Transformative Play Initiative Seminar 2022: Programme and Registration

Watercolor image with Uppsala Logo and text that says, "Seminar: Role-playing, Culture and Heritage"

Announcing the Transformative Play Initiative Seminar 2022 at Uppsala University Campus Gotland in Sweden! Organized by the Games & Society Lab at the Department of Game Design with financial support from the Sustainable Heritage Research Forum (SuHRF), this hybrid online and in-person event will feature short academic presentations by researchers and practitioners in the field of Role-playing Game Studies and adjacent activities.

The Transformative Play Initiative studies the use of analog role-playing games such as tabletop and live action role-playing (larp) as vehicles for personal and social change. We focus on the use of these games in applied contexts, e.g. education, therapy, social work, youth work, activism, community work, spiritual guidance, etc.

Our theme for this year is: Role-playing, Culture, and Heritage.

  • Where: Cramérgatan 3, Room B51, 621 57, Visby, Sweden
  • When: October 20-21, 2022

Click here to RSVP for the event on Facebook.

Click here to register for the in-person event.

Click here to register for the online event.

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All activities take place in B51 at Uppsala University Campus Gotland with the exception of the online poster presentations, which take place on Zoom.

Wednesday, October 19

12.00-20.00: Heritage tours and other activities to be determined.

Thursday, October 20


08.00-08.45 — Registration, Coffee, and Tea

08.45-09.00 — Opening Ceremonies

09.00-09.30 — Keynote 1: “Multilayered, Selective and Contested: The Heritage of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in Polish Role-playing and Reenactment” — Michał Mochocki

09.45-11.00 — Panel 1: Play, Culture, and Heritage

 “Playing with Wonders, Objects, Role-playing Games and the Cultural Legacy of Bispo do Rosário for the City of Rio de Janeiro” — Rian Rezende and Denise Portinari

 “A Coin with Two Sides: Role-Playing Games as Symbolic Devices” — Miguel Angel Bastarrachea Magnani

“Walk Like an Englishman? The Cultural Experience of Walking Simulators” — Felix Schniz

“Jeppe and Maria Bergmann Hamming’s Literary-Musical Larp Adaptations” — Evan Torner

11.15-12.30 — Panel 2: Role-playing Scenes Around the World

“The Player Category Research of Murder Mystery Game” — Shuo Xiong, Ruoyu Wen, Huijuan Zheng

“Analog Role-Playing Game Studies: A Brazilian Overview” — Tadeu Rodrigues Iuama and Luiz Falcão

“Building Gaming Worlds: The Construction of TRPG Scenes” — William J. White, Nicholas J. Mizer, and Nicolas LaLone

“Nordic Larp as a Method in Mental Health Care and Substance Abuse Work. Case: SÄRÖT” — Kerttu Lehto


12.30-13.30 — Visby Participants: Lunch

12.30-13.30 — Online Poster Presentation Track 1: Games, Mental Health, and Personal Development

“‘Make It Urgent’: Prototyping Role-play Design for Intercultural Trainings” — Alexandra Schreiber

“Larp in Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy: Presentation of a Standardized Training Program and its Current Evaluation” — Lennart Bartenstein

“The Vampire Foucault: Erotic Horror Role-Playing Games as a Technologies of the Self” — Albert Spencer

13.30-14.45 — Panel 3: Role-playing for Personal and Social Change

 “Bleed and Identity: A Conceptual Model of Bleed and How Bleed-out from Role-playing Games Can Affect a Player’s Sense of Self” — Kjell Hedgard Hugaas

“The Bar at the End of the Universe” — Ayça Durmuş and Ege Sedef Topçuoğlu

“Playing the Belly of the Beast: Exploring Conflicting Roles for Social Change through Games” — Aditya Anupam

“RPG as Reaction Means to Humanitarian Crisis” — Weronika Szatkowska

15.00-16.15 — Panel 4: Role-playing: Transformation in Educational Environments

 “Role-playing Games and Education: A Matrix Mapping Design Components with Relation to Learning Objectives” — Josefin Westborg

