We Make Stuff: Play and Multiplatform


We Make Stuff: Play and Multiplatform

Monday 27 November, 2017 – Monday 27 November, 2017
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Burdall's Yard, 7A Anglo Terrace, Avon, Bath, BA1 5NH

How can we utilise play and cross media storytelling strategies to generate change?

We Make Stuff: Play and Multi-Platform is the third in the series of public engagement events organised by the Media Convergence Research Centre. The event will take place on Monday 27th November 2017 at Burdall’s Yard. The Play and Multi-Platform themed event will consider how we might utilise creative practices of play and cross-media storytelling strategies to generate social change.

The event will consist firstly of three presentations that each delve into diverse ways in which playable media, namely gaming and apps, and new multi-platform storytelling approaches can be used to generate change and empower communities in a variety of contexts. These contexts span education in Latin America, gaming attractions, and questions of local place.

Presentations will be followed by a Q&A discussion panel.

We are privileged to also feature an interactive serious gaming workshop run by John Curry, a serious gaming expert at Bath Spa University. In the workshop you will get the chance to test out some serious gaming techniques in various scenarios that span political, community and social contexts. The process engages with facing dilemmas and using gaming strategies to ensure that all potential solutions are looked at in the search for the optimum outcomes.

The event commences with a welcome wine reception from 5:30pm.

Featured work includes:


Ron Herrema will present Trespass, an iPhone app/artwork he created in collaboration with artist Layla Curtis. Trespass uses one of Curtis' custom-drawn maps to present the stories of numerous residents connected with a contested green space in Lancaster, Freeman’s Wood. A local gallery, Storey G2, explored this issue and commissioned Curtis to create the work. A location-based app, it requires the user to trespass in order to access most of its content.

Dr Ron Herrema is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Computing at Bath Spa University and holds a PhD in Music Composition. After using computer-based algorithmic techniques in his composition for many years, he subsequently employed his coding techniques in the field of computer-generated graphics, and then to app/artwork development. In recent years he has been especially interested in combining computational technology with artwork rooted in contemplative practices (meditation, Deep Listening, etc.).


Matthew Freeman will present work from Desarmados (Disarmed), a project which aims to harness commercial research ideas about storytelling across multiple media platforms as a tool for documenting the Colombian citizens of Medellín and for narrativizing their memories of the Colombian armed conflict. An innovative multiplatform project supported by the Colombian Ministry of Culture, Desarmadosreconstructs the cultural memory of the Colombian armed conflict, and develop workshops with a number of secondary schools in Medellin to help engage young people in the project and to test new transmedia storytelling education materials as tools for social enterprise between survivors and civil society.

Dr Matthew Freeman is Reader in Transmedia Communication at Bath Spa University, and Director of its Media Convergence Research Centre. His research examines cultures of production across the borders of media and history, and is the author of Historicising Transmedia Storytelling: Early Twentieth-Century Transmedia Story Worlds (2016), Industrial Approaches to Media: A Methodological Gateway to Industry Studies (2016), and the co-author of Transmedia Archaeology: Storytelling in the Borderlines of Science Fiction, Comics and Pulp Magazines(2014).

National Videogame Arcade

James Newman will speak about his ongoing work at The National Videogame Arcade. Opening to the public in early 2015, The NVA is a gallery, museum and visitor attraction. Set across 33,000 square feet filled with bespoke exhibits, The NVA has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors and delivers educational programmes for schools and informal learners. James will discuss his research and curatorial work building The NVA collections; the collaborations with developers and publishers including Sega, Sports interactive and Ustwo; international museum and heritage sector partners; and the outreach and public engagement activity involved in developing educational programmes, lectures and workshops series, and festivals. At the heart of all of this work is play - both as an object for analysis and preservation and as a mode of engagement.

Professor James Newman is Professor of Digital Media at Bath Spa University. He has published widely on videogames, gaming cultures and, most recently, on digital history and preservation. His key books include Videogames (2004/2013); Playing with Videogames (2008); and Best Before: Videogames, Supersession and Obsolescence (2012), 100 Videogames (2007) and Teaching Videogames (2006). James is a co-founder of the UK’s National Videogame Archive, which is a partnership with the Science Museum, and a contributor to the GameCity family of projects.               

John Curry is Senior Lecturer in Games Development at Bath Spa University. He has worked on information warfare with various organisations including the Defence Academy of the UK, Cranfield University, RUSI and various American bodies. He also carries out cyber war-games in the City of London as part of senior managers preparation for such events. He is currently developing new ways of modelling international conflicts. His last games were in Whitehall, London in April/May 2017.

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