Nomination creates visibility for games research at KADK
Associate Professor in Game and Production Design at KADK, Jesper Juul has just been awarded the title of ‘Distinguished Scholar’ by the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA). DiGRA is the largest and most influential international organisation for researchers into computer games. We asked what the title means for Jesper Juul and for KADK.
What are the implications of the title of DiGRA Distinguished Scholar?
“First and foremost, it is a recognition of the work I have done for DiGRA, but of course it is also an acknowledgement of the work I have done to develop the actual field of computer games. Digital games research and the community that has grown up around it have undergone a huge development in recent years. That applies, not only to the development of periodicals, but also to the development of game design and game research education – including the programme here at KADK. The position also involves some commitment. From now on, I must contribute to the dissemination of knowledge of the area, and make myself available to the organisation and other stakeholders to provide advice and guidance.”
What significance might the nomination have for the games research environment at KADK?
“It definitely has some significance for KADK’s visibility in the field of computer games. Such recognition means that both nationally and internationally there will be greater visibility for the high level of work we do here at KADK in the field of games and games research. This is important, because we have a very special profile. With our visual and artistic focus, we differ significantly from many other more traditional games programmes. We need to draw attention to this difference, and the seal of approval from an organisation like DiGRA really helps.”
What areas of games research do you expect to see most of in the near future, and how would you assess KADK’s role in this context?
“There is a growing focus on more experimental computer gaming, which will, and can do something different from what we have seen up until now. Take, for example, the game about the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the game about sex change and sexual identity. These types of games are more like something we might call art projects, so the development is particularly interesting for a school such as ours, which has an artistic profile. The games are really transforming the field and are turning out to be powerful alternatives to the very commercial, very expensive games. It is an exciting development, which we must not only follow, but also make an active contribution to.”