Archive for the ‘Colloquia’ Category

RCID Research Forum, AY 2010-11

April 21, 2011

The RCID program along with the CAAH thanks our faculty-colleagues for their presentations of research for the AY 2010-11.

–Fall 2010

Bryan Denham, Department of Communication Studies: “Mass Communication and Deviance Amplification: Conceptual Processes.”

Tharon Howard, Department of English: “Who Watches the Watchmen: Evaluating Multimodal Scholarship in the Academy.”

Christina Hung, Department of Art: “Peripatetic Looking: Making the Image and Its Situation.”

Jan Holmevik, Department of English: “The Electrate Ludic Transversal.”

Linda Li-Bleuel, Department of Performing Arts: “Lucie Robert’s 10 + 1: A Landmark Work in the Creation of a Performance Medium.”

–Spring 2011

Steve Katz, Department of English, “Plato’s Nightmare: Poetry in an Age of Electracy?”

Barton Palmer, Department of English: “Textual Multiplicities and the Auteur Theory: Some Thoughts on Genette and Jameson”

Diane Perpich, Department of Philosophy and Religion: “Heidegger’s Contribution to Social Ontology.”

Susanna Ashton, Department of English: “South Carolina Slave Narratives.”

Martha Skinner, Department of Architecture: “CiTy-SCAN: The Sensual and Scientific Notation of the Human Body and the City Body”

Johannes Schmidt, Department of Languages: “Resisting theory: 18th-century German theater and the education of the masses.”


RCID @ Georgia Tech, Serious Games

October 31, 2009

The RCID Serious Games Colloquium meeting on Monday, Oct 19, featured a presentation by Josh Hilst entitled “Gaming with Protocol: Control and Serious Games.” Hilst discussed Alexander Galloway’s work in Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization and Galloway and Eugene Thacker’s The Exploit: A Theory of Networks as related to serious games and the narratology/ludology skirmish in game studies research.


On Tuesday, Oct 20, a group of 11 RCID students, 2 MAPC students, Jan Holmevik, and Cynthia Haynes, attended the much anticipated reprise of the 1999 Digital Arts and Culture Conference debate between Espen Aarseth and Janet Murray.

Ian Bogost of Georgia Tech organized and moderated the session, which included talks by Aarseth (IT-University of Copenhagen), Murray (Georgia Tech), and Fox Harrell, Assistant Professor of Digital Media in their School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. The debate, billed as “How to Think about Narrative and Interactivity,” revisited the historical conflict between narratology and ludology launched at the ‘99 DAC conference at Georgia Tech. Aside from Aarseth and Murray, Haynes and Holmevik were the only other attendees present at the ‘99 event. View the video of last week’s roundtable session (note how the RCID contingent filled half the room!). See the post on Ian Bogost’s blog about the event.






Photos: Jan with Espen, the GA Tech session, and the RCID people at the event.

Next meeting, Monday, Nov. 2nd, with talk about RCID, Serious Games Colloquium, and WOW

For additional news and lists of readings see, the Serious Games Colloquium website link to this fall’s schedule.

Serious Games: “Avatar Nation”

November 18, 2008

The RCID Serious Game Colloquium met on Monday, Nov 17, from 11am-12noon in the Class of 1941 Studio.

Cynthia Haynes presented

“Avatar Nation: A Space Opera”

followed by an open


The lecture was open to the Clemson community. In the context of serious games, the presentation considered how avatars inhabit the space of open identity and engender poetic existence.



The far right caption in the balloon reads: “Ishnu’a la shindu Sin’ Dorei” [or “bless you fallen children of the light”]

Cynthia’s various avatars were disclosed:


The talk was addressed to students and faculty interested in virtual worlds, digital expression, online identity, video game design, game studies, and gender studies. … Afterwards, the audience–two of which are pic.k.ed for a showcase here, Anthony Collamati and Josephine Walwema, as representative RCID-ers–joined in on discussions:


