DiGRA UK board election

Dear all,
The ballot for the DiGRA UK Board has now been posted. Candidate details are posted below, and will also be added to our social media.
If you are NOT attending on May 5th, and are a regular attendee of DiGRA events in the UK, please use the online survey monkey link to vote.
For those who are attending the DiGRA UK event, voting will take place before the DiGRA meeting, and the Board will be announced at the meeting.

You may vote for as many candidates in any given category as you want.
‘No Award’ should be used if you feel that the candidate should NOT be elected.
You may also abstain from the vote.
For online votes, the voting closes at midnight UK time, May 4th.



Name: Esther MacCallum-Stewart

Associate Professor in Games Studies, Staffordshire University

Position Applied for: Chair

I have previously been the Vice Chair of DiGRA for four years, and served as a Board Member for DiGRA. In the past I have also acted as a central point for the organisation of national events for DiGRA UK, and would look to taking this forward to a future International DiGRA event (potentially in 2021). As Chair of the DiGRA UK board, I would have a specific remit to increase the profile of gaming academia through actions like the discussion of how UK academics submit their work under the Research Excellence Framework (and beyond), and via liaison with industry partners. Alongside the parent organisation, I share the desire to make DiGRA an inclusive, supportive environment for all members and attendees of our events.

My research interests include players and the narratives they tell about gaming, which has extended across several gaming genres including videogames, live action roleplaying and boardgaming. I have also written widely about gender and sexuality in gaming.


Matthew Barr,

University of Glasgow

Vice Chair

I’m a lecturer at Glasgow, where I convene the game studies course, and the founding editor of the peer reviewed student game studies journal, Press Start. I also lecture at Glasgow Caledonian University, where I teach on the games development programme, currently leading the Game Content Design and Interactive Storytelling modules. My research examines how games may be used to develop skills and competencies in players. I believe strongly in creating opportunities for all, from students just getting started in game studies to those from under-represented groups, and I enjoy great working relationships with colleagues from academia and industry across Scotland.


Nia Wearn

Staffordshire University


My name is Nia Wearn and I’m a Senior Lecturer in Games Design at Staffordshire University. I have an excellent track record in organising research groups and managing members in a variety of contexts. I’m also already manager of the Digra UK Facebook page and other community ventures in social media, and I’ve experience in organising conferences and events. I am organised and capable of maintaining clear with communications with members. I believe strongly in the aims of Digra UK and I would be excited about being its secretary.


Carina Assunção

University of Edinburgh

Student Officer

My name is Carina Assunção, I’m a master’s student at the University of Edinburgh. This is my candidacy for Student Officer of DiGRA UK.

I’m highly motivated to help disseminate game studies and encourage students to contribute to this field. With a background in Psychology and currently studying STS, I understand first-hand what it means to do game studies without being in a games department. I know the look of surprise when I say my research interests to fellow students. I believe much can still be done to increase games studies’ reputation among students.

Name: Marco Benoît Carbone

Affiliations: University College London (PhD Candidate); University of the Arts, London (Associate Lecturer); London South Bank University (Sessional Researcher)

Position: Board Member

My research track in digital games includes papers, edited journal issues, and forthcoming publications. I have focused on the emergence of video games, their critique, and their relations with film, subcultural theory and anthropology. I am one of the founding members and editors of GAME Journal, and the founder of its current publisher, LUDICA. I am also a professional journalist, and I am particularly interested in public engagement via the academia. My PhD work (nearing completion) covers cultural studies and historiography, and I aim to pursue further research in humanities-informed approaches and issues of cultural appropriation.


Dr Sonia Fizek,

Abertay University

Board Member

Dr Sonia Fizek has been an active games and digital media scholar for the past 9 years. She has worked as a researcher and lecturer at various institutions in the UK, Germany and Poland. Currently she holds a lecturer position at the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University. She is also an associate editor of the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds. She would like to apply for the board member position of the DiGRA UK chapter.


Dr Paolo Ruffino

Lecturer in Media Studies, University of Lincoln, UK

Board Member

I am writing to apply to the position of board member at DiGRA UK. I also give my availability for any other vacant position within the board.

I have been researching and teaching in the field of game studies at higher education institutions since 2010. I have also been an active member of DiGRA since 2013, participating and presenting at the international conferences. In 2015 I have co-organised the DiGRA conference at Leuphana University. In 2016 I have started another local chapter, DiGRA Italia. If elected, I would contribute with my experience and take initiative in the organisation of conferences, meetings and events, and by curating the relations with the international DiGRA.


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