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Faculty of Social Sciences

MEDIA RESEARCH

Gaming her way to professorship

Kristine Jørgensen has been appointed professor at the University of Bergen. She is Norway’s first woman to become a professor focusing on computer game studies.

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Professor Kristine Jørgensen, Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen (UiB), photographed in her office in April 2017, when she was made professor of media studies.
THE COMPUTER GAME PROFESSOR: Kristine Jørgensen from the University of Bergen has become the first woman in Norway to be appointed a professor of computer game studies.
Photo:
Sverre Ole Drønen, University of Bergen

On 18 April 2017, the board at the Faculty of Social Sciences promoted media researcher Kristine Jørgensen to become professor. Professor Jørgensen works at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen (UiB).

Game studies are increasingly recognised

“This only goes to show that game studies are now a recognised research area in media studies and research in general,” says Jørgensen.

She points out that game studies is an interdisciplinary research field that draws perspectives and methods from quite different disciplines.

“Game studies takes into account the cultural and social role of the game medium. My field is concerned with the content and design of the games as well as player interaction and technological aspects of gaming, says the media researcher, who also emphasises the social aspect of games in her research.

Significant international researcher

Jørgensen is one of the leading researchers in the field of game studies in the Nordic countries, and has had impact on research areas such as game sound, game interfaces, and the Norwegian game industry. In 2014, she was funded by the Research Council of Norway to establish the project Games and Transgressive Aesthetics. This project is about the subversive nature of computer games and has put the young Bergen researcher on the map internationally.

“Computer games are often criticised for their controversial content, such as violence or stereotyping,” says the recently appointed media professor, "but often this criticism is produced by outside observers and it is relatively rare to get an insight into how such content is perceived in a game context. Games and Transgressive Aesthetics is a response to this criticism.”

Through the project, Jørgensen wants to understand how the players themselves experience the role of such content on their game experience, and also to understand what type of content that impairs the subjective game experience.

“My project is also interested in situations where unpleasant and controversial content is considered a positive part of the game experience. Through qualitative studies, the project provides insight into how computer games and its content are perceived and interpreted from a player perspective,” says Jørgensen about the research project.

As part of her research, she has published several books and publications in internationally recognised journals.

Part of a new research environment

From autumn 2017, Professor Jørgensen is one of the UiB researchers that will be part of research and education at Media City Bergen, a new media knowledge cluster. She will head the study programmes in media and interaction design.

“We offer six new studies at bachelor and master's level. I am responsible for media and interaction design, which focuses on interaction design and interactive solutions that will help media producers and users in their daily lives,” says the new media professor about the opportunities the knowledge cluster brings to UiB and Bergen.

“In Media City Bergen, we will offer our students modern, forward-looking study programmes, which address the major changes in today’s media industry,” says Kristine Jørgensen.