Bristol Digital Game Lab Events Autumn 2023

We are delighted to share details of several upcoming events hosted by the Bristol Digital Game Lab, as well as those where we are an organizing partner. We hope to see many of you there!

October 2023

We’ll be kicking off the new academic year with two events:

How to Make the Most of the Video Games Research Framework

On 30 May 2023, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport launched the Video Games Research Framework as a best-practice supporting tool for research into video games. In response to the Framework, the Bristol Digital Game Lab is hosting an online roundtable on Tuesday 24 October, 13:00-14:30 to discuss the Framework, in particular how game labs, centres and networks can support and build on its aims and ambitions. As part of this event, we are delighted to welcome two keynote speakers:
  • Prof. Peter Etchells (Bath Spa University), who was involved in the drafting of the Framework. Peter will give a keynote overview, providing both a background to the Framework, as well as future aspirations for the sort of research it might encourage.
  • Dr Tom Brock (Manchester Metropolitan University) will join the discussion as Chair of British DiGRA to share his perspective on the Framework.

Music and Sound in Games

Co-organised with Digital Scholarship @Oxford, this hybrid panel and roundtable on Tuesday 31 October, 12:00-16:00 focuses on the role of music in video games – what is unique about the composition of music for games? How does game music change as the technology behind video games evolves? How can music help a game to build its emotion, narrative, characterisation, and world? Find out from our panel of expert speakers from industry and academia, followed by a digital roundtable discussion, organised by the Bristol Digital Game Lab, with leading academics from the intersection of music with game and media studies, for an insight into the ongoing critical conversations around this fascinating topic. To sign up, visit DiSc’s event page.

November 2023

Research Seminar

Together with the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Bristol, we are delighted to be hosting a research seminar on Tuesday 14 November by Dr Dunstan Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Latin Literature at the University of Kent, on “History is not the Past”: Videogame Design and The Ancient Mediterranean. The seminar will run from 15:30-16:50, Humanities Research Space (3/5 Woodland Road), and will be followed by a drinks reception. All welcome, no booking necessary. A summary of the talk can be found below.

A screen shot from Secret of Evermore

‘History is not the past but a map of the past, drawn from a particular point of view, to be useful to the modern traveler’ (Henry Glassie, 1982). When video games portray ancient history, they draw the map in very different ways according to the conventions of different genres and playstyles: Action, strategy, scrolling shooters, racing, and versus fighting games all have distinct conventions, which are a matter of design as well as taste. These conventions have shaped ancient worlds for digital games: not only what they look like on the surface, but also how they are fundamentally conceived. Image: screenshot from Secret of Evermore.

‘Concept’ Game Jam

Come along to our inaugural ‘concept’ game jam, co-organised with the Centre for Creative Technologies at the University of Bristol and sponsored by MyWorld!

Theme: Exposing Algorithmic Bias
Where: Humanities Exhibition Gallery Space (7 Woodland Road)
When: Wednesday 29 November, 16:00-20:00

From education and health to financial services and facial recognition, algorithms have become key components in scaling decision making. The danger, of course, is they can embed and augment existing biases, or even generate new types of bias within complex systems. This danger is only amplified by the application of machine learning and AI. The aim of this condensed game jam is to think about how the mechanisms of gaming and play can expose these processes. For more about the inspiration behind the theme for this game jam, see Prof. Ed King’s Game-Jam-Intro.

If you would like to attend the jam, please complete our sign up form. The event is open to both University staff, students, and the wider public.

Pizza and drinks will be provided, thanks to the generous sponsorship of MyWorld.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact the organizer, Dr Richard Cole (


December 2023

Antiquity Games Night

The Lab is delighted to be supporting Antiquity Games Night – a new monthly online meetup where scholars, students & designers play antiquity games together, organised by Dr Richard Cole (University of Bristol) and Alexander Vandewalle (University of Antwerp/Ghent University). Think: ‘reading group, but with games’. All you need to do is sign up to the Discord via The first event is on Monday 4 December, 18:00 UTC. The AGN team will be setting up co-op sessions of the free-to-play game Smite (2014). No experience required – only finishing the tutorial. We look forward to seeing you there!

Festive Gaming

Back by popular demand, our Festive Gaming event will return on Thursday 14 December, 17:00-20:00 (Humanities Research Space, 3-5 Woodland Road). Join us for a drink while we try out some of the most recent social games, as well as playtest others that have not yet been released. We’ll have games and presentations from the following fantastic lineup:

We’re also delighted to welcome back the student team who developed the board game Escape From Pompeii as part of their Classics and Ancient History degree in 2023. Sam and the team will be on hand to demo the latest version of Escape from Pompeii.

If you would like to attend, please sign up via Eventbrite.

Further events will follow in 2024

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