Master’s Degree Programme in Internet and Game Studies

Note that there are still a few days left to apply to study in our Games and Internet Studies master’s degree programme, see:

Master’s Degree Programme in Internet and Game Studies (120 ECTS credits)

Programme: Internet and Game Studies

Specialization: Information Studies and Interactive Media

Admission criteria in 2015

Please see the UTA Admissions website for the IGS admission criteria.

Programme profile

The programme aims to provide an in-depth view to the fundamental character and development of games and Internet. Games have grown into an important form of culture and human interaction, expanding from entertainment to other areas of life. Internet and social media form an increasingly vital part of communication, social life and distribution of media and services.

The programme is particularly targeted at the questions of analysis, design and application of online services and digital games from user- and culturally focused perspectives. The programme directs students to develop academic skills like critical thinking, scientific writing and carrying out research projects while encouraging active and comprehensive involvement with the practical processes and phenomena related to games and Internet.

The programme is offered by the School of Information Sciences. The school has high profile research groups that are focused on Internet and game studies. There has also been a long history of education in hypermedia and in information studies and interactive media that form the basis of this degree programme.

Graduates’ jobs

Graduates typically combine the skills and knowledge derived from the programme with studies and proficiencies that enable them to work as experts of games and Internet in various professional roles, in research, in public sector as well as in industry. The need for knowledgeable workforce is growing in the fields related to games and interactive media, but the students should adopt an active attitude in fashioning their own specific area of expertise and professional profile.

The possible jobs of graduates include researchers, developers, critics and specialists working with the interpretation, evaluation or implementation of games and social media.

The degree also gives a strong basis for and eligibility to take Doctoral studies in the field (available at UTA).

Structure of studies

80 ECTS of advanced studies including the Master’s thesis, 40 ECTS of other studies (including language and complementing studies).


Studies consist of lectures and seminars on theoretical and methodological questions, and supervised individual research for a Master´s thesis. Studies require active attendance and participation in classes. Some of the course units are organised only once during the programme period. Teaching takes place during daytime and is on-campus contact teaching.

Complementing studies may be required depending on the student’s previous studies.

Language studies in Finnish and English must be included in the programme studies.

With the long tradition of academic freedom at the University of Tampere, students are free to include in their programme studies some course units also in other fields than their specialization, thus enabling a multidisciplinary degree.

Usually there is no need to buy any course books.

The programme requires approximately two years of full-time studies.

Degree awarded

The degree awarded is the Master of Science degree. The degree is a second cycle degree; for more information on Finnish degrees, please see the page on Degrees.

Contact information

If you have questions concerning the admission requirements, study related issues, or programme specific enclosures, please contact the SIS admissions contact person, Ms Kirsi Tuominen.

Knutepunkt book 2015

Knutepunkt (Solmukohta in Finnish) books have for a long time been inspiring mix of role-play theories, artistic manifestoes, and practical, larp design or game-running advice. The Knutepunkt book 2015 is no exception. Here is link to the PDF version (published ahead of the actual event), and outline of the contents:

The Knudepunkt 2015 Companion Book
Eds. Charles Bo Nielsen & Claus Raasted

Foreword 6
Claus Raasted

6 levels of substitution: The Behaviour Substitution Model 8
Lauri Lukka

Behind the larp census: 29.751 larpers can’t (all) be wrong 16
Aaron Vanek

Four Backstory Building Games You Can Play Anywhere!: Simple and effective 24
Peter Woodworth

Infinite Firing Squads: The evolution of The Tribunal 30
J.Tuomas Harviainen

Ingame or offgame?: Towards a typology of frame switching 34 between in-character and out-of-character
Olga Vorobyeva

Learning by playing: Larp as a teaching metod 42
Myriel Balzer & Julia Kurz

Looking at you: Larp, documentation and being watched 56
Juhana Pettersson

Now That We’ve Walked The Walk…: Some new additions to the larp vocabulary 62
Bjørn Flindt Temte

On Publicity and Privacy: Or “How do you do your documentation?” 70
Jamie MacDonald

