Call for Proposals

3rd Multiple Approaches to Game Analysis Workshop (MAGAW 2018), 8th – 9th of November 2018, University of Lincoln, UK

Queries about the workshop, email:

Emmanuel Guardiola (Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln), Jussi Holopainen (Lincoln Games Research Network, University of Lincoln), and Curtis Maughan (Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln, Vanderbilt University) invite you to apply to a two-day, hands-on game analysis workshop.

Workshop Goal

In an attempt to develop a multidisciplinary game analysis toolkit, we are seeking a diverse spectrum of approaches to game analysis. By game analysis we refer to a systematic and critical identification of structures, elements and qualities of a game or genre.

Proposal Format

Applicants should submit a concise description of their preferred method of game analysis, no more than 250 words in length. Approaches to game analysis can be formal, empirical or qualitative in nature and should speak to a broad audience while featuring the applicant’s home discipline. Please send a description of your game analysis approach to by August 26th. The number of participants is limited. Acceptance/Rejection notifications will be sent by September 7th.

Workshop Structure

Applicants who are accepted will be invited to the two-day game analysis workshop at University of Lincoln, UK. Selected applicants will analyze a mainstream game during the workshop, but will not know in advance what game.

MAGAW 2018 will begin with the ‘big reveal’ of the game that will be the object of analysis. Participants will spend the rest of the day (Thursday November 8th) playing the selected game and analyzing it with their particular approach. The necessary equipment — consoles, PCs, portable devices, and copies of the game — will be provided.

On day two (Friday November 9th), participants will spend the morning reviewing the results of their analysis and preparing a brief recap. After lunch, participants will share their findings with one another and assess the efficacy of their methods by discussing such questions as: What worked? What could be improved? How might the diverse selection of approaches complement one another?

Important dates/info

Proposal deadline: August 26th
Notification of acceptance: September 7th
Workshop: November 8th-9th (University of Lincoln,
Workshop email:
More information about Lincoln Games Research Network can be found at

Here are two samples of what an approach to game analysis might look like:

Approach to Game Analysis: Diegetic vs. Non-diegetic Sound

The combination of diegetic and non-diegetic sound is essential to establishing an immersive game world. Furthermore, sound cues often provide the player with a visceral form of feedback that shapes play development. This approach to game analysis revolves around key elements of sound information to catalogue the ways in which diegetic and non-diegetic sound are used to guide the player and enhance player experience. This analysis will include sound effects as well as soundtrack and/or score.

In my game analysis, I will create a catalogue of diegetic vs. non-diegetic sounds, and analyze how various sound information distinguish themselves from one another and how they work together. Employing the catalogue of sounds, I will then illustrate the ways in which diegetic and non-diegetic sound is implemented in the game of choice by breaking down a few key sequences of gameplay. I hope to approach answers to the following questions: What is the nature of the interplay between diegetic and non-diegetic sound in creating an immersive game world? What is the nature of the interplay between diegetic and non-diegetic sound in guiding the player? How does the interplay of diegetic and non-diegetic sound in video games differ from that in film or theater?

An approach to Game Analysis: visual patterns discourse in gameplay progression by Mariana Amaro

Games, unlike movies, can mostly allow camera view framing control and exploration of large world scenarios to players. This relative freedom makes it more difficult to capture and analyze visual data in video games rather than in films, as every game experience can be somewhat unique to each player. So I propose a methodological approach to understand if there is a visual coherence in games regarding its challenges and climax progression with its visual elements, i.e. a “gameplay visual discourse”.

In my analysis, I will process gameplay images with ImageJ, a software that can extract numerical metadata of a large volume of images and also generates graphic charts from collected data. This analysis will only include visual elements from gameplay, excluding cutscenes.  Two techniques will be used: a) Parameter of hue, brightness, and saturation balances extracted from gameplay images, and b) Generate visualization of game scenario’s color scheme from collected data.

