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Apr. 19, 2018

iSchool faculty and alumni played an active role in the Playful by Design Spring Symposium, which took place April 5-7 on the Urbana campus. The symposium, organized by the Playful by Design Research Cluster, included presentations and panel discussions as well as a new exhibit at the Spurlock Museum, movie screening, keynote address, and games and gaming make-a-thon. The event was sponsored by the iSchool, Illinois Informatics Institute, Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, Spurlock Museum, CU Community FabLab, and Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.

Teaching Associate Professor David Dubin was a featured...

Sep. 30, 2016

“Play can be hard work and serious business,” say the organizers of Extending Play, a conference series that addresses play as more than a leisure activity, considering the factors that shape and influence our notions of both play and playability. Research Associate Professor David Dubin will speak at the third Extending Play conference, which will be held on September 30 and October 1 at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Dubin will deliver a talk, coauthored with doctoral student Jacob Jett, titled, “What game are we really playing?” He will speak during the session, “Alternative Histories of Gamification,” at 10:30 a.m. on September 30. The talk addresses the wider conception of gaming proposed in 1978 by philosopher Bernard Suits; the use of game features or gamification in various contexts; and the application of the Game Ontology (GameOn) model, which offers a framework for proposing answers to the...

May. 7, 2013

Associate Professor Jerome McDonough recently was a guest on CBC Radio’s Spark with Nora Young. McDonough spoke with Young about digital preservation and gaming, emphasizing the importance of preserving not only the software and the servers, but also the nuances of gaming culture and history.

“What do we need to preserve about the game, that isn’t the game? What do we need to document in terms of social history of games…because if we don’t have that history, how are scholars really going to interpret this game in the future? It was a particular problem for us when we looked at Second Life because I can preserve the server software. I can preserve the databases. I can preserve the client software used to interact with Second Life. But I can’t preserve the people. And if I don’t have a record of the social activity and the social interactions that occurred there, what I’m going to have in 50 years is basically the...

Sep. 27, 2010

The second phase of the Preserving Virtual Worlds project, which explored methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction, has been awarded a National Leadership Grant of $785,898 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Preserving Virtual Worlds II: Methods for Evaluating and Preserving Significant Properties of Educational Games and Complex Interactive Environments (PVW2) is led by GSLIS Assistant Professor Jerome McDonough in partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland, and Stanford University. PVW2 plans to help improve the capacity of libraries, museums, and archives to preserve computer games, video games, and interactive fiction.

The original Preserving Virtual Worlds project, funded by the Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIP), investigated what preservation issues...

Jun. 22, 2010

Ars Technica recently interviewed GSLIS Assistant Professor Jerome McDonough about his NDIIPP-funded grant, Preserving Virtual Worlds. The interview addressed the project in general as well as specific questions regarding why, how, and where computer games will be preserved. McDonough also shared plans for future research into the digital preservation of games, which he described as commercially and culturally significant:

Ars: Why do librarians and archivists want to preserve games?

JM: The really simple, one-sentence answer is because games are important. In the United States we're looking at about 80,000 people who are directly employed by the gaming industry and maybe another 240,000 people involved in related, tangential industries that rely on gaming companies for their existence. So just as a monetary phenomenon, games...

Mar. 15, 2010

Assistant Professor Jerome McDonough was interviewed on the March 13 broadcast of Our World, a weekly science and technology radio magazine that appears on The Voice of America.

The piece, titled Preserving Digital Worlds; or, Giving More Life to 'Second Life,' invited McDonough to discuss his project, Preserving Virtual Worlds. An excerpt from the transcript:


Q:  So about this point in the conversation I can hear somebody wondering, what's the point of this? Why is it necessary or desirable to save this little bit of our culture. It's just an entertainment and 50 years from now or 100 years from now, aside from a few old folks being nostalgic, who's going to care?

McDONOUGH:  Well, there's a tendency to dismiss aspects of popular culture as unimportant, but really this is part of the history of who we are. And it says a lot to be able to look back at these older materials to understand what life was like at...
Mar. 11, 2010
Photograph courtesy of Creative Commons (

Piotr Adamczyk (MS '07), an analyst with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has been selected for an innovative art and technology residency with Eyebeam, the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the United States.

He began work on March 1 at Eyebeam’s state-of-the-art new media design, digital research, and fabrication studios in the areas of open source research, augmented reality gaming, open API development, museum data research, video and new media installation, advanced wearable technology, and musicological research and visualization. Adamczyk was selected from a biannual open call of artists, technologists, and engineers for a five-month residency, which includes a stipend as well as...