Painting larp: Using art terms for clarity 78
Jacob Nielsen

Processing political larps: Framing larp experiences with strong agendas 82
Kaisa Kangas

Safe words: And how to use them 88
Nathan Hook

Steering For Immersion in Five Nordic larps: A new understanding of eläytyminen 94
Mike Pohjola

The Art of Steering: Bringing the Player and the Character Back Together 106
Markus Montola, Jaakko Stenros & Eleanor Saitta

The Blockbuster Formula: Brute Force Design in 118 The Monitor Celestra and College of Wizardry
Eirik Fatland & Markus Montola

The D-M creative agenda model: An axis instead of a pyramid 132
Nathan Hook

The Golden Cobra Challenge: Amateur-Friendly Pervasive Freeform Design 138
Evan Torner, Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Emily Care Boss & Jason Morningstar

There is no Nordic larp: And yet we all know what it means 142
Stefan Deutsch

Workshop practice: A functional workshop structure method 148
Mo Holkar

Ending: The larper’s burden 156
Claus Raasted

For more, see:

Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures

Playful Identities (cover)
Playful Identities (2015)

Long in the making, this highly interesting book on ludification of culture is finally in print and available; it includes also my chapter on the culture and identity of online casual play:

Frissen, Valerie, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul, and Joost Raessens, eds. 2015. Playful Identities: The ludification of digital media cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Table of Contents

1. Homo ludens 2.0: Play, media, and identity 9
Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul & Joost Raessens

Part I Play
Introduction to Part I 53
Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul & Joost Raessens

2. Playland: Technology, self, and cultural transformation 55
Kenneth J. Gergen

3. Spiritual play: Encountering the sacred in World of Warcraft 75
Stef Aupers

4. Playful computer interaction 93
Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath

5. Playful identity in game design and open-ended play 111
Menno Deen, Ben Schouten & Tilde Bekker

6. Breaking reality: Exploring pervasive cheating in Foursquare 131
René Glas

7. Playing with bits and bytes: The savage mind in the digital age 149
Valerie Frissen

Part II Media
Introduction to Part II 167
Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul & Joost Raessens

8. Location-based mobile games: Interfaces to urban spaces 169
Adriana de Souza e Silva & Jordan Frith

9. The playful use of mobile phones and its link to social cohesion 181
Rich Ling

10. Digital cartographies as playful practices 199
Sybille Lammes

11. Ludic identities and the magic circle 211
Gordon Calleja

12. Play (for) time 225
Patrick Crogan

13. Playful identity politics: How refugee games affect the player’s identity 245
Joost Raessens

Part III Identity
Introduction to Part III 263
Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul & Joost Raessens

14. Playing out identities and emotions 267
Jeroen Jansz

15. Playing with others: The identity paradoxes of the web as social network 281
Jeroen Timmermans

16. New media, play, and social identities 293
Leopoldina Fortunati

17. Playing life in the metropolis: Mobile media and identity in Jakarta 307
Michiel de Lange

18. The conflicts within the casual: The culture and identity of casual online play 321
Frans Mäyrä

19. Afterplay 337
Jos de Mul

About the authors 347
Index of Names 353
Index of Subjects 359

Games and Culture: new papers

Interesting new research has been published in Games and Culture journal, OnlineFirst:


Is it in the Game? Reconsidering Play Spaces, Game Definitions, Theming, and Sports Videogames

by Garry Crawford

Stand by Your Man

by Rabindra A. Ratan, Nicholas Taylor, Jameson Hogan, Tracy Kennedy, and Dmitri Williams

Predicting Video Game Behavior: An Investigation of the Relationship Between Personality and Mobile Game Play

by Soonhwa Seok and Boaventura DaCosta

Pelialan opinnäytekilpailu 2015 / Game Studies Thesis Competition 2015

[Spread the word: Finnish Game Studies Thesis competition, English text below]

Pelialan opinnäytekilpailu 2015
Kolmatta kertaa järjestettävä pelialan opinnäytekilpailu tekee näkyväksi pelien parissa tehtävää korkeatasoista suomalaista koulutus- ja tutkimustyötä. Kilpailun järjestävät yhteistyössä pelitutkimuksen verkosto DiGRA Finland ja Suomen pelialan keskus Neogames. Opinnäytekilpailuun voi osallistua työllä, joka on hyväksytty kalenterivuoden 2014 aikana (1.1.-31.12.2014).

