2018 DiGRA Distinguished Scholars

The 2018 DiGRA Distinguished Scholars: Helen Kennedy and Petri Lankoski

In 2016 DiGRA established the Distinguished Scholars program to recognize senior scholars in the field of game studies who have been at the forefront of the development of rigorous scholarship, the establishment of game studies and game development programs, and who have made significant contributions to DiGRA itself as an organization. Below are biographies for Kennedy and Lankoski. You can find the complete list of scholars at:


Helen Kennedy: Helen is currently Head of the School of Media at the University of Brighton overseeing the leadership and management of undergraduate and postgraduate courses currently delivered across four sites throughout the city . Helen’s career has been characterised by her passion for the integration of research, innovative curriculum development and collaborative and creative partnerships. She has an international reputation for her research and advocacy work in Game Studies and for her leadership in the development of the field.

Her current research interests are feminist interventions into games culture, experience design and cultural evaluation. She is Principal Investigator on an international project aimed at the transformation of games (REFIG.ca). Over the past 3 years she has been researching experiential cinema as an aspect of the ludification of contemporary culture with Dr Sarah Atkinson at King’s College London with whom she has written a number of field defining publications. Recently she has been awarded further significant UK Research Council funding to investigate new technologies and new creative practices in immersive experience design.

Petri Lankoski: (D.Arts) is an associate professor at Södertörn University where he teaches game development and game research. He has been working with game research since early 2000. His research has looked at various aspects of game design research, as well as emotions, embodiment, and fictionality in games. Lankoski also develops games as part of the research. He has published three books: Character-Driven Game Design (Aalto University, 2010) and Game Research Methods: An Overview (co-edited with Staffan Björk, ETC Press, 2015) and Game Design Research: An Introduction to Theory and Practice (co-edited with Jussi Holopainen, ETC Press, 2017).

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