital era represents the main object of inquiry, but historical research on all ludic manifestations will also be presented.

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.

The time has (finally) come: The PhD defense

It has been just shy of 5 years since I began my PhD, and it’s been almost 8 years since I have been working on understanding that weird ‘something’ that I felt between myself as a player and Velixious, my avatar from way back when. Over the years, the research has shifted from a quest for personal understanding to exploring how others felt about their avatars, shifting notions of identity, and finding ways to deconstruct videogame play to understand if, when, and how what I have come to term as ‘hybrid-identity’ occurred.

And now the time has come to lay it all out on the line and defend my work:

Between Play and Design: The emergence of hybrid-identity in single-player videogames

June 29, 2012
9 :30 – 13 :30

Short Abstract:

This dissertation examines the complex nature of identity in single-player videogames. It introduces the concept of hybrid-identity and proposes an analytical framework to deconstruct gameplay across genres to distinguish moments of identity emergence. Hybrid-identity is a fluid, at times fleeting form of identity that exists between the player and the player-character which is developed during the networked process of videogame play. It necessarily includes the player (experience, play-context, etc.), the game environment (design, mechanics, etc.), and the mediating technology (computer, console, etc.) that facilitates gameplay.

In order to delineate the different aspects of gameplay that contribute to the potential emergence of different types of identity, a multifaceted framework was devised to isolate specific interactions between the player/player-character, player-character/non-playing character, player/game environment, player-character/game environment, and player/player. This framework was coupled with a secondary frame of analysis which included the examination of the specificities of the individual player and the mediating technologies that facilitated gameplay. A systematic analysis of gameplay and design elements of three different games; Mirror’s Edge (DICE, 2008), Alone in the Dark (Eden Games, 2008), and Fable 2 (Lionhead Studios, 2008) was performed to illustrate the varying degrees of identity emergence in different game structures.

For more details on location etc., please contact me via email.

Online Video Game Conference Closing 5à7 @ TAG

The closing conference cocktail was put on by TAG at Concordia University. An intimate 5à7  (actually, was a 4à8!) held in the open lobby space of the 11th floor of the EV building where  Hexagram and Tag are housed. With two walls consisting of floor to ceiling windows opening on to  a large terrace, the views from the room were beautiful, giving the international guests a  magnificent visual to take home with them (we even had our first snowfall that evening!). The food, consisting of all local Quebec fare (cheeses,  pate’s and delicatessen delights) was paired with carefully selected local artisanal beers, and  delectable wines (both white and red), the spread was a delightful temptation – even for those who  had already eaten.

With great candle light, and ambient (video game soundtracks) music, the atmosphere lent itself to  getting to know each other, squeezing in a last few chats with people you were sad to see leaving, a nd playing a game or two that were conveniently set up in the space.

Another shout out to those who helped put this all together, the hosts and the bar staff were amazing; warm and friendly, willing to answer any question they could. Thanks to Bart Simon & TAG for hosting, Alanna & Saleem for coordinating all the crazy details, to Shanly Dixon for selecting such great food and to everyone who made this a great event – the bar has been set high for future conference events – I can promise you all that! Here are a few more shots taken during the early part of the evening (much more impressive once the sun went down of course!).

Personally, this was a great ending to a pretty great conference. While the food and drink will be missed, I got to talk with a lot of great people, reconnect with some old colleagues and walk away from the whole thing inspired to write my dissertation.

Kinephanos Issue 1

We are proud to announce that the first issue – Digital Imageries : Culture and Reception edited by Marc Joly-Corcoran et Martin Picard is online at  Also –

In order to unveil its online publication, you are cordially invited to the official launch of the first issue of the journal Kinephanos, “Digital Imageries : culture and reception”, edited by Martin Picard and Marc Joly-Corcoran.

The launch will take place on
Monday, January 25th 2010, 5 to 7 pm,
@ L’Amère à Boire,
2049, St-Denis St.(metro Berri-UQAM or Sherbrooke), 3rd floor.
For more information, you can visit the journal Website :

Hope to see you there,

The team of Kinephanos

Technoculture, Art and Games – Biennale de Montréal Event(s)

TAG will be a part of this year’s Biennale Montréal – Culture Libre/Open Culture . Check out the events below!

By Lynn Hughes et Bart Simon.
Between May 1st and 17th, the public is invited to look in on, or join in with, the TAG group’s activities. The Technoculture Art and Games group is made of people from all kinds of disciplines involving digital games that are used as a way to think, talk and create together. Come and see research and creation in action, ask questions, attend stimulating presentations and demonstrations about games and digital culture — or just come to play unusual games.

Coordinated by Lynn Hughes and Bart Simon, with the collaboration of Concordia University.

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