R C I D ROCKs … and ROCKs and ROCKs

RCID Serious Game Colloquium, a report

December 11, 2007

Serious Games Colloquium

This fall the RCID Serious Games Colloquium opened with a talk by Cynthia Haynes entitled “Muddy Waters/Serious Games.” The talk dealt with Jacques Derrida’s essay “Structure, Sign and Play.” Cynthia used this particular essay to explore theoretical aspects and implications of serious games. About half the talk was delivered inside the Massively Multiplayer Game World of Warcraft, something that served as an excellent example of how games can be used as platforms for delivery as well as for “story telling engines.” Another theoretical starting point for our colloquium this fall was Stuart Moulthrop’s essay “After the Last Generation: Rethinking Scholarship in the Days of Serious Play.” Both of these works gave us an important epistemological framework within which to situate the discussions that followed.

The Serious Games Colloquium has always been concerned with both theoretical, practical, and gameplay aspects of games. Last semester we offered viewings of several different serious games such as

– ReMission, a game that is designed for kids with cancer;

– America’s Army, which is the US Army’s newest training & recruiting tool;

– Second Life, as well as a mixed bag of smaller web-based political games.

sg3.jpgThis semester we took a more in-depth look at Second Life, which, as many people2ndlife.jpg already know, is a virtual world on the Internet with more than 1.5 million regular users worldwide. At the time of this writing the average number of simultaneous users are well in excess of 40,000. This fall Second Life got a lot of attention in the media; e.g., one episode of the popular TV show CSI New York took place partly inside Second Life. Also Second Life has gained a lot of interest lately in academia . Clemson University is also on board with at least two development projects, one by CCIT and one by the Graduate School. One of our meetings this Fall took place at the graduate school’s virtual Clemson campus where we were given a tour of the virtual facilities.


Serious Games at Clemson Island

In a second session on Second Life, Jan Holmevik talked about avatars and how to customize appearance, animations, clothing and more. Both of these meetings were well attended and showed that there is a big interest in Second Life and how virtual world may augment our educational missions. Next year, therefore, we will continue our focus on Second Life with the aim of continuing our exploration of the serious sides of that medium. One of the focal points for these discussions will be a creative inquiry project that Holmevik is developing on community development in Second Life. This project will collaborate with Elisa Sparks and others to develop a Virtual Bloomsbury for Virginia Woolf scholars and others who share an interest in her literary work. In addition to being an excellent opportunity for colloquium participants to get involved in shaping a virtual curriculum, we see this as a good opportunity for joint sessions with Spark’s Space/Place Colloquium, and also as a vehicle for collaboration between MALit and MAPC within the English Department in general.

One of the goals of the RCID colloquia is to develop courses for our students in the PhD program. Early in the semester several students expressed an interest in seeing a seminar on video game design coming out of the Serious Games Colloquium. Based on student input, Holmevik, therefore, developed a proposal for a course aimed at introducing students to video game theory, design, and production. Here is a part of the seminar description:

sg4.jpg“The course centers on a single project: Making a video game from initial idea to final product. The production platform will be Blender, a free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License. The Blender platform includes tools for 3D modeling and animation, scripting and rapid prototyping in Python, and comes with a fully functional game engine for play testing and demonstration. In addition, Photoshop, Illustrator, and other appropriate software tools will also be used in the production of assets for the game. Students will gain proficiency with these tools and their use in video game development.

The beginning of the semester will deal extensively with readings and discussions of game theory: From the works of Johan Huizinga to Espen Aarseth through Ian Bogost and Ralph Coster, as well as others, we will study games in a theoretical perspective and analyze what makes them fun, playable, immersive, persuasive, and addictive.

Based on the theoretical understanding of games, the second part of the semester will be devoted to the design of a complete game from start to finish. Students will be divided into groups based on their areas of interest and expertise, and will work on different aspects of the game production process: The Game design document, 2D modeling and textures, 3D modeling and animations, level design, game logic scripting, and much more.

The last part of the semester will be devoted to a critical analysis of the game that has been developed. Theory reinserts itself and, coupled with experience from actually having worked on a real game development project, students will reflect on the design and production process, write structure programs for future projects, and rationales for conducting game design projects/courses themselves (both inside and outside of academic settings).”


~ Jan Holmevik