“Humble Materials and Transformative Play” — Rebecca Rouse and Nassim Parvin

“Getting Inspired: Using the Inspirisles RPG to Teach ASL and Cultural Awareness to Middle School Students” — Maryanne Cullinan and Rich Oxenham

“Role-play as a Tool for Researching Organization Culture” — Susi Mikael Nousiainen

16.30-17.00 — Keynote 2: “Historical Empathy: How Larp Can Facilitate Cultural and Historical Understanding” — Liv Hernø-Toftild


17.30-19.30 — Visby Track: Dinner

17.30-18.30 — Online Poster Presentation Track 2: Role-playing Games and Society

“Looking Behind the Curtain: Assessing the Invisible Work of the Magic Circle” — Steven L. Dashiell

“An Analysis of the Literature Surrounding the Intersection of Role-Playing Games, Race, and Identity” — Marissa Baker

“Fictional History Frames in an Intercultural Larp, from Improvisation to Metareflexion” — Michael Freudenthal

19.30-22.00 — Other activities to be determined.


Friday, October 21


09.00-09.30 — Keynote 3: Mohamad Rabah, “Playing to Protect; Protecting to Play”

09.30-10.45 — Panel 5: Play and Educational Environments

“The Game of Academia – an Exploration of Quality Implications and Thriving” — Doris C. Rusch

“Gaming the Systems: Breaking Down RPGs Into Their Component Parts, To Better Analyze For Use In Educational Settings” — Maryanne Cullinan and Jennifer Genova

“Same Same, But Different? How to Adapt Edu-larp Design for Different Learning Environments and Target Groups” — Erik Strömberg and Karin Johansson

“Playing with the ‘Fictitious I’: Early Forms of Educational Role-playing in Hungary, 1938-1978” — Bálint Márk Turi and Mátyás Hartyándi

11.00-12.15 — Panel 6: Role-playing, Genders, and Sexualities

“Bridging Historical and Present Day Community through Embodied Role-playing” — Hilda Levin

“Larp as a Potential Space for Non-formal Queer Cultural Heritage” — Josephine Baird

“Reparative Play and Dungeons & Dragons” — Giuseppe Fernia

“Exploring the Erotic in Honey & Hot Wax” — Katherine Castiello Jones


12.15-13.15 — Visby Track: Lunch

12.15-13.15 — Poster Presentation Track 3: Play and Ritual Around the World

“Learning the History of Ancient Roman Forum of Thessaloniki, Greece through Educational Live Action Role Playing” — Maria Theodosiou and Christina Gkountona 

“Experience China’s Intangible Cultural Heritages in Role-playing Games: Comparative Studies between MMORPG and LARP Games” — Yuqiao Lui

“Designing the Pluriverse: People as Designers Co-creating Ontologies” — Melania Esposito

13.15-14.30 — Panel 7: Games: Theory, Design, and Method

“Intentionally Designing a Game to Help Alleviate Symptoms of Depression: A Formal and Textual Analysis of Mental Health Representation and Game Design Iteration” — Pandi Cunoti

“Gaming Capital in Contemporary Online Role-playing Game Scenes” — Henry Korkeila and J. Tuomas Harviainen

 “Larp as Rapid Prototyping of Cultural Experiences” — Karin Johansson, Paulina Rajkowska, Annika Waern

“Methodological Musings on Larping as Research” — Kaya Toft Thejls

14.45-15.15 — Keynote 4: “Towards Post-Modern Art Week: Anthropophagic Reflexes in Brazilian Larp Scenes” — Tadeu Rodrigues Iuama

15.30-16.00 — Closing Ceremonies

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Click here to review the Seminar’s Code of Conduct and Guidelines for Encouraged Behavior.

Please submit questions to the Transformative Play Initiative at