G&S lecture Wed 13.12. Beth Kolko: "Playing Off the Beaten Path"

Please notice that we have the next Games and Storytelling lectureexceptionally on Wednesday, December 13th at 5:15-7 pm.

Professor Beth Kolko's lecture is titled 'Playing Off the Beaten Path'.

Venue: Tampere: University of Tampere, lecture hall 1096, PinniB, Kanslerinrinne 1. Videoconference venue in University of Art and Design Helsinki, Media Centre Lume, Sampo auditorium.

As games and gaming systems become increasingly sophisticated, they also grow increasingly pervasive, both in terms of geography and the terrain of everyday life. In many less developed regions that are resource and infrastructure constrained, games have a remarkable presence. In the public access spaces that dominate Internet and computer access in such regions, children fill Internet cafes playing bootlegged games in foreign languages, teenagers cobble together city-wide LANs to play MMOs, and self-taught programmers try their hand at creating local game content. This talk discusses what gaming looks like in places like Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Cambodia, and elsewhere. Based on several years of fieldwork about general patterns of technology usage in developing regions, this talk focuses on patterns of gaming, the general ecology of information and communication and information technology, and how individuals interested in games leverage scarce local resources to build local gaming communities.

Beth Kolko is an Associate Professor in the Department of Technical Communication at the University of Washington where she leads the Design for Digital Inclusion group and Digital Games Research group.

She has been studying the intersection of technology and communication since 1990, beginning with work on text-based virtual communities and moving to include visual representations of users in online environments and issues related to community fragmentation online. That work was tied to her long-term interests in how identity and diversity impact people?s use of technology.

Her current research explores how design and culture play a role in people?s adoption and adaptation of technologies. She travels with some regularity, studying diverse populations and how they adopt and adapt information and communications technologies (ICTs). In recent years she has conducted field studies in Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Hong Kong, and she has also done short visits to Greece, India, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and throughout Europe. Her games work is situated under the broader umbrella of her Design for Digital Inclusion project, which applies theory-based analyses of culture and technology in order to examine how technology is used in diverse settings. The goal of this project is to demonstrate how technologists, social scientists, and humanities scholars can collaborate to think more broadly about how to create devices, software, and services to better meet the needs of users. She is the co-editor of Race in Cyberspace, editor of Virtual Publics, and the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters.

Free admittance.


More information:

Web pages: http://www.gamesandstorytelling.net/