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[en] Introduced by the First Vice-Rector of the University of Liège, Prof. Dr. Eric Haubruge, who will first discuss the major challenges of digital development at the University, particularly in the field of education, this meeting proposes to focus on the process of building an international partnership between two research centres on video games, the Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies (RCGS) and the Liège Game Lab (LGL). This partnership is intended to be part of a broader network of video game research laboratories around the world. It relies on the French-speaking side on the creation of a network of French-speaking laboratories since May 2018 and on the Japanese side on the national branch of Digra (Digra Japan).
Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies (RCGS) was established as part of the Ritsumeikan University Kinugasa Research Organization in April 2011. It is Japan's only academic organization in the field of game studies.
The Center conducts both specialized and comprehensive research on a wide range of games and play, from traditional toys and play equipment to games that use the most recent technology. It uses the strengths of a comprehensive university and its location in Kyoto, the cradle of games in Japan, to accomplish these aims. Moreover, in order to encourage government-industry-academia partnerships further in this area, the Center has taken as its mission the proactive fulfillment of its role as a bridge between governmental/public agencies and game-related companies and organizations.
Major research topics
- Constructing an archive of digital games
- Aesthetic research on playing and games
- Research on potential social and educational applications for games
- General research on the domestic and international game industries
The Liège Game Lab, created in January 2016, brings together researchers from the University of Liège (Belgium) who work on video games as a cultural object using conceptual tools from literary studies and communication sciences. From an institutional point of view, the LGL is an independent and transfaculty research collective.
The research of the members of the LGL converges in that they all develop a cultural and communicational approach to the videogame medium, with perspectives rooted in philosophy and literature and with a particular interest in the "margins" of the game (diversions, amateur productions, video game press, intermedia relations, peripheral or "secondary" forms of game, etc.), i.e. for the "videogame culture" as a whole. We could thus identify three theoretical axes common to the research carried out in the lab. The first consists in studying the game around the game, through peripheral video game cultural practices, i.e. studying the game where it is not obvious. The second is based on the deconstruction of the notion of immersion, used extensively in research and often without questioning it. Finally, as an extension of these reflections, the Lab's work also tends to rethink the game as a communicative act.
Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Yoshida (RCGS) and Dr. Fanny Barnabé (LGL) will discuss the difficulties of building such a partnership: language is obviously the first stumbling block, even if English is suitable for the main interactions. Distance is also a problematic factor, as meetings cannot be very regular or impromptu. However, there are also subsidies, such as financial support for bilateral partnerships developed by the Fonds national de la recherche scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - JSPS. Beyond the pitfalls of these practical contingencies, however, it is the intellectual and symbolic benefits that must be highlighted in this type of collaboration: new ideas emerge from the confrontation between different research traditions and a great mutual intellectual enrichment results from these exchanges. The partners are therefore sparing no effort to extend them.
Event organizer :
Belgium-Japan Academic Society, Japanse vereniging voor de studie van België, Embassy of Belgium in Tokyo, Wallonie-Bruxelles International.be, Artsflanders Japan, Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Belgium-Japan Academic Society, European Institute, Sophia University