[iDC] Introduction: Olli Sotamaa

Olli Sotamaa Olli.Sotamaa at uta.fi
Tue Sep 8 14:35:08 UTC 2009

Hi all,

Trebor Scholz asked me to write an introduction now that we’re getting 
closer to the Internet as Playground and Factory conference.

My name is Olli Sotamaa and I've been lurking here for a few months and 
thoroughly enjoyed many of the discussions. I’m based in Tampere, 
Finland, and currently work as a senior research fellow at the 
Department of Information Studies and Interactive Media. I have a 
background in cultural studies and for the past few years now my 
research focus has been on participatory and co-operative practices 
between developers and players of digital games.

I’ve recently defended my phd that focuses on what I call “player 
production”. In my phd work I argue that while game studies have so far 
been pretty good in identifying the structural elements of game systems 
and the different motivations of players, they have mostly not touched 
the larger social structures and industrial systems that ultimately 
shape both the games that are offered to players and the ways they are 
played. Whilst we know quite a lot about how the rules can be used to 
guide and constrict players activities, the “rules” that direct player 
production are scarcely investigated. From there on I move on to 
introduce multi-perspectival approaches that I argue can help us to 
better understand the productive practices of players that result in new 
game elements (e.g. game modifications) and the ones that exploit the 
game software to produce entirely new digital objects (e.g. machinima).

You can find some of my articles from: http://www.uta.fi/~olli.sotamaa/
My dissertation is at: http://acta.uta.fi/english/teos.php?id=11176


Olli Sotamaa
Senior Research Fellow
Dep. of Information Studies and Interactive Media
University of Tampere

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