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* Interview with Joost Raessens, by Maryse Elliott (Amsterdam University Press). "Meet with Prof. Joost Raessens (Utrecht University), series editor of Games and Play and Green Media, whom I interviewed to find out more about his various research and editorial activities. Joost's expertise in media and impact are definitely visible on the ground too. As part of Scientist Rebellion, a sub-branch of Extinction Rebellion, he demonstrated last September in the Hague, holding a big poster of the cover of his forthcoming Ecogames: Playful perspectives on the Climate Crisis. It couldn't be more appropriate!"

* Happy to share the good news about our STRATEGIES project [Sustainable Transition for Europe’s Game Industries] which I coordinate from 2024-2028. We've been granted funding from Horizon Europe and work started in Feb. More details on our project page - please follow for updates.

* In January 2024, our book Ecogames: Playful Perspectives on the Climate Crisis has been published in our new AUP book series Green Media.

* Read my letter to the editor of NRC 'Bèta-studie óf klimaatactivisme? Het is allebei' (12 June 2023).


Prof. dr. Joost Raessens holds the chair of Media Theory at Utrecht University. His research focuses on the understanding of how green media—in the broadest sense, including digital media, theatre, film, television, audio, art and literature (Green Mediography)—contribute to ecological thought and facilitate different forms of civic engagement (global ecological citizenship) on a micro, meso and macro level (Green Media Studies). In general, his research interests include digital media and the ‘ludification of culture'; think of Games and VR for Change dealing with issues such as climate crisis (e.g. 'Collapsus, or how to make players become ecological citizens,' 2019; 'Symbiosis, or how to make kin in the Chthulucene', 2024), forced migration (e.g. 'Virtually Present, Physically Invisible: Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Mixed Reality Installation Carne y Arena', 2017) and space exploration (e.g. 'SpaceBuzz, or how to create ambassadors of Planet Earth', 2023). Also see his LinkedIn page.

Raessens is co-editor of the book series Green Media (AUP) and Games and Play (AUP), he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Environmental Media (Intellect), Games and Culture. A Journal of Interactive Media (SAGE), the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (Intellect), and on the board of reviewers of Game Studies. The International Journal of Computer Game Research. He has been a visiting professor at New York University (NYU) and the City University of New York (CUNY, 2017-2018), at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA, 2006) and at the University of California, Riverside (UCR, 2004-2005). He was the conference chair of the first Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference Level Up in Utrecht (2003). In 2019 he chaired the jury for the NFF Interactive Award (Dutch Film Festival).

His inaugural lecture was published in 2012: Homo Ludens 2.0. The Ludic Turn in Media Theory / Spelenderwijs. De ludische wending in de mediatheorie (Utrecht University). He has co-edited Persuasive Gaming in Context (AUP, 2021), The Playful Citizen. Civic Engagement in a Mediatized Culture (AUP, 2019), Playful Identities. The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures (AUP, 2015), Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everyday Life and Technology (AUP, 2009), Handbook of Computer Game Studies (The MIT Press, 2005, 2011), and Level Up. Digital Games Research Conference (Utrecht University, 2003). In 2001 he published his PhD thesis Filosofie & Film (Budel: Damon). 

Raessens is project coordinator of STRATEGIES (Sustainable Transition for Europe’s Game Industries, Horizon Europe, 2024-2028) and co-applicant of the research project Long-term consumer and community empowerment in energy applications through inclusive Game design, Artificial Intelligence and system Modelling (NWO, Dutch Research Council, 2022-2026). He is supervising the PhD research projects ‘The becoming-playful of warfare in the Netherlands’ (NWO-PhD in the Humanities; 2021-2025) and ‘Experiencing the past: Bridging art, history, and young people’s media environment through multisensory XR engagement’ (China Scholarship Council; 2022-2026). He was project leader of the Utrecht University Graduate Programme Game Research (NWO; a collaboration with Computer Science; 2015-2021) and the research project Persuasive Gaming. From Theory-Based Design to Validation and Back (NWO, Creative Industries; 2013-2018). Raessens was co-leading the research project Playful Identities. From Narrative to Ludic Self-Construction (NWO; 2005-2010) and participated in two research networks funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK; 2013-2015): Creative Territories (led by Patrick Crogan, at the University West of England) and Games and Social Change (led by Scott Gaule, at Manchester Metropolitan University).

He was project coordinator of the Intensive Programme or Summerschool Identity and Interdisciplinarity in Games and Play Research (NUFFIC, Erasmus; 2014), and has been the supervisor of the research programmes Design Rules for Learning Through Simulated Worlds (GATE; 2007-2012) and Mobile Learning-Citizen Science (GATE; 2010-2012). 

Raessens is one of the two scientific directors of the Utrecht Center for Game Research (since 2014; together with Remco Veltkamp, Computer Science).

Op de Beke, L., Raessens, J., Werning, S. & Farca, G. (eds). 2024. Ecogames. Playful Perspectives on the Climate Crisis. Amsterdam: AUP.

De la Hera, T., Jansz, J., Raessens, J. & Schouten, B. (eds). 2021. Persuasive Gaming in Context. Amsterdam: AUP.

Glas, R., Lammes, S., Lange, M. de, Raessens, J. & Vries, I. de (eds). 2019. The Playful Citizen. Civic Engagement in a Mediatized Culture. Amsterdam: AUP.

Frissen, V., Lammes, S., Lange, M. de, Mul, J. de & Raessens, J. (eds). 2015. Playful Identities. The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures. Amsterdam: AUP.

Raessens, J. 2012. Homo Ludens 2.0. The Ludic Turn in Media Theory. Utrecht: Utrecht University.

Raessens, J. 2012. Spelenderwijs. De ludische wending in de mediatheorie. Utrecht: Utrecht University.

Boomen, M. van den, Lammes, S., Lehman, A.-S., Schaefer, M. & Raessens, J. (eds). 2009. Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everyday Life and Technology. Amsterdam: AUP.

Raessens, J. & Goldstein, J. (eds). 2005, 2011. Handbook of Computer Game Studies. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Raessens, J. & Copier, M. (eds). 2003. Level Up. Digital Games Research Conference. Utrecht: Utrecht University.

Raessens, J. 2001. Filosofie & Film. Budel: Damon.
Media Theory
Inaugural lecture date