Tunnustukseen sisältyy 800 euron rahapalkinto, joka voidaan jakaa yhden tai useamman palkitun kesken. Palkitun opinnäytteen tekijälle on varattu mahdollisuus esitellä työtään keväällä 2015 järjestettävässä Pelitutkimuksen päivässä.

Kilpailuun hyväksytään niin suomalaisten yliopistojen kuin ammattikorkeakoulujen peliaiheiset opinnäytetyöt. Opinnäytteellä tarkoitetaan tässä yhteydessä perustutkinnon valmistumiseen liittyvää lopputyötä. Kilpailuun ei siten voi osallistua opintoihin muuten liittyvällä projektityöllä tai muulla vastaavalla suorituksella. Samaten väitöskirjat on rajattu kilpailun ulkopuolelle.

Opinnäytteen tulee tavalla tai toisella liittyä peleihin. Tutkimuskohteeksi voivat asettua pelit itsessään, niiden pelaaminen, niiden tekeminen tai jokin muu peleihin elimellisesti liittyvä ilmiö. Työ voi olla otteeltaan esimerkiksi teoreettinen, soveltava tai kokeellinen.

Opinnäytteen voi ilmoittaa ehdokkaaksi 13.2.2015 mennessä. Työn voi asettaa ehdolle joko työn tekijä itse tai vaihtoehtoisesti oppiaine/koulutusohjelma tekijän suostumuksella. Kilpailutyöt lähetetään pdf-muodossa osoitteeseen: digra.finland [at]

Jos lopputyön tarkastajien lausunnot on saatavissa, nämä tulee toimittaa kilpailutyön yhteydessä. Mukaan tulee lisäksi liittää työn tekijän ajantasaiset yhteystiedot. Raadilla on oikeus hylätä myöhässä tai puutteellisina toimitetut ehdotukset.

Lisätietoja kilpailusta antaa kilpailuraadin sihteeri, dosentti Olli Sotamaa (olli.sotamaa [at ]

Game Studies Thesis Competition 2015

In order to parade the excellence of Finnish games research and education DiGRA Finland and Neogames Finland Ry have joined forces to award the best Finnish games related bachelor or master thesis through an annual competition.

Prizes: The best thesis will be awarded a monetary prize (this years’ prize sum is 800 euros that will be split between the winners). In addition, the author of the best thesis will have an opportunity to present her or his work in the Finnish Game Research day organised in the spring 2015.

Requirements: We are looking for an ambitious games-related thesis accepted between 1.1.2014 and 31.12.2014 in a Finnish higher education institution (this includes both universities and the universities of applied sciences). The focus can be e.g. on games themselves, in playing them, or in developing them.

Selection process: The decision is made by a peer review panel of experts co-ordinated by Neogames and DiGRA Finland. Based on the reviews, finalists will be short-listed and awarded by the panel.

Documents for submission: 1) the thesis as a single pdf file, 2) the evaluation statements of the thesis (if available) and 3) up-to-date contact details of the author.

Submission details: Send your submission to digra.finland [at]

Submission deadline: 13.2.2015.

Contact: For further information contact Olli Sotamaa (olli.sotamaa [at]

Crossposted from:

Wearable display and pocket computing

Again with headache, after a few hours of working in train, it comes apparent that even with hi-def, retina displays, the non-ergonomic posture and other troubles of working with laptops in cramped surroundings of mobile work are not going away.

