The Network aims to consolidate digital-oriented research and teaching at Kent University, from game design and work on artificial intelligence through to cybersecurity and digital ethics.
We encourage new collaborative research projects and new industry connections, and engage in public education and debate on digital matters. We are available as industry consultants, funding collaborators, and public speakers (please use the ‘contact us’ on the right).
Our specific interests include: Digital Landscapes and Virtual Reality, Algorithms and Daily Life, Cybercrime and Cyberwarfare, Privacy, Creativity and Expression Online, and Digitising the Human/Self.
In the Autumn Term of 2020, we hosted Poppy Wilde (Birmingham City) who talked about Avatars, Post-humanism and Zombies. We also ran 2 Competitions, one for staff and one for students, based around the theme ‘Physical Lockdown/Digital Freedom’.
More recently, in Spring Term 2021, Jonathan Jones (Pennsylvania State) presented his latest research on Red Dead Redemption and depictions of the Civil War, and Bob Whitaker (host of the popular Youtube/Podcast channel ‘History Respawned’) shared his experiences of running a show before a mix of students, game studies academics and developers.
Recent Publications include Vincent Miller’s Understanding Digital Culture (2020) now in Second Edition
Dr John Wills from ICCI is currently working on a new book, the first to tackle Rockstar Game’s hugely successful video game franchise Red Dead Redemption. Contracted with the University of Oklahoma Press, and set for release in early 2022, Red Dead Redemption: History, Myth, and Violence in the Video Game West is set to explore a range of issues pertaining to the popular Western-themed video game series, as well as video game industry as a whole.
In 2018, Rockstar released Red Dead Redemption 2, an open world adventure exploring life on the American frontier, to huge artistic and commercial acclaim. The New York Times described the title as“ true art” while for Forbes magazine, the game represented “an epic masterpiece.” Red Dead Redemption 2 has now sold in excess of 35 million copies worldwide.
John is working on the title with fellow Game Studies scholar Esther Wright, an expert on Rockstar based at Cardiff University. Joining them are a range of new and established video game scholars, including Soraya Murray at University of California Santa Cruz and Poppy Wilde at Birmingham City University. A series of online Digital Culture talks at Kent focused on the game have already started, with Bob Whitaker (Collin College) talking about Red Dead Redemption, as well as his podcast/youtube channel ‘History Respawned,’ in a few weeks time.
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