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Announcing the Commentators

The Gamebooks seminar will have three expert commentators giving feedback on the papers presented. They are Souvik Mukherjee, Hanna-Riikka Roine, and Raine Koskimaa!

Dr Souvik Mukherjee is assistant professor in Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta, India. Souvik’s research looks at the narrative and the literary through the emerging discourse of videogames as storytelling media and at how these games inform and challenge our conceptions of narratives, identity and culture.  Related interests and expertise include a broad spectrum of topics in Game Studies ranging from identity and temporality in videogames to the videogame industry in South-East Asia.  Currently, he is researching how videogames function within decolonial frameworks and separately, also how certain ancient Indian board-games contribute to the understanding of gameplay. Souvik is the author of two monographs, Videogames and Storytelling: Reading Games and Playing Books (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) and Videogames and Postcolonialism: Empire Plays Back (Springer UK 2017), as well as many articles and book chapters in national and international publications.

Hanna-Riikka Roine (PhD, literary studies) works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow funded by the Academy of Finland at the Tampere University and as an affiliated researcher in the consortium Instrumental Narratives. Her current research explores the ways in which our entanglement with digital media affects, guides, and shapes our engagement with the possible. Roine is a co-editor of the book The Ethos of Digital Environments: Technology, Literary Theory and Philosophy (2021) and has published articles, for instance, on narrativity and agency in digital RPGs.

Raine Koskimaa, PhD, is a Professor of Contemporary Culture Studies at the University of Jyvaskylä and Vice Director of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies. He conducts research in the fields of game studies, digital literature, transmedia storytelling and digital culture. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the Cybertext Yearbook (2000-2010) and the author of Digital Literature. From Text to Hypertext and Beyond (2000). Koskimaa has published widely, especially on digital culture and digital literature, and his writings have been translated to several languages. He is a long time member of the ELO Literary Advisory Board. His current research interests are eSports, games and transmedia, and, time and temporality in digital fiction.

Call for Papers Published

The call for papers for next year’s spring seminar has now been published. Gamebooks will be the 18th annual spring seminar hosted by Tampere University Game Research Lab and the Center of Excellence in Game Culture Studies. The seminar follows our traditional work-in-progress format; all papers are distributed to all participants ahead of the seminar. This means that we can have a lively and informed discussion at the seminar.

The seminar dates are May 5-6, 2022. The seminar will be held at Tampere University, Finland. The seminar is free of charge. Remote participation will be possible as well. The seminar is augmented with a physical visit to The Finnish Museum of Games and other social programme. 

Registration and programme

The registration for the seminar is now open, and you can register free of charge through the registration form. As we only have a very limited number of open seats available, please only register if you are certain of attending the event.

Once all open seats have been reserved, you can inquire about possible cancellations using the seminar email address gamestudiesseminar@gmail.com

Should you need to cancel your attendance, please notify us as soon as possible via email.


We are happy to announce that the full seminar programme has now been published, and you can find it on the programme page. With three keynotes and 27 presentations, we have an excellent selection of views on monstrosity, and we are looking forward to seeing you in three weeks’ time! 

Commentator introduction: Frans Mäyrä

Oma-muotokuva-2020-smallDr. Frans Mäyrä is the Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, with specialization in digital culture and game studies, in Tampere University, Finland. He is the founder and co-director of Tampere University Game Research Lab. Frans Mäyrä has studied the relationship of culture and technology from the early nineties, with specialisation in the cultural analysis of technology, particularly on the ambiguous, conflicting and heterogeneous elements in this relationship. Professor Mäyrä has published on topics that range from information technologies, science fiction, and fantasy to the demonic tradition, the concept of identity, and role-playing games. He is currently teaching, researching, and heading numerous research projects in the study and development of games, interactive media, and digital culture. He has also served as the founding President of Digital Games Research Association, DiGRA.

Frans is currently the director of the Academy of Finland funded Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (CoE-GameCult, 2018-2025). He had led also several other large consortium research projects, such as Ludification of Culture and Society (2014-2018). The author of An Introduction to Game Studies (2008), one of the leading textbooks in the field, he has over 180 scientific publications, including the work published e.g. in Journal of Communication, Video Game Policy, The Video Game Debate, and The Dark Side of Game Play.

For more information, see Frans’ personal website.

Preliminary programme released

We are excited to announce that we have now released the preliminary seminar programme with schedule and session titles! We have a total of eight themed sessions, focusing on diverse topics ranging from monsters in folklore to toxic gamer cultures, as well as three keynotes from our expert commentators. You can find more information on the programme page.

Priority registration for authors who submitted (regardless of acceptance) opens tomorrow, March 2.

Papers selected

After expert reviews and comprehensive discussion, we have now selected the papers to be presented at Monstrosity. We received 60 submissions and were able to accept 28. The submissions presented high-quality research with many interesting perspectives into the theme of Monstrosity. During the review process, we considered the overall quality of the submitted abstract and its topic and approach to the theme – also in relation to other submissions to facilitate discussion and synergy between all the presentations, so that the authors will benefit from the seminar in developing their work further. Once more, we wish to thank everyone who submitted their work!

We are currently in the process of building the seminar programme, and will be publishing more information in the upcoming weeks. Registration for the seminar will open in March.

Call for Papers closed

The submission deadline for Monstrosity was on January 15, and we received exactly 60 extended abstracts – an unprecedented amount in the history of the seminar. We are honored by this interest and wish to extend our warmest thanks to everyone that submitted. The review process has now started, and we will send out notifications of acceptance or rejection Friday, 29 January.

Commentator introduction: Jaroslav Švelch

Jaroslav Švelch is an assistant professor of media studies at Charles University, Prague. His monograph Gaming the Iron Curtain (MIT Press, 2018) explores the do-it-yourself computer game culture of Communist-era Czechoslovakia. In 2017-2019, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bergen, studying the theory, history, and reception of video game monsters within the Games and Transgressive Aesthetics project.

Besides game history and monsters, his research interests also include comedy and humour in games and video game voice acting. He is a co-founder of the Central and Eastern European Game Studies conference (CEEGS).

For more information, see Jaroslav’s website.

Commentator introduction: Sarah Stang

Sarah Stang is a PhD candidate in the Communication & Culture program at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is the editor-in-chief of the student-run journal Press Start and the former essays editor for the academic middle-state publication First Person Scholar.

Her published work has focused primarily on gender representation in digital games and has been featured in journals such as Games & Culture, Game Studies, Nordlit, Human Technology, and Loading. Her current research explores the ways that marginalized and minoritized identities are symbolically incorporated into science fiction and fantasy media through the figure of the monstrous other. Her doctoral work specifically analyses female monstrosity in digital and tabletop science fiction and fantasy games, focusing on the ways that sexuality, reproduction, and old age, as well as non-normative bodies and transgressive behaviours, are framed as monstrous and horrific.