Veli-Matti Karhulahti

Playing is a central part of the development and living of human as well as many other organisms. Play and games research aims at understanding the changes, forms, and meanings of the related phenomena. A large part of the work done in the field centers around videogaming and digital play in general, however, analog forms of play (such as board games, card games, roleplay, playfulness of animals and machines) are major topics or research as well. Play and games research is a multidisciplinary field that applies as well as develops various different scientific methods and theories.

My earlier work approached play and games phenomena primarily via aesthetic, narratological, and interpretational perspectives. Currently I am tangled mainly around the topics of competitive play, meanings of play, and ludic cross-cultural differences. I apply and construct anthropological, psychological, and social methods and theories. My affiliations are presently two: University of Turku (Adjunct Professor in Play and Games) for the Academy of Finland project “Sexuality and Play in Media Culture,” and University of Jyväskylä (Senior Researcher) for the Academy of Finland project “Centre of Excellence in Game Cultures Studies.”

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