Author Archives: Stenros

Seminar Programme


Here is the finalized programme for the seminar. One presentation was cancelled, and a few sessions have moved. Also, we conclude a little earlier on Wednesday.

Tuesday April 10th

09:00 Registration and Coffee

09:30 Welcome

10:00 Session I: Role-Play and Performance

  1. Marjukka Lampo
    Ecological Approach to Gaming Processes in Larps
  2. Jaakko Stenros
    Between Game Facilitation and Performance: Interactive Actors and Non-Player Characters in Larps
  3. Evan Torner
    Empty Bodies and Time in Tabletop Role-Playing Game Combat

11:30 Lunch hour

12:30 Session II: Engagement and Role-Play

  1. Nathan Hook
    A Social Psychology Ethnographic Study of ‘Immersion’ Among Live Role-Players
  2. Laura Flöter
    The Avatar’s Life of Its Own
  3. Sarah Lynne Bowman
    Social Conflict and Bleed in Role-Playing Communities

14:00 Break

14:30 Session III: Playing with Text I

  1. Angelina Ilieva
    Cultural Codes, Cultural Memory and Cultural Concepts in Live Role-Playing Discourses
  2. Mika Loponen & Jaakko Stenros
    The Correct Cthulhu and the Real Batman: Structuring the Power Relations in Cultural Semiospheres

15:30 Break

15:45 Session IV: Playing with Text II

  1. Rafael Bienia
    Role Players Creating Networks. Fan Practices in RPG, MMORPG and Larp
  2. David Jara
    Framing Strategies in Role-Playing Games

16:45 Closing day one

19:00 Open House at Game Research Lab

Wednesday April 11th

09:30 Coffee and registration

10:00 Session V: Educational Role-Play

  1. Alexey Fedoseev
    Role-Playing Games as Educational Technology. The Implications of Modern Activity Theory
  2. Michal Mochocki
    Research Report: How Edu-Larps Work for Subject-Matter Knowledge
  3. Eliane Bettochi, Carlos Klimick & Rian Oliveira Rezende
    Incorporeal Project: Stimulating the construction of competencies and knowledge by co-creating RPG narratives and their supports

11:30 Lunch hour

12:30 Session VI: Role-Playing in Culture

  1. Lars Konzack
    Library Use: How Role-Playing Games Are Presented in Public Libraries
  2. Ashley Brown
    Threesomes, Waterfalls, and Healing Spells: The utility of magic, fantasy, and game mechanics in erotic role-play in World of Warcraft

13:30 Break

14:00 Session VII: Single-Player Role-Playing

  1. Richard Gough, J.A. Dearnley & A. Muir
    Information Acquisition for Role-Playing: A Preliminary Model
  2. Petri Lankoski
    Role-Playing in Single-Player Video Games

15:00 End discussion

16:00 Closing


Solmukohta Registration Open


The annual Nordic larp convention Solmukohta (Knutepunkt in Finnish) will be held just after Role-Playing in Games seminar. The sign up for Solmukohta was opened today, and the event is filling up fast. If you intend to attend both the seminar and Solmukohta, act fast.



The two invited expert commentators for the seminar are now confirmed: Torill Mortensen and J. Tuomas Harviainen.

Torill Elvira Mortensen, Associate professor at the IT-University of Copenhagen. Mortensen’s research topic, in no particular order, are digital culture, social media and games. She is a gamer, a blogger and a scholar, and her particular passion is online role-play games. The topic of her dissertation was the use of MUDs. Her teaching is concerned with the form and use of digital media. Her main interest is what players and users do with digital media, how they approach them and use them. Mortensen has served on the board of DiGRA, is a reviewer for Games and Culture as well as several other journals for game studies, and she was part of the founding group of She have written about games since 1995.

J. Tuomas Harviainen (M.Th)  is a library and information scientist at the Tampere Research Center for Information and Media, who specializes in studying game environments and adult pretence. His forthcoming doctoral dissertation analyzes role-playing from an information systems perspective. Harviainen also edits the International Journal of Role-Playing. He also has extensive experience as a larp designer.