Silicon Micro Display ST1080
Silicon Micro Display ST1080

There are probably several solutions to this particular challenge, but here is one idea: how about rather than insisting on staring at a laptop, having something like the recent Intel “PC on a stick”, plus a battery pack/power brick, coupled with a best-of-line wearable display? As those things are getting lighter and the projected displays sharper, and some of them also go for semi-transparent, see-through technology, there appears to be a true alternative future for wearable computing that consists of multiple devices plugged together, in a modular fashion. One problem with thin-and-light laptops is, for example, that their pursuit for paper-thin form factor compromises the keyboard. With a PC stick in your pocket and a see-through-display on your eyes, you also could have a really good, wireless keyboard and mouse connected as the input devices, and keep looking naturally ahead of you, with a large and sharp virtual display hanging in the air, at the optimal position and distance to save your eyes and neck from extra strain.

The current generation is probably not yet ready for the job, but here are some pointers for those who are interested to see where we are right now:

– Silicon Micro Display ST1080: Full HD, 2D/3D wearable, see-through display for virtual 100 inch screen (at 10 feet/3 meter apparent distance):
– Intel Compute Stick, quad-core Atom chip, built-in wireless connectivity, on-board storage, and a micro SD card slot for additional storage, with Windows 8.1 or Linux pre-installed:

Intel Compute Stick
Intel Compute Stick

New research, Games and Culture

Interesting new research papers coming out in Games and Culture, OnlineFirst:

New issue: Fafnir, Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research

Spreading word, the new issue of Fafnir is out:

Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research 4/2014

Jyrki Korpua, Hanna-Riikka Roine & Päivi Väätänen:
Editorial 4/2014

Download this article as PDF


William Bowman:
Women and Women: Use of Women Types as Rhetorical Techniques in Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Tepper’s Gate to Women’s Country.

Abstract: In this article, I argue both Margaret Atwood in Handmaid’s Tale and Sheri S. Tepper in Gate to Women’s Country use the same three ‘women type’ characters to explore ideal female gender roles and their relationship to society. Further, I argue that both authors use these characters as part of their bigger rhetorical engagement with the American gender essentialist political movements of 1980s. In particular, I argue that Atwood’s types, despite her empathy with the feminist movement, distance her from both radical second-wave separatist feminism and the American religio-political conservative movement of the 80s, and, against Dopp, that Offred does in fact offer an effective ideal female to be emulated in that, by the end of the novel, she defines and externalizes her self. On the other hand, for Tepper I argue, against Pierson, that Gate is not intrinsically anti-sexual but rather anti-romanticism, sexuality—homosexual and otherwise–only the unfortunate collateral damage, and, further, that Tepper’s women types align her much closer to the essentialism of second- and third-wave feminism than Atwood.

Keywords: Atwood, Tepper, Gender Roles, Women, Science Fiction, Handmaid’s Tale, Gate to Women’s Country

Download this article as PDF

Victor Grech, Clare Vassallo and Ivan Callus:
The coldest of all cold monsters: state infliction of infertility.

Abstract:The state may decide to limit its population due to a variety of reasons. This paper reviews the intersection of state-induced infertility in science-fiction, exploring eugenics, overpopulation, along with state-devised strategies to control both overpopulation and the quality of the remaining population.

Keywords:science fiction; infertilty, demodystopias, eugenics.

Download this article as PDF


Päivi Väätänen:
Sun Ra: Myth, Science, and Science Fiction.

Download this article as PDF

Jari Käkelä:
Maps for Further Exploring: Experiences from Helsinki Summer School Course “Science Fiction in Literature and Culture”

Download this article as PDF

Jyrki Korpua:
Kirja-arvio: Juri Nummelin & Vesa Sisättö – Tolkien – elämä ja teokset.

Download this article as PDF

Tieteen päivät: peliteollisuussessio

[Session about Finnish game industry in Tieteen päivät 2015 event] Tervetuloa ilmaiseen tiedetapahtumaan: Tieteen päivät 2015 -tapahtuma sisältää myös session “Demoskeneä vai Tekes-tukea – suomalaisen peliteollisuuden menestystekijät”, jonka puheenjohtajana toimin. Asiantuntijanäkökulmia tarjoaa kolme puhujaa: Olli Sotamaa, Sonja Ängeslevä ja Jani Niipola. Tarkemmat tiedot sessiosta löytyvät ohjelmasivulta:

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