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Dear reader,
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic a lot has happened in the field of game research. In this newsletter you can read all about the games students have been working on, SIGs, and our in-house game studio 253Games. Also, a number of AI labs have been started at UU, see the recent Game Research newsflash of 30 June, in which an appeal was made to send in your Game Research related proposals.

Best regards,

Joost Raessens and Remco Veltkamp, executive board Game Research
Game Lab, the new and improved DGDARC Game Hall
The past year was a perfect opportunity to work on the Game Hall in the basement of the BBG. The room has been used by DGDARC and Sticky (student associations) for years as a work and relaxation location, but it was time for some improvement. With added daylight and a new paintjob it feels less gloomy and working is more effective. Also, Sticky partner ASML sponsored an Oculus Quest 2 for development purposes (we only had Xbox 360 devkits before).

It is not completely finished as we are working on getting more development kits (any tips are appreciated), new furniture (standing desks etc.) and a new layout.
News from the Special Interest Group Sustainability
During the last six months, the SIG Games for Sustainability initiated the following three projects:

Ecogames Conference and Book. On 12-13 October 2021, we are organising the Ecogames 2021 conference in Utrecht; due to the ongoing Covid-related restrictions, we will live-stream the conference via StarLeaf (details and online address TBA). The conference is tied to our planned Ecogames anthology, which is scheduled for publication at Amsterdam University Press (AUP) in 2022. All authors will present their chapters-in-progress. The conference will also coincide with the annual Pathways to Sustainability conference held in Utrecht on 14 October 2021. More information >>

Book Series. We launched a new AUP book series called ‘Green Media’, which publishes scholarly works that critically engage with the role of media/games in addressing the climate crisis. More information >>

Mediography. We recently received funding from Pathways to Sustainability to build an online repository that facilitates a media-comparative perspective on Green Media phenomena, with a focus on ecogames. More information >>

For more information, please contact us via email: Joost Raessens or Stefan Werning.
Rami Ismail, Code no Code lecture during Exec(ut)
During the third edition (and first online edition) of the student congress Exec(ut) there was a talk by Rami Ismail, the Dutch-Egyptian game developer. Rami Ismail was 50% of the well-known Dutch studio Vlambeer and is now working as a freelance consultant. During Exec(ut) Rami discussed the way common code structures and concepts apply or do not apply to game development, and why thinking about games as products of code is both a risk and an opportunity.
253Games is the game design and development studio of the Center for Game Research of Utrecht University. We develop games for learning and research purposes for clients within UU and UMCU. The design and development of the games is done by students at Utrecht University, supervised by lecturers and researchers. The projects are typically implemented in coordination with Educate-IT and Research-IT. We frequently collaborate with the Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht (GLU), and the University of Arts Utrecht (HKU) for the graphic art design.
About this newsletter
Utrecht Center for Game Research performs interdisciplinary research on serious gaming and playful interaction.

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Utrecht Center for Game Research

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