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Join the UKFCU Esports Lounge for an exciting series of speakers who will introduce you to the frontier academic discipline of game studies! Whether you are a freshman or senior, a hardcore gamer or new to the digital world, we believe that this series will be engaging and a great way to meet some like-minded undergraduates and graduates as you begin, or continue, your college journey. In addition, interest in this series will help make classes on game studies possible in the future!

Each talk will be held in the UKFCU Esports Lounge Stadium, located in the back of the Cornerstone Building. Below you can find an abstract of each speaker event, as well as the date and time. Each speaker will leave plenty of time for questions. Entrance is free.

The Speakers

Below you will find information about the speakers and their talks, as well as a link to a recording of any talk that has already been done.

Nash Meade, Ph.D. Student (PHI) (9/13, 3:30-5:30PM)

Title: Ethics and the Gaze in Computer Gaming

Abstract: The question of ethics in computer games has ultimately relied on a simple metaphysical distinction: if game worlds are real, ethics within them must also be real; if they are not, then ethics may not be. In this presentation, I will take a new approach to the ethical problem through an intersection of game studies and the existentialist work of Sartre on “the gaze.” I assert that the ethical question ought not rely on the metaphysics; instead, it ought to rely on the existential character of the person and their relation to the character they play, as well as to the non-player characters with which they interact. This provides a framework that is both flexible and player-oriented, rather than attempting to force objectivity onto an ultimately subjective experience with a game. 

Link to Talk: 

Dr. Meg Wallace (10/18, 4-6PM)

Title: Thinking through Doing: Games as a Gateway to Philosophy

Abstract: Philosophy is often considered an annoyingly abstract discipline, devoid of practical, employable skills. Meanwhile, games are often considered frivolous and a waste of time. Yet combining philosophy and games in the classroom creates an unforgettable educational experience for both students and teachers. In this presentation, I walk through some of my own efforts at teaching philosophy through games - in particular, circus arts and video games - leading to an interactive discussion about the pedagogical benefits and challenges of designing courses this way. No prior knowledge of philosophy or games is required; all students, faculty, and staff are welcome!

Link to Talk: DrMegWallace - 18 October 2023 - 04-03-08 PM.mp4

Drs. Brenna and Andrew Byrd, (11/15, 2-4PM)

Title: Constructed Languages and World Building in Video Games

Abstract: Fictional worlds in popular media increasingly require more believable constructed languages (conlangs) for full immersion and perceived authenticity. We will briefly discuss the function of conlangs in world building in media, our work creating conlangs for video games, and the fine line creators have to walk between perceptions of accuracy and authenticity by experts and by the audience in order for a game to be successful.  

Dr. Kishonna Gray, (12/1, 4-6PM)

Title: An Introduction to Black Game Studies

Abstract: This talk will focus on bringing to light the features of Black Game Studies, which is a praxis that connects the Black experience to cultural production, creative practice, and lived experiences. It is a model that goes beyond theoretical engagements of analyzing representation in games, users who play, or makers who create. It focuses on the structure within which people play and makers create, as well as on those who have created dynamic cultures that engage with these mediated and technological industries.

Interested in Games Studies?

If you are interested in having Intro to Games Studies courses, please fill out the survey below. This information will be used to pitch an Intro to Games Studies course to the College Board. 

Fill out Survey