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 new live streams on the OASIS YouTube channel, event information on the OASIS
Facebook-page and recordings of most of our previous talks on the 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 Heikki Tyni and Jaakko Stenros, and produced by Mikko Seppänen and Elisa Wiik.

Thursday - March 30th

In-game interaction, identities and communities – or what does it mean to play together?
Matilda Ståhl

In a Nordic perspective, where most (young) people have internet access, the digital dualism between being online or offline is no longer relevant – it is a continuum rather than a strict binary. Despite this, online platforms such as games are currently not utopian environments where people can be anyone or anything they want: identity (co)construction online is framed by both the platform's technical affordances as well as the online and offline communities one is part of. In this talk, Dr Matilda Ståhl will discuss how game and gaming communities are shaping and shaped by in-game interaction and identities. She will exemplify this discussion through empirical material from different research projects, the majority of them ethnographic focusing on young players.


Matilda Ståhl is a Doctor of Philosophy with education as her major subject. She defended her thesis in December 2021 and is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher and university lecturer at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. Her research is player focused, in particular on identity (co)construction online/offline, and how these identities are connected to and shaped by games and gaming communities and the norms within them.

Thursday - March 9th

How to study Japanese video games: A reflection on my stay abroad in Japan
Joleen Blom

The study of Japanese video games is a growing discourse in the field of Game Studies. However, it is still a challenge for many to research games from this culture, not in the least because of the language barrier and the lack of knowledge of the field of Japan Studies. In this talk, Dr. Joleen Blom addresses the question of how we can study Japanese video games, through the lens of her stay in Japan from August 2022 – January 2023. Dr. Blom will provide a set of complications she often encounters and provides possibilities of how to engage with them, showing how the ups and downs of studying Japanese games can look like.


Dr. Joleen Blom is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies and at the Game Research Lab at Tampere University. She holds a BA degree in Japan Studies, an MA degree in Media and Performance Studies, and a PhD in Game Studies from the Center for Computer Games at the IT University of Copenhagen, where she was a member of the ERC Advanced grant project Making Sense of Games (MSG).

Her research interests include transmedia storytelling, Japanese games and culture, characters, and para-social relationships and intimacy through technology and media. She has published on these topics in journals such as Narrative, ToDiGRA, and Replaying Japan, and edited collections like Japanese Role-Playing Games Genre, Representation, and Liminality in the JRPG.

Thursday - February 2nd

From Research to Development - A Transit King Story
Janne Paavilainen

This lunch time talk discusses personal transition from games research into game development. Janne Paavilainen worked as a games researcher for 15 years until grabbing an opportunity to work as a UI/UX designer at BON Games. Working on the Transit King Tycoon mobile game, Janne moved into Design Lead and eventually Product Owner role. In this talk Janne discusses the similarities and differences in research and development, and also lessons learned from the dark side. The talk covers many practical topics from day-to-day (remote) operations to strategic planning, data driven design, user experience research etc.

Janne Paavilainen (Msc Econ) is a Finnish games researcher and game developer. During his 15 year academic career in Agora Gamelab (JYU) and Games Research Lab (TUNI) Janne studied free-to-play mobile, casual, and social games. His research interests are in game design, playability, and player experience. Janne has studied hybrid and location-based games, focusing on Pokémon GO. For the last 3½ years Janne worked at BON Games on the mobile title Transit King Tycoon in various roles. Currently Janne is freelancing as a consultant and lecturer for both academia and games industry. His PhD thesis on Facebook games should be finished sooner rather than later.

Past talks


Care Tactics - Practicing Safe Storage at Gaming Events
Nick Taylor (York University)
International Solidarity Between Game Workers in the Global North and Global South – Reflections on The Challenges Posed by Labor Aristocracy
Emil Lundedal Hammar (Tampere University, the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies)


The Value of NFTs in Games
Alesha Serada (University of Vaasa)
Playing with toy soldiers? A look at miniaturing
Mikko Meriläinen (Tampere University, the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies)


Handmade Pixels: Indie Video Games and the Quest for Authenticity
Jesper Juul (Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Desig)


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)
Thoughts on Existential, Transformative Game Design
Dr. Doris Rusch (Uppsala University)
Assemblage agency and the games that play us
Maria Ruotsalainen (University of Jyväskylä)
Ethics in theory, justice in practice: Insights into practical challenges between game research contexts
Dr. Florence Chee (Loyola University Chicago)
Digital Dreamers? Researching the Lives of Videogame Workers
Anna Ozimek (Tallinn University)
Finnish and Polish educational board games in the mid-19th century
Maria Garda (PhD) (University of Turku)


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)