Research Talk: Dr. Velvet Spors on Nature in Games

Bio: Dr. Velvet Spors is a communication designer, creative technologist, and post-doctoral researcher at Gamification Group, Tampere University, Finland. Their research explores how gameful technologies can support people in making sense of their (mental) health in holistic, person-centred ways, as caring systems. As part of the UNITE Flagship (Academy of Finland), Velvet is researching how gameful technologies can facilitate meaningful encounters and connections with nature.

Abstract: We are living through tough, concerning ecological times; irreversible climate change seems imminent, the Amazon rainforest continues to shrink and all of Earth's rainwater now contains forever chemicals, making it unsafe to drink. While humankind's treatment of nature is more than complicated, being in and connecting with nature are important aspects of the human experience—with games being potential frames, mediators, and vehicles for this relationship. In this talk, we will explore how games actively contribute to our understandings of nature through showcasing two studies that investigated nature in games from very personal perspectives—an auto-ethnography by the speaker, and a series of play sessions with participants. While ecological collapse looms on the horizon, this talk will end on a hopeful note by speculating about games as a meaningful addition to our toolkit to slow down climate change.

Date and Time: Thursday, May 11th 2023 at 13:30. All welcome, but only limited seating available. Please reach out via email.