CFP is Out!


Call for Papers: Role-Playing in Games Seminar

April 10-11, 2012, University of Tampere, FINLAND

Role-playing activities are characterized by involving participants in as-if, simulated and pretend play actions and circumstances. This element can be found in numerous contexts from child’s play to training and research. The most common recreational role-playing games include tabletop role-playing games, live action role-playing games (larps) and massively multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs). Different forms of role-playing, pretend-play, and make-believe can be traced throughout human history.

Role-Play in Games seminar brings together researchers of role-playing and role-playing games. Submissions from a wide variety of research fields are welcome, as long as the findings have relevance for role-playing in games.

The possible list of topics includes but is not limited to:

  • Theoretical analyses of role-playing in role-playing games, larps, online role-playing games, as well as of role-playing in any other types of games
  • Case studies
  • Typologies and ways of interpreting role-playing games and game cultures
  • Learning in and education through role-playing games
  • Playful role-playing in non-game contexts
  • History or development of role-playing in games
  • Role-playing games in the context of art, design or creativity
  • Industries relating to role-playing
  • Social psychology of role-playing in games
  • Design and structure of role-playing games

Role-Play in Games is the 8th in the annual series of game studies working paper seminars organized by the University of Tampere Game Research Lab. Due to the work-in-progress emphasis, we strongly encourage submitting late breaking results, working papers and submissions from graduate students. Early considerations from projects currently in progress are most welcome, as the purpose of the seminar is to have peer-to-peer discussions and thereby provide support in refining and improving research work in this area.

The seminar is partnered with the International Journal of Role-Playing (which was founded in the 2006 seminar Playing Roles), and the best papers will be invited to be further developed for potential publication in a special journal issue.
The papers to be presented will be chosen based on extended abstract review. Full papers are distributed prior the event to all participants, in order to facilitate discussion.

The two-day event consists of themed sessions that aim to introduce current research projects and discuss ongoing work. The seminar will be chaired by professor Frans Mäyrä (School of Information Sciences, University of Tampere). The seminar will also feature two invited paper commentators, to be confirmed later.

The seminar will be held in Tampere, Finland and will be free of charge; the number of participants will be restricted.

Important Dates

  • Abstract Deadline: January 23, 2012
  • Notification of Acceptance: February 7, 2012
  • Full Paper deadline: March 19, 2012
  • Seminar dates: April 10-11, 2012

Submission Guidelines

The papers will be selected for presentation based on extended abstracts of  500-1000 words (plus references). Abstracts should be sent to <roleplayingingames {at}> as plain text only (no attachments). Full paper guidelines will be provided with the notification of acceptance.

Our aim is that all participants can familiarize themselves with the papers in advance. Therefore, the maximum length for a full paper is 5000 words (plus references). The seminar presentations should encourage discussion, instead of repeating the information presented in the papers. Every paper will be presented for 10 minutes and discussed for 20 minutes.


The seminar is loosely connected to the Nordic role-playing convention Solmukohta 2012 (aka Knutepunkt). Since the first event, held in 1997, Solmukohta has evolved into the main meeting point between Nordic role-playing gamers, designers and researchers. The event features panels, lectures, workshops, games and parties. The annual event tours between Nordic capitals and in 2012 it is organized in near Helsinki (two hours on the train from Tampere) on April 12-15. It is very easy to combine attending Role-Playing in Games research seminar, and Solmukohta 2012.


2012 is a big year for the Game Research Lab as it marks the ten year anniversary of our first international academic conference on games, Computer Games and Digital Cultures held in 2002. Thus in addition to the traditional spring seminar we are hosting Nordic DiGRA 2012 on June 6-8. The conference hosts full paper tracks, keynotes, panels and workshops for PhD and MA students. The articles will be subjected to a double blind peer review and published in the DiGRA Digital Library.

Seminar website:
Organised by:
Solmukohta website:
International Journal of Role-Playing:
University of Tampere / SIS / Game Research Lab