Lecturer asks "What's the Meaning of Play?" on US tour

Posted on Tuesday 21st March 2017

This spring, one of the University of Bolton’s teachers is getting ready for his lectures... in the United States of America.

Dr Chris Bateman will embark on his first US Tour, presenting at major universities in Indiana, Texas, California, and Utah on the topic “The Meaning of Play”.

Dr Bateman is a Researcher and Senior Lecturer at Bolton, a Visiting Professor at Laguna College of Art and Design in California and an award-winning game designer. He has presented across five continents about games, play, and technology ethics.

His presentation takes the audience on a billion year journey through the history and pre-history of play, and shows the remarkable achievements of humanity in developing tools for play, such as dice, boards, and more recently videogames.

‘I’m very grateful that the University of Bolton has given me this opportunity to share my research with academic colleagues, students, and the general public in the United States,’ said Dr Chris Bateman.

‘I’m greatly looking forward to sharing my exploration of what play means.’

His first stop is Bloomington, Indiana. Mike Sellers, a Professor of Practice at Indiana University, and also a successful game designer like Chris, said he was delighted to be hosting the first talk.

‘Like the University of Bolton, Indiana University has been developing an outstanding programme for educating the creative talent of the future games industry. It’s an honour to have Chris talk to our students, and to show him some of the great work we’ve been doing here in Bloomington.’

Following his visit to Indiana, Chris will travel to College Station, Texas. André Thomas is a lecturer in Texas A&M’s Department of Visualization, and also runs a videogame developer where Chris provides consultancy services on cutting edge educational games.

‘Chris is one of the great lecturers on the history of games, and it’s a real thrill to have him coming to visit us. We’ve been working together for a few years now, but this is our first opportunity to bring him to Texas and show him that everything here really is bigger and better!’

Then it’s a flight over the Rocky Mountains to Laguna Beach, California before rounding off the tour in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Chris has enjoyed a highly successful career in game development, working on more than 45 games including classic titles such as Discworld Noir and Ghost Master, as well as major global franchises such as Cartoon Network: FusionFall and Motorstorm: Apocalypse.

The University of Bolton offers undergraduate courses in Game Design, Games Art and Game Programming and a postgraduate Masters in Games Development.

The University was one of the first in the UK to offer degrees in game development, and its graduates have gone on to work at major developers such as Rockstar North, creator of theGrand Theft Autofranchise, and TT Games, who are responsible for the LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Batman, and LEGO Jurassic World franchises.

A team of game students from Bolton recently won two major prizes in the prestigious Dare to Be Digital competition.