Mapping the Collective: Potentials of Indie Game Collaborative Dynamics


Tuesday, November 11, 2014
10:00 – 17:00
Watershed, Bristol BS1 5TX

An AHRC Creative Territories Network event

A full programme for the day can be downloaded here

Mapping the Collective: Potentials of Indie Game Collaborative Dynamics – a symposium hosted by UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre at the Pervasive Media Studio/Watershed.

The event marks the final phase of the AHRC Creative Territories project – one of six AHRC Videogames Research Networks – bringing together an international network of researchers, with representatives from UK and EU Indie game collaborations and cultural and creative industry sector organisations.

Mapping the Collective is a forum for the network to consult key creative and game maker constituencies and researchers about the themes and propositions it has formulated during the year.  We’ll be sharing our ideas and hearing from network partners, in preparation for the delivery of a ‘Good Hubbing Guide’.

Creative Territories examines the economically and culturally significant indie games element of the video games industry. It seeks to identify how the sector makes possible new kinds of cultural production, collaboration and creativity – formulating and mapping forward the key processes and connections that represent commercially viable, creatively sustainable and culturally valuable pathways for development. Project partner the Bristol Games Hub hosted the first event in May, and the network convened a second event in Utrecht over Summer 2014 involving the Dutch Game Garden and project partner, Utrecht University’s Media and Culture department.

Key questions under consideration will include:

  • What is the relationship between tools and technologies and the creative development aims and trajectory of indie game collaboration?
  • How fluid are the dynamics of communication, access and exchange across industry-standard boundaries?
  • Are there exemplary models of activities for collaboration in the sector that enable innovation in content, technological development and modes of production – fostering new forms of creativity?
  • How does a hub or collective make its place in a neighbourhood, and negotiate or enable participations within its immediate local and creative community?
  • How are these collaborative spaces supported, endorsed, and promoted by public sector and industry groups?

Presenters will include Professor Jen Jenson (Director of the Institute for Research on Learning Technologies at York University, Toronto), Celia Pearce (Director of Indiecade and Associate Professor of Games Design, Northeastern University, Boston), network project partners Tom Rawlings (Co-Director, Bristol Games Hub) and Stefan Werning of Utrecht University’s Dept of Media and Culture, and project leaders Patrick Crogan (DCRC) and Helen Kennedy (Brighton University).