OASIS Talks

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 - AUTUMN 2022

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 - October 27th

Care Tactics - Practicing Safe Storage at Gaming Events
Nick Taylor

In his talk, Nick Taylor reports on an exploratory study he carried out with women and non-binary games industry workers, learning about the work they do to keep themselves and each other safe – from burnout, viruses, harassment – at games industry and game culture conventions such as the Game Developers Conference, the Montreal International Games Summit, and the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Such events are crucial to the reproduction of the games industry and its persistent politics of exclusion, and yet are relatively undocumented.

He shows how much of the ‘care tactics’ these participants undertake can be understood in terms of techniques for storage and containment, thus situating their work within both recent pop cultural problematizations of gendered mobility (“it’s got pockets!”) as well as theoretical accounts of “container technologies” and their politics.

Nicholas (Nick) Taylor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at York University. During the 2022-23 academic year, he is serving as the Högskolestiftelsen Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies at Åbo Akademi University in Vaasa, Finland. Nick combines critical and ethnographic approaches to analyze the subjectivities, communities, and industries associated with professionalized leisure practices; his work has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and New Media & Society. He is currently working on a monograph about the intersections of masculinities, digital play, and the gendered politics of place.

Link to live stream of the talk: https://youtu.be/98-qaheq1s4

Tuesday - November 15th

International Solidarity Between Game Workers in the Global North and Global South – Reflections on The Challenges Posed by Labor Aristocracy
Emil Lundedal Hammar

Emil Lundedal Hammar

While much media coverage and research have covered how the games industry is increasingly moving to unionize, the primary discussion has mostly been at a national level. As a consequence, international differences and exploitative economic relations between game workers in the so-called Global North and the Global South are overlooked to the detriment of international solidarity and provides ammunition for union-busting by major game companies. This presentation focuses on such challenges by introducing the Marxist concept of labor aristocracy to identify where unionization and collective organizing in the game industries in the ‘imperial core’ face difficulty. The presentation does so through gathered qualitative data from game workers, organizers, union representatives, and leaders of international organizations. In sum, the presentation clears a forward path for both production research in game studies and labor organizing in the Western games industry through a global perspective on international material relations and historical materialism.

Emil Lundedal Hammar (PhD) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Game Research Lab and at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies at Tampere University. His research expertise intersects between game studies, political economy, critical race theory, and cultural memory studies, where his doctoral thesis addressed how digital games, race, colonialism, and political economy intertwine to reinforce dominant hegemonic understandings of the past. His current research focuses on labor conditions in the Nordic game industries.

Past talks

OASIS LUNCHTIME TALKS - SPRING SEASON 2022

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)

OASIS LUNCHTIME TALKS - SPRING 2020

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

OASIS LUNCHTIME TALKS - FALL 2019

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)

OASIS LUNCHTIME TALKS - SPRING 2019

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

OTHER OASIS TALKS - 2018

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)