The gamer experience of “to be, or pretend to be”

Online - Volda, Norway (NO, UK, CA)
The gaming world is growing rapidly, and games are becoming better for each release, offering new and compelling experiences to players from their own home. As a centre for art and education towards kids and young adults, we and other see a lot of exciting paths on gaming and want to shed a light on it through a webinar series.

Gaming is a big part of people’s life and we at Seanse want to explore it further. For this session we want to hear from the people behind some of the biggest productions out there. How do they go forward creating a game or theatre production where people feel immersed. The term immersion is widely used by players and reviewers alike though very much in a casual, colloquial sense but clearly as a positive component of any gaming involvement. Some would say that a person feels as if they are “in the game” and that is a very interesting topic.

What experiences does one encounter while playing? And how do you and your team go forward creating these experiences? How do you balance between scripted-events and audience-freedom? And how important is that balance? What factors is important to keep people in that flow?

For this session we want to look at, what motivates us to play video games? What are the main reasons for gamers to put thousands of hours playing video games? What can we learn from gaming? What skills and competencies are you evolving from playing video games? Are there any drawbacks? What skills and competencies will be important for the future? And what kind of jobs will we be seeing in the coming years that could benefit from world of gaming?

This webinar is sadly finished but you can for a short time watch the whole session below


3.00 PM Introduction
by Seanse Director Marit Ulvund and Producer Kristian Glomnes

3.10 PM Video
Short interview with gamers about their gaming experiences.

3.15 PM Keynote
The Gamer Experience of “To be or pretend to be: Designing an immersive game experience” by Game Director of Assassins Creed Vallhalla, Eric Baptizat from Ubisoft Montreal

3.50 PM Break
10 minutes

4.00 PM Video
Short interview with gamers about their immersive theatre experience.

4.05 PM Keynote
The immersive theatre experience of “To be or pretend to be” by Oliver Lansley and James Seager. Artistic Director and Creative Director from Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company, UK

4.40 PM Keynote 3
The Gamer Experience of “To be or pretend to be”: How do players experience videogames? by Kristine Jørgensen a professor in media studies from the University of Bergen

5.10 PM Panel Conversation
Panel conversation- by Seanse’s director, Marit Ulvund – Eric Baptizat – Game Director for Assasins Creed Vallhalla, Ubisoft, Montreal Canada – Oliver Lansley and James Seager– Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company, United Kingdom – Kristine Jørgensen – Professor of Media Studies from the University of Bergen, Norway – Cecilie Lundsholt – Director of Vestland Theater, Norway – Thomas Grønvoll – Advisor for Kulturtanken – Arts for Young Audiences Norway

5.40 PM Questions
Open for questions

5.50 PM What’s coming next
Information about the next conferneces: What Competencies Are Developed through the gaming? Learning by gaming? – Gaming in Education.

6.00 PM The end
Thank you for listening


Eric Baptizat:

Is a game director working with Ubisoft Montreal. He has 20 years experience as a designer in the video game industry. He was the lead designer of both Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag published in 2013 and Assassin’s Creed Origins published in 2017. He recently worked as the game director for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, published in 2020. Valhalla has harvested good critics and reviews around the world and are widely popular in Norway with the Viking heritage where the story is set in Norway and England.

Oliver Lansley and James Seager:

Oliver Lansley and James Seager from Les Enfants Terribles’company which was founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Oliver Lansley. The company has received consistent critical acclaim, won top industry awards, and established a large and loyal following for its unique work. The company were nominated for an Olivier Award in 2015, made the Stage Power 100 List in 2017 and was nominated for The Stage Innovation Award in 2016. Long-time collaborator James Seager came on board as Producer to co-run the company in 2005. They recently went online with their immersive theatre production Sherlock Holmes. For more information visit their website. https://lesenfantsterribles.co.uk/about-us/

Kristine Jørgensen:

Is a Professor of Media Studies from the University of Bergen. She is interested in player-centered perspectives and has studied player experiences with transgressive game content, player interaction with game interfaces, and player experiences of sound in games. She also has an interest in production and industry studies and has in that context researched the Norwegian game industry. In the period 2015-2019, she was project manager of the research project Games and Transgressive Aesthetics, which focuses on player experiences of controversial, uncomfortable, and norm-breaking game content and how they tackle this in the gameplay situation.

For the panel conversation:

Cecilie Grydeland Lundsholt has a BA in acting from The Rose Bruford College. Since 2005, she has worked as an actress, director, dramaturg, and playwright. Part of the theatre group ERLER she makes interactive, site specific and immersive productions that tour both in Norway and internationally. She has worked extensively both in Norway and internationally and from 2021 she is the director of Vestland Theater, Norway.

Thomas Grønvoll Wrote his master thesis on narrative in video games. Working as an advisor for Kulturtanken – Arts for Young Audiences Norway. In 2019 he was part of the team that wrote the Norwegian government’s strategy for video games for 2020-2023.

Marit Ulvund – Seanse’s director and will be leading the panel discussion. Experienced Associate Professor with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry and professional art production. Skilled in Theater, Storytelling, Improvisation, Communication, Lecturing, Keynotes, Arts in Education, Mentor of Art Production. Strong research professional with a Doctor of Philosophy – PhD focused in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, double degree from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Queensland University of Technology. Extensive experience in international co-operation and networks, and co-founder of the Biannual International Teaching Artist Conferences.

This is the first in a series of three digital conferences we hope to arrange this year. The themes of the next webinars are: – What Competencies and skills are developed through the gaming? – Learning by gaming? – Gaming in Education.