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Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies

The Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies brings together leading expertise in game culture studies to develop original theoretical and empirical approaches that are crucial for understanding, anticipating and influencing the impact games have on culture and society.

Research focus and goals

The CoE’s work is focused on four interconnected themes:

  1. The meaning and form of games
  2. The creation and production of games
  3. Players and player communities
  4. The societal framing of games.

Games and playful ways of engagement have become more common e.g. in learning, communication, media, marketing, and in finding crowdsourced solutions to complex societal problems. This CoE is motivated by this wide-reaching rise of game cultures, as it presents a complex and broad-reaching research challenge. The research is needed, especially given that the engagement in games is starting to affect our everyday practices, arts and entertainment, as well as influencing future directions of our changing cultural norms and values.

Two overarching research questions will be examined in CoE-GameCult:

  1. What are the key processes and characteristics of meaning making that are significant for understanding changing game cultures?
  2. How is cultural agency being reshaped, redistributed and renegotiated in games and play, and in their associated societal contexts?

The CoE-GameCult research aims to produce results that promote innovativeness in theoretical, methodological and societal levels.

It relies on the circuit of culture as a heuristically useful organizing device, and as starting point that allows us both to identify the key research themes, and to explore the interplay between them.

Contact persons

Frans Mäyrä

CoE Director, Professor

frans.mayra [at] (frans[dot]mayra[at]tuni[dot]fi)

+358 50 336 7650


Olli Sotamaa

CoE Team Leader, Assoc.Prof.

olli.sotamaa [at] (olli[dot]sotamaa[at]tuni[dot]fi)

+358 50 420 1472


Usva Friman

CoE Scientific Coordinator

usva.friman [at] (usva[dot]friman[at]tuni[dot]fi)