OASIS hosts various talks on academic and non-academic topics. These talks are always free and open to everyone.

We try to live stream as many talks as we can and you can find them on the OASIS Facebook-page and Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies Youtube-channel.

Our current talk series is called OASIS Lunchtime Talks and you can find the schedule and information about the talks below.

In addition to this curated series, the page highlights other types of OASIS Talks, past and yet to come.


OASIS Lunchtime Talks is a series of lectures on current research by fascinating scholars from near and far.
The talks are usually held on Thursdays during lunch hour (12.00 - 13.00 or 12 PM to 1PM).
The lecture series was created by Olli Sotamaa and the current series of OASIS Lunchtime Talks is curated by Sabine Harrer and Jaakko Stenros, and produced by Mikko Seppänen and Elisa Wiik.

Tuesday - January 28th

Handmade Pixels: Indie Video Games and the Quest for Authenticity
Jesper Juul

Through examples of new, interesting, and strange games, Juul argues that independent video games face the problem of authenticity: How can we create new, authentic games in a global, digital, immaterial art form, at a time when the rest of culture celebrates local food, handcrafted items, and the analog? The talk is relevant for anybody interested in the history of video games, digital culture, and independent/alternative movements.

Jesper Juul is a Copenhagen-based video game researcher and Associate Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design. Handmade Pixels is his fourth book on MIT Press, where he also co-edits the Playful Thinking Series. https://www.jesperjuul.net

Past talks


Ask Why: Creating a Better Player Experience through Environmental Storytelling and Consistency in Escape Room Design
Scott Nicholson (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Age Appropriate Game Design
Darshana Jayemanne (Abertay University)
Zen Mode: on Buddhism, McMindfulness, and orientalism in games
Victor Navarro-Remesal (Comillas Pontifical University)
Fun Things are Fun: Exploring the Games & Life of Karl Rohnke
Pete Vigeant (ESC Games)

Thursday - October 24th

Thoughts on Existential, Transformative Game Design
Dr. Doris Rusch

This talk explores how we can design games that contribute to a meaningful life. It draws on the main goals of existential psychotherapy and discusses how they can inspire game experience goals. It then makes an argument for the function of myth as a way to orient us towards our Existence and proposes strategies for game designers to create new, playable mythologies. It thereby introduces the concept of “psychological resonance” as the essence of transformation which is voluntary and uncoerced.

Dr. Doris C. Rusch is a game designer / researcher who holds a position as Senior Lecturer in Game Design at Uppsala University. Her games have won numerous awards and she authored Making Deep Games (Taylor & Francis 2017).


Thursday - November 7th

Assemblage agency and the games that play us
Maria Ruotsalainen

Do we play games or do they play us?I examine the construction of agency in the play of multiplayer video games by utilizing autoethnographic approach.  I pay attention to how different elements contribute to the sense of agency and argue that Jane Bennet's (2009) concept "assemblage agency" can offer a fruitful way to examine player agency.

Maria Ruotsalainen is a Doctoral Candidate in Digital Culture at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her doctoral thesis focuses on esports as a cultural phenomenon and deals with matters such as gender, nationality, desire, and affects in a digital play and esports.



Wednesday - November 20th -  11.00-12.00

Ethics in theory, justice in practice: Insights into practical challenges between game research contexts
Dr. Florence Chee

At the intersection of free speech, private enterprise, and academic research, how can we learn from experience with ethical challenges in game research contexts? How can an Ethics of Care be applied to the researchers as well as the researched? By drawing upon a number of applied research cases, this talk will address some key ethical considerations that go between theory and practice in the interface between academic game research and the industry.

Dr. Florence Chee is Assistant Professor of Digital Communication and Director of the Social & Interactive Media Lab (SIMLab) at Loyola University Chicago. Her work in Digital Media and Game Studies and examines the dynamics between diversity, intersectionality and media production through social justice frameworks.


Thursday - November 28th

Digital Dreamers? Researching the Lives of Videogame Workers
Anna Ozimek

While videogames that are developed, localised, and tested in Poland and Estonia are played by people all over the world, the working lives of the people who contribute to their development are underexplored. This presentation discusses the opportunities and challenges of investigating videogame labour outside the 'core' videogame production regions. Drawing on data from in-depth interviews and analyses of secondary sources, Anna Ozimek will discuss the development of the videogame industry and videogame workforce in the CEE region.

Anna M. Ozimek is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School at Tallinn University. Her postdoctoral research project and PhD thesis concerned an investigation of videogame labour in the Central and Eastern European region.


Maria Garda

Thursday - December 5th

Title to be confirmed
Maria Garda

Maria B. Garda (PhD) has been researching video games and digital media from the perspectives of genre, nostalgia and local history. She is an expert of media history, and her current work focuses on video game cultures and contemporary forms of hacking. Maria’s recent publications have dealt with indie games, role-playing games, and roguelikes.  She is a co-founder of Replay. The Polish Journal of Game Studies and the vice-president of Games Research Association of Poland.

She is currently working on a book project with Paweł Grabarczyk, under a working title: Digital Epigones? A Cultural History of the Late 8- and 16-bit Video Games.


The Gamer Logic of “Selfies are Avatars”: Toxic Masculinity and James Franco’s Strategic Vulnerability
Tom Apperley
Intimate Games: Queering the Conventional Mouse Controller for Cooperative Play
Sabine Harrer
Resisting Patches & Updates: Struggles against Protocological Power in Video Games
Jan Švelch
Understanding the Australian Videogame Field through Formal, Informal, and Embedded Gamemakers
Brendan Keogh (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane) 
Sense of Place in Videogames: Case Red Dead Redemption
Jussi Holopainen (Games Computing, University of Lincoln)
Regulatory change and cultural peculiarity - horse people and the new gambling monopoly in Finland
Pauliina Raento


MSP Challenge 2050: first results of fourth-generation simulation gaming for maritime spatial planning
Harald Warmelink (NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands)
On the Possibility of a Paratelic Initiation of Organizational Wrongdoing
Mikko Vesa (Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki)
Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games: Why Gaming Culture Is the Worst
Christopher Paul (Seattle University)
Salvation, or Snake Oil, Big Data Practices in the Game Industry
Jennifer R. Whitson (University of Waterloo)
Amateur adaptations of “professional” games: Manic Miner and Flappy in 1980s Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Švelch (University of Bergen / Charles University Prague)