Seth Giddings



United Kingdom

Institutional affiliation

University of Southampton


Associate Professor Digital Culture & Design

Research interests relevant to game philosophy

My research addresses technology and culture, through the lens of games media, experimental media technologies and other forms of play. I am particularly interested in computer and videogames as new media forms and in the development of methods for studying intimate and playful engagements with media technology. This research is informed by media theory and philosophy from Bateson and Baudrillard to Haraway and Deleuze.

Publications and presentations relevant to game philosophy

Gameworlds: virtual media & children’s everyday play, New York: Bloomsbury, 2014
(with Martin Lister), The New Media & Technocultures Reader, London: Routledge, 2011
Lister, Martin, Dovey, Jon, Giddings, Seth, Grant, Iain & Kelly, Kieran, New Media: a critical introduction (2nd ed.), London: Routledge, 2009

Book chapters
‘SimKnowledge: what museums can learn from videogames’, in Michelle Henning (ed.) Museum Media, vol. 3 of The International Handbooks of Museum Studies. London: Wiley-Blackwell.
‘Bright bricks, dark play: on the impossibility of studying LEGO’, in Mark J.P. Wolf (ed.) LEGO Studies: examining the building blocks of a transmedial phenomenon, New York: Routledge (2014)
‘Simulation games’, in Bernard Perron and Mark J.P. Wolf (eds) The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies, New York: Routledge, 2014
‘Drawing without light: virtual photography in gameworlds’, in Martin Lister (ed.) The Photographic Image in Digital Culture (2nd edition), London: Routledge, 2013
(with Helen W. Kennedy) ‘Little Jesuses and fuck-off robots: on cybernetics, aesthetics and not being very good at Lego Star Wars’, in Melanie Swalwell and Jason Wilson (eds) The Pleasures of Computer Gaming: essays on cultural history, theory and aesthetics, McFarland & Co., 2008
‘Playing with nonhumans: digital games as technocultural form’, in de Castell & Jenson (eds) Worlds in Play: international perspectives on digital games research, Peter Lang, 2008
‘‘I’m the one who makes the Lego Racers go’: studying virtual and actual play’, in Dixon & Weber (eds) Growing Up Online: young people and digital technologies, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007
(with Helen W. Kennedy) ‘Digital games as new media’, in Jason Rutter & Jo Bryce (eds) Understanding Digital Games, London: Sage, 2006

Articles in peer-reviewed journals
‘Mini-games, monsters and Mr Happy: a video essay on virtual and actual play’, Journal of Audio-Visual Thinking, no.3: September 2011
(with Helen W. Kennedy) ‘Incremental speed increases excitement: bodies, space, movement and televisual change’, Television & New Media 11(3) May 2010
‘Events and collusions: a glossary for the microethnography of video game play’, Games & Culture, 4(2) April 2009
‘Dionysiac machines: videogames & the triumph of the simulacra’, Convergence 13(3), Nov 2007
‘A ‘pataphysics engine: technology, play, and realities’, Games and Culture, (special issue on Baudrillard and game culture) 2(4), October 2007

Recent invited conference / seminar presentations
‘Distributed imagination: media, minds, and materiality in contemporary children’s play’ Media Futures Research Centre, Bath Spa University, 25th February 2015
‘Ecologies and ethologies of virtual and actual play’ Play Session II: play worlds, Play Research Group, Brighton University, 5th February 2015
Keynote at ‘Identity and Interdisciplinary’ PhD Summer School in Games and Play, University of Utrecht, August 2014
‘Configuring the 15-second dancer: designing for embodied play’, at Space and Embodiment in virtual worlds and games, Institute of Education, London, July 2014
‘The playground is its own best model: videogame automata and robotic research’, at Autonomy & Automation: robotics, AI and the digital cultural future, Pervasive Media Studio, March 2014
‘Sim You Later: at play across virtual and actual space’ at Connecting the Dots: movement, space and the digital image, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, 12th April 2013


simulation, play, children's culture, media theory, nonhuman agency, ecologies


Seth Giddings


media art, media theory