Post-socialism playing global: computer gaming industries and digital media culture

Friday 1 November (09:00) - Saturday 2 November 2013 (15:00)

If you would like to attend the workshop please e-mail the organisers:

International workshop organized by Jeremy Morris (University of Birmingham) and Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds) with support from CEELBAS, University of Birmingham and The Leeds Russian Centre (Russia[n] in the Global Context)

The theme of the workshop and programme are available below. Further information can be found at the project website:


Digital social and cultural identities
Of what use now are categories such as digital ‘classes’, and ‘nations’? The digital era has transformed identity in the region; what micro-studies and bottom-up approaches that test and/or challenge these theories are needed? Have virtual ethnographies and qualitative studies only looked at the ‘western’ face of the new digital denizens of the region? How does the experience of socialism inform our understanding of digital cultures and specifically computer gaming in the region?

Global, local, glocal prosumers
It has been argued that in the digital era production is no longer local and includes transnational actors on the global scale. The concept of ‘producer’ has also been interrogated to include aspects of consumption, and vice versa: the ‘prosumer’ is a not only a new type of workforce but also social and cultural identity. How do these phenomena manifest themselves in the region and what are their specificities in terms of material and virtual assemblages?

The digital economy and the ‘creative class’
How has the evolution of digital economy in the region and beyond been dependent on the role of engineers/programmers/creatives who were trained in the USSR and have become a dominant creative force in Russia, USA and other countries (the so-called ‘kreativnyi klass’)? To what extent is the post-socialist region a bellweather for (g)localization projects globally?

Gaming: the intersection of digital and subcultures
What does the huge popularity of computer, online and social media gaming mean for the region? When goes gaming become digital labour? How are production and consumption conflated into the prosumer and if so, what are the post-socialist prosumers’ specificities? Where and how does gaming culture intersect with the rich literature on socialist and post-socialist subcultures? What in gaming speaks to other areas of cultural, area- and media studies? Is inevitable that we read questions of national identity into game studies in the region?

Civil and Political Society
How do digital cultures intersect social networks and activism? Particularly, given the incomplete democratization of many states, how do digital cultures facilitate or discourage political discourse, movements, and dissent more generally.


Friday 1 November 2013

09.00-09.30 Registration
09.30-09.45 Opening remarks: Jeremy Morris and Vlad Strukov

09.45-11.30 Panel 1
Galina Nikiporets-Takigawa ‘Emotional dynamics of protest: gamers in the streets’
Aleksandr Sarna ‘Games’ virtual reality and social order’
Rachel Philips ’Live talk and computer mediated activity: An anthropological investigation into computer-mediated communities’

12.00-13.30 Panel 2
Elena Sherstoboeva ‘Online piracy in the context of freedom of expression in Russia’
Anastasia Kosareva ‘Game localisation: practitioner’s perspective’
Catherine Goodfellow ‘Nationhood and threat perception in EVE Online’

14.30-16.00 Panel 3
Irina Shklovski ‘The Internet, that’s where you find people! Reconnecting with lapsed ties online in Post-Soviet countries of Russia and Kazakhstan’
Ivan Gololobov ‘Computers did not prove to be worth of!’: the politics of “blog-art” in Russia’
Graham Roberts ‘Living in an immaterial world: Using social media networks in Russia to build brand identity'

16.00-18.00 Screening of Oleh Sentsov’s Gamer (2011) and discussion

Saturday 2 November 2013

09.30-11.30 Panel 4
Elena Trubina ‘Becoming someone else in real life and computer-mediated environment: Perspectives of the young in Russia’
Vit Sisler ‘Czechoslovakia 38-89: between Nazism and Communism - Developing a serious game in Post-Socialist Europe’
DmitryGalkin ‘Entertainment of nostalgia: constructing post-soviet identity in videogames’

12.00-13.00 Panel 5
Maria Hristova ‘Between fact and fiction in travel blogs: the internet as a borderline space’
Inga Yugai ‘The echo of the Cold War in the virtual space’

14.00-15.00 Round table discussion

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities