Katie Salen lecture in Potsdam

Katie Salen

“Pokéwalkers, Mafia Dons, and Football Fans: Play Mobile with Me”

Thursday, January 14, 2010, 6 to 8 pm

Hörsaal 2 / Lecture Hall 2 (please see http://www.digarec.org for a map)
Hasso Plattner Institut für Softwaresystemtechnik GmbH
Prof.-Dr.-Helmert-Str. 2-3
D-14482 Potsdam

The language will be English and the entry is free.

Any changes of the programme or locations etc. will be published first on http://www.digarec.org.


This talk will address a theoretical reconfiguration of experience, a repositioning of the techno-social within the domains of mobility, games, and play, and embodiment. The ideas aim to counter the notion that our experience with videogames (and digital media more generally), is largely “virtual” and disembodied — or at most exclusively audiovisual. Notions of the virtual and disembodied support an often-tacit belief that technologically mediated experiences count for nothing if not perceived and valued as human. It is here where play in particular can be put to work, be made to highlight and clarify, for it is in play that we find this value of humanity most wholly embodied. Further, it is in considering the design of the metagame that questions regarding the play experience can be most powerfully engaged. While most of any given game’s metagame emerges from play communities and their larger social worlds (putting it out of reach of game design proper), mobile platforms have the potential to enable a stitching together of these experiences: experiences held across time, space, communities, and bodies. This coming together thus represents a convergence not just only of media, participants, contexts, and technologies, but of human experience itself. This coming together is hardly neat, nor fully realized. It is, if nothing else, multifaceted and worthy of further study. It is a convergence in which the dynamics of screen play are reengaged.


Katie Salen is a professor of design and technology at the Design and Technology Department of Parsons The New School for Design in New York (USA). She co-authored “Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals” (2003), a textbook for game design and she is the co-editor of the “Game Design Reader” (2005). Both books where published at MIT Press and are two of the best recognized books about the theory of game design worldwide. Salen is interested in games as both aesthetic and cultural forms. She writes about game design, design education and play culture. Furthermore she has worked on projects as a designer for Microsoft, the Gamelab, the Hewlett Foundation and the Buckminster Fuller Institute. She has published her work in several magazines.

She recently opened a public school in the USA whose curriculum uses playbased learning. More on Spiegel Online (German): http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/games/0,1518,660777,00.html.

More information about Katie Salen at http://www.gamersmob.com/

Universität Potsdam
Europäische Medienwissenschaft
Institut für Künste und Medien
Am Neuen Palais 10
D-14469 Potsdam

Tel: +49 (0) 331 977 1461
Mail: info(at)digarec.org
Web: www.digarec.org

*** DIGAREC Lectures 2009/10 ***
with Mark J.P. Wolf, Espen Aarseth, Katie Salen, Frans Mäyrä
Further Information (not available in English) http://www.digarec.org/category/lectures.

Thursday, January 21, 2010, 6 to 8 pm, location: tba: Georg Spehr and Stephan Humer.
Thursday, February 4, 2010, 6 to 8 pm, location: tba: Frans Mäyrä

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