video games -
ractice & fresh perspectives

GAPPP Workshop
19. - 21. August 2005
Department of Digital Aesthetics & Communication
IT-University (ITU) Copenhagen, Denmark

Facts & Vision

From 19th to 21st of August 2005, the Department of Digital Aesthetics & Communication (DiAC) will be home to video game aficionados who feel that the subject of their passion hasn’t been exhaustively explored yet and who mind the current gap in video game studies and -design.
In the 2 1/2 days of the workshop, game theoreticians and practitioners are dared to fill this gap by developing fresh perspectives on the study and design of games. By working together in small groups with clear tasks and goals, specific questions regarding the nature of games, their unique aesthetics and structural characteristics, the gaming experience as well as the current design practice shall be tackled.

As there are not many game research centers in Europe like the one at the DiAC, the workshop should give people working in the field of game studies the possibility to find other researchers with similar interests and to provide networking opportunities. One main goal is to bridge the gap between theoreticians and practitioners, thus encouraging transdisciplinary work.

Moreover, the development of concrete ideas for “new” games is an important first step for future cooperations between the individual participants in research projects and it might lay the foundation for a European “Network of Excellence” for game studies, where theories can not only be developed but also applied in game creation. The workshop itself is the first manifestation of a promising cooperation between the DiAC and the Institute for Design & Assessment of Technology at the University of Technology, Vienna.


[19.07.2005] You can download the preliminary schedule for the workshop.

Form & Content

Like every good workshop, this one is organized in an interplay between small, agile working groups and exchange and discussion in the full plenum. Our goal is to organize a successful and fruitful workshop that maintains it's momentum over the full duration.

Function follows form
Questions: What unique narratives could be created through the structural characteristics of digital games? In how far would they be different from narratives of “traditional” media such as books, films or websites? What experiences for the users would they enable that no other medium would allow for?
Goal: looking on both sides of digital games – the structural and the semiotic side – concrete game ideas should be generated. Identifying (on an abstract and / or concrete level) topics / themes that would go well with the structural characteristics of digital games (I know, some of that exists already, but let’s take that a step further).

Player language and experience
Questions: how are the users’ experiencing a game? Why are certain games more fascinating than others (of the same genre)? Why have games of a certain type the potential to involve us enormously whereas others bore us to death?
Goal: developing a vocabulary to describe the game experience or the act of playing (including context). This could be the first step to answer the questions above.

Naked games
Questions: What is the computer game per se? What stays when you take away cinematic elements, text or anything else that was transferred from older media to the computer game? In how far do games need elements from older media to be interesting for players? What is the role of cinematic elements, text etc. in games? With what could these elements be substituted to make for more unique games that do not need to draw upon other media, but are still interesting to people who expect some form of elaborate content (I’m trying to avoid the word “narrative” here)?
Goal: Identifying the functions of “traditional” elements in games. Trying to figure out if these functions could be substituted, with what and to what kinds of games this could lead?

Reality check
Questions: What design instruments are used in the game design process? What exchange possibilities are there between ludology and the game industry?
Goal: “Reality Check”; Finding ways of bringing theory and practice closer together to promote development on both sides. Creating a research agenda for trans-disciplinary work.

Don’t be shy. Apply!

If this sounds interesting to you so far and you are a game researcher and / or developer, a student focusing on game studies / design or a highly motivated human being with a profound interest in video games and a bundle of innovative ideas, then we would be very pleased to receive your mission statement (300 words max.). It should contain a short description of what your previous experiences with video games are, and in which way you think you could contribute to the discussion regarding the specific workshop topics. Please send your applications to until July 1st and you will be notified about admission to the workshop on July 20th.

Where to stay and how to get there?

Phoenix Copenhagen ****
71 Nyhavn Hotel Copenhagen ****
Imperial Hotel ****
Grand Hotel Copenhagen ****
The Square ***
Copenhagen Strand ***
Hotel Opera Copenhagen ***
Hotel Astoria Copenhagen ***

Hotel Jørgensen
Cab Inn Hotels
Copenhagen Danhostel Amager

Travel info

How to get from Copenhagen Airport to IT University of Copenhagen (approx. 7 kilometers):
Take the train direction København H (Central Station) or Helsingør from the airport (Track 2)
Stop at Ørestad Station
Go to metro station and take the metro (direction Vanløse St.)
Get off at Islands Brygge Station
Take bus No. 33 and get off at the second stop at Amager Fælled Vej which leaves you just in front of IT University of Copenhagen
The trip has a 2 zones fare: 17 DKK (see about tickets below)
Take a taxi for around 120 DKK

How to get from Copenhagen Airport to the City Center (Central Station) (approx. 10 kilometers):
Take the train from Track 2 (direction København H Station (Central Station) or Helsingør)
Get off at the København H (Central Station)
The trip has a 3 zones fare: 24.50 DKK (see about tickets below)
Take a taxi for around 150 DKK

How to get from IT University to the City Center (Kongens Nytorv/ Nørreport Station)
From Islands Brygge Station take the metro (direction Vanløse St.)
Get off at Kongens Nytorv or at Nørreport Station.
The trip has a 2 zones fare: 17 DKK (see about tickets below).

Train and bus tickets
The train, metro and bus tickets can be bought in the airport and from the bus driver
You can use a 2 zones ticket for 1 hour in buses, metros and trains both ways within the 2 zones
You can use a 3 zones ticket for 1 1⁄2 hour in buses and trains both ways within the 3 zones
You can buy a blue ‘clip card’ (Danish: klippekort) for 105 DKK and use the card for 10 travels within 2 zones. One ‘clip’ is a 2 zone travel for one person. Two ‘clips’ are a 4 zone travel for one person or a 2 zone travel for 2 persons etc.
The blue ‘clip card’ can be bought from the ticket offices and kiosks in the airport and train stations (but not in busses or trains).


doris rusch