I intend with this approach observe gameplay visual impact (by the principle of color and tone contrast) and its affinity within the intensity of game’s progression structure. I hope to get answers to the following questions: What can it be analyzed from a scheme coherence’s graphic charts of gameplay visual data color? How is the relation between image metadata, color and tone scheme, and game challenges intertwined during gameplay? What layers of meaning could emerge from the confluence between game progression and color and tone contrasts in gameplay?

A special issue of the journal ToDiGRA (Vol. 3 No. 3, 2018) is out now. It collects the work of the British Digital Games Research Association, and it is co-curated by Dr Paolo Ruffino, from University of Lincoln.

Table of contents:

Paolo Ruffino, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Garry Crawford

Dr Paolo Ruffino from the Lincoln Games Research Network has presented his research on GamerGate at the DiGRA Italia 2018 conference: ‘Women, LGBTQI & Allies: videogiochi e identità di genere‘. The conference was hosted by the Sicilia QUEER Fest in Palermo, Italy. The event has gathered game scholars from Italy, and international speakers from Spain and the United Kingdom. It was curated by Dr Marco Benoit Carbone (UCL) and Dr Ilaria Mariani (Milan Polytechnic).

Digra Italia 2018 Palermo


The Lincoln Games Research Network  is glad to announce a game studies symposium on Wednesday, 23rd May 2018.

Morning session – 10am until 2pm at IntLab (INB1103)
The morning session starts with a presentation by our guest Dr Mina Vasalou from UCL Knowledge Lab at the Institute of Education. Her talk is titled “A Critical Examination of Feedback in Early Reading Games”. Mina is a designer and human-computer interaction researcher. She has been working as an interactive designer for several years on a variety of projects, spanning from training support, learning games for children, health management tools to web applications. She has a PhD in HCI/Computer-mediated Communication from Imperial College London. She has been working at the School of Management of the University of Bath, and the University of Birmingham’s HCI Centre in Computer Science.

After Mina’s talk, there are three presentations from the Lincoln Games Research Network:

Dr Khaled Bachour (University of Lincoln, School of Computer Science): “Research-led games: tensions between research agenda and artistic vision”
Dr Jussi Holopainen (University of Lincoln, School of Computer Science): “Game Design Research”
Dr Paolo Ruffino (University of Lincoln, School of Film and Media): “Video Games for Earthly Survival: Gaming in the Post-Anthropocene”

Afternoon session – 2:30pm at AAD0W25 Lecture threatre
In the afternoon we have a guest lecture by Prof Alessio Malizia. Alessio is Professor of User Experience Design at University of Hertfordshire and a distinguished speaker of the ACM (the international Association for Computer Machinery). His research and teaching interests focus on Human-Centred Systems, and the design of Ubiquitous Interactive Systems with a special focus on the End-User Development community. The talk is open to students.

For those of you who wish to reach Lincoln on the evening of May 22nd, we are going to have informal drinks and dinner.

Participation at the symposium is free but places are limited. If you are interested, please send an email to

Dr Paolo Ruffino from the Lincoln Games Research Network will coordinate a panel on independent games and independent game development at DiGRA 2018. The panel will take place on July 24th.

Confirmed participants include:

Casey O’Donnell (Associate Professor at Michigan State University, USA)
Celia Pearce (Associate Professor of Game Design at Northeastern University, USA)
Emma Westecott (Associate Professor in Game Design and Director of game:play at OCAD University, Canada)
Jonathan Lessard (Professor of Game Designer at Concordia University, Canada)
Carl Therrien (Professor in Game Studies at Université de Montreal, Canada)
Nadav Lipkin (Assistant Professor of Media, Communication and Technology at La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

Participation is open but places are limited. If you would like to join the workshop as a participant, please send an email  to by Friday 25th May 2018 and include bio, affiliation, and a short statement about your involvement and interest in the study of independent forms of video game development (max 250 words). If you would like to be considered as a speaker, please include a description of your contribution (max 500 words).