Monthly Archives: December 2022

New Media Doctoral Seminar December 14, 2022 15:00-17:00

Information regarding upcoming Doctoral Seminar Presentations:

Date: December 14 2022
Time: 15:00-17:00
Zoom Link:
Presenters: Heini Haapaniemi & Edward Morrell
Commenters: Pamela Burnard, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and Teemu Leinonen, Learning Environments Research Group, Aalto University

Towards a pedagogical model for characterization: Applying Commedia dell’Arte and art workshops in higher education design studies
Presenter: Heini Haapaniemi

Pedagogical models for the cross-fertilization of the disciplines that rely on characterization are missing. These domains are digital game design, digital and tangible costume design, theater, and actors’ art. Learning character design in a multidisciplinary way with focus on characters themselves without the limitations of each other’s specific domain, is beneficial and has much potential. Character design is a centuries old art form in theater. When moving to design processes that strongly rely on digital technology, we can easily forget the existence of the old traditions. This study stems from the need of a pedagogical model for higher education design studies in a university of applied sciences (UAS) context. The focus is on drama pedagogical methods and collaborative inquiry on characters for a multiplayer digital game wall in a 3D space. Farce comedy characters and the entire art form is based on Commedia dell’Arte and its aesthetic presentations. Commedia dell’Arte was an improvised popular street comedy which originated in Italy in the 16th to 18th centuries.


Heini has used drama pedagogy and performative inquiry in pedagogical settings, upper secondary schools and projects prior to appying it to higher education design studies.

Research wise Heini is interested in digital narratives, pedagogy and modelling co-design in the intersection of art, design and technology. Haapaniemi works at the Creative Industries Research Unit (CIRU), South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

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She has earned her MA (2005) specializing in theatre studies, management and English language and her pedagogy degree (2017) at the University of Helsinki. She has studied dramaturgy for one year at the University of Arts, Theatre Academy, Helsinki and worked in versatile positions from production manager, producer to dramatist, coordinator and facilitator of public events tn Theatres, theatre festivals, cultural houses and foundations prior to her career in Xamk innovations, development and research unit for creative business, CIRU.

Videogames Potentiality: Exploring the Speculative Properties of Digital Assets

Presenter: Edward Morrell

The potential of videogames as a creative medium can be understood through their capacity to contain and combine many more traditional forms such as art, literature and music. The additional spatial, temporal and ludic affordances provided by videogames allow for further augmentation of any media that can be contained within a digital file. Starting from this initial deconstruction of videogames as a collection of assets, or assemblage of different forms, this work considers the relationship between videogames and their constituent parts from an artistic research perspective. Through the notion of videogames partiality, we can further explore their potentiality, as the ‘ideal art form’, all the time delineating the limitations of such medium exceptionalism.

This study utilises digital assets as a means to examine the space between what is actualised in contemporary videogame design and the speculative possibilities of the medium. Any digital asset has the potential to be transformed into a videogame asset and can often be imported as such in modern videogame engines such as ‘Unity’ or ‘Unreal’. Similarly, videogame assets can be exported from commercial game products to be remixed, reframed or repurposed further – this is the foundation of game art (Sharp, 2015), itself deriving from post-production art (Bourriaud, 2002). Videogames can thus be read as being both all-encompassing, totalizing design objects and as a material or texture for artistic expression. To forward understanding of this medium, specifically within an arts context, it has become essential to separate the medium further from the content made with it. Consequently, this research concerns the analysis and development of experimental prototypes, digital art assets and ‘fictional videogames’ – speculative, conceptual or superfiction works presenting videogames that don’t exist. Through the creation of fictional videogames and speculative assets an opportunity has developed to better divorce medium and content, to anatomise potential and observe where the limiting lines lie.

Edward Morrell is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Art and Media. His research concerns speculative approaches to videogames, utilising design fiction and conceptual art to investigate and interrogate the relationship between art, design and games. He holds an MSc in Internet and Game Studies from Tampere University and has worked in both fictional and non-fictional roles as a game designer, developer and artist.