The Immersive Experiences seminar have three special guests, acting as invited commentator and delivering keynotes.
Dr. Aleena Chia is an invited commentator at Immersive Experiences, and will deliver an academic keynote. Chia is an ethnographer of gaming cultures and an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. She researches practices at the margins of the digital and analogue, and in the interstices of work and play, within contexts such as game and fan conventions, live-action role-playing hobbies, and online game co-creation. Her work addresses gaming’s boundary work as structuring categories in post-Fordism, as achievement systems in player communities, and as moral calculations in the New Economy. She earned her PhD from Indiana University in 2017 and was a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies at the Univerity of Jyväskylä in 2018. Her work has been supported by training from Cornell University’s School of Criticism and Theory, an internship at Microsoft Research New England’s Social Media Collective, and an invitation to the Social Science FOO Camp at Facebook. She has published in journals such as Television & New Media, the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, and the Journal of Fandom Studies.
Dr. Usva Seregina is an invited commentator at Immersive Experiences. Seregina is a researcher and lecturer in consumer sociology as well as a practicing visual and performance artist, currently based in Goldsmiths, University of London. Seregina’s academic work is interdisciplinary, encompassing such fields, as consumer research, sociology, anthropology, performance studies, game studies, and art education. Their artistic work mainly takes form as interactive installations and performances aimed at critique and political discussions. In both their artistic and academic work, Seregina focuses on exploring the meaning and power structures of consumerism in contemporary culture. As part of their practice, Seregina is also developing various performance-based and art-based research methodologies.
Johanna Koljonen gives an industry keynote at the Immersive Experiences. Koljonen is the CEO of Participation Design Agency. She is a writer, broadcaster, and participation designer consulting on experience design with museums, the public sector, and media companies. She is an authority on designing for safety and trust in participation, and lectures internationally on analog experience design, Nordic Larp, and changes in the media landscape. Koljonen co-founded the Alibis for Interaction Master Class and the Nordic Larp Talks, both of which she hosts, and is the editor of the Nostradamus Project, which charts and predicts the close future of the screen industries. In 2011, she received the Swedish Grand Journalism Award in the Innovator of the Year category. In 2019 she edited Larp Design: Creating Role-Play Experiences.