St Andrews 2

Literature and Video Games: Beyond Stereotypes

An interdisciplinary Leverhulme International Network event hosted by University of St Andrews
20-21st June 2018

Organised by Prof. Margaret-Anne Hutton (Univ. of St Andrews Modern Languages; Leverhulme Network P.I.); Prof. Gregor White, Dr Robin Sloan and Dr Dayna Galloway (Abertay Univ., Dundee), Dr Matthew Barr (Univ. of Glasgow)


Rhianna Pratchett
Christopher Brookmyre
Judy Tyrer
Simon Meek 


The event if free but places are limited. Please register via Eventbrite

Programme & Abstracts


Day One: 20th JuneDay Two: 21st June

9.00-10.15 (Arts Building Lecture Theatre): Introduction to the event (Margaret-Anne Hutton)

Introduction to the Game Jam (Dayna Galloway / Robin Sloan)

Game Jam theme: Rhianna Pratchett and Don Paterson in conversation (with Robin Sloan, Dayna Galloway and Matthew Barr)

10.15-10.45: Coffee

10.45-11.45 Parallel activities:

Arts Lecture Theatre: Game Think 3.0

Angie Spoto: ‘Not Geek Enough: Crafting a Ludic Novel for the Non-Credentialed Nerd’

Steven Harvie: ‘The Video Game Avant-Garde?’

Alison Bown: ‘Playable text in sonic worlds: how language and sound can be combined to make bookish games’

Cailean McBride: ‘Focalisation and character ‘ownership’ in Literature and Games’

Arts Seminar Rooms 1-6: Game Jam
Ideas generation and concept development

12.00-1.00 (Arts Lecture Theatre): Christopher Brookmyre

1.00-2.00: Lunch

Parallel activities:
2.00-7.00: Game Jam
Game development

Robert Gallagher: ‘Interactive Friction: Narrative Games and the Age of Information’

James Butler & Rebecca Hutcheon: ‘Narrative Education Exploration Systems (NEES): Engaging pupils through creative gaming literary adaptations’

3.15-4.00: Tea

4.00-5.00:  (Arts Lecture Theatre):

Dayna Galloway and Mona Bozdog: ‘Worlds at our fingertips. Navigating the multiple readings of walking simulators’

Claudia Rossignoli: ‘Playing with God: Dante’s otherworlds in the digital age’

5.00-6.00 (Arts Lecture Theatre): Simon Meek
Presentation of the Beckett project + Q& A

6.30-8.30: Byre Studio Theatre
A L Kennedy short story Masterclass

Access the Short Stories A L Kennedy will be discussing: Story 1 | Story 2 | Story 3 | Story 4 (all pdf)

9.00-10.15: Parallel activities
Game Jam: Game development

Arts Lecture Theatre
Espen Aarseth: ‘Novel Experiences: Massive Singleplayer Games as a Literary Genre

Ted Bergman: ‘Gameplay, Don Quixote, and the Active Deconstruction of Literary Genres’

10.15-10.45: Coffee

Parallel activities

10.45-1.15: Game Jam: game development

10.45-12.15: Game Think
Alicia Copeland: ‘Creating Worlds with Words’

Jacob Wayne Runner: ‘‘My guise doth not incur thy trust’: Archaic Language as an Element of Game Localisation’

Sally Bushell: ‘Spatialising and Visualising the Literary Text: The Chronotopic Ground Project’

Kieran Wilson: ‘Inaccurate Guides and Spurious Parables: The Unreliable Narrator in the Games of Davey Wreden’

Emma Reay: ‘Critical Ekphrasis: Appraising the Poetic Power of Children’s Video Games’

Jaime Harrison: ‘“The li’l goombas of the web, need to be stomped back to where they came from”: Virtual Worlds and Video Game Intertextuality in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge

12.15 -1.15 (Arts Lecture Theatre): Judy Tyrer in conversation with Katie Garner

1.15-2.00: Lunch

Parallel activities

2.00-5.15: Game Jam: game development and preparation of presentations

Darshana Jayemanne: ‘Chronotypology: A Comparative Approach to Videogame Narrative’

Esther MacCallum Stewart & Nia Wearn: ‘“Case 88: Once Upon a Crime” Defining Hidden Object Games as Literary Narratives’

3.15-4.00 Coffee

4.00-5.15  Andy Payne
Presentation of the Animal Farm project + Q& A

5.30-6.30: Game Jam Presentations

Game: Long Story Short

Team: Paper Code

Full credits

  • Gregor Duddy (Designer) – Abertay University
  • Surya Rai (Designer) – Abertay University
  • Luke Powell (Programmer) – Abertay University
  • Maja Bäckvall (Writer) – Uppsala University/University of Copenhagen


The party game that begins at the end! Long Story Short is a competitive card game involving three decks that each represent the acts of a story. Each round begins with the ‘End’ card presented first, leaving each player to choose the beginning an middle cards to complete the story with what they think is the saddest, funniest, or most sensical short story.

Game: Alternate Existence

Team:  Cation Games + Buchanan’s Brains

Full Credits

  • Cation Games (Abertay University)
    • Tom Dixon – Design and Production
    • Cari Watterton – UI and 2D artist
    • Jordan Hastings – 3D artist
    • Tom Wood – Programmer
    • Charalampos – Programmer
  • Buchanan’s Brains (University of St Andrews)
    • Giulia Borrini – Writer
    • Karunika Kardak – Writer
    • Eglantine Pillet – Writer


In a world where memories can be bought and sold for the right price, you play as an individual using an Alternate Existence, Inc. memory kiosk. Play the ‘memory game’ to earn Neurons and then buy the memories of your dreams. But will you still be ‘you’ by the end of the process..?

Game: The Modern Prometheus

Team: Team Posh Grub

Full Credits

  • Abertay University:
    • Ian Morrison – Game Designer
    • Karel Kuzmiak – Programmer
    • Naman Merchant – Programmer
    • Rishikesh Lokare – Artist
  • University of Glasgow
    • Alexandra Grunberg – Narrative


The game puts you into the shoes of an AI which has been created to do a certain task, but the AI has a sense of existence and doesn’t know that it’s a creation. While progressing into the game the AI starts to unveil it’s true identity through a literature oriented narrative.

Game: 1976 / On Record

Team: Got Milks? / Yarn Spinner

Full Credits

  • Alexander Tarvet – Abertay
  • Andrew Lindsay – Abertay
  • Robyn McMillan – Abertay
  • Lucinda McArdle – Abertay
  • Dr Ted Bergman – St Andrews
  • Dr Kathryn Jones – St Andrews


Experience the story of two sisters and uncover what happened during the summer of 1976. 1976 / On Record is a surreal, narrative vignette game that explores the relationship between two siblings. The prototype was created as an attempt to portray sensitive topics through a videogame format. In the case of 1976 / On Record, this topic was spousal abuse.

Game: Snakes or Balloons
Team: Super Friends

Full Credits

  • Robin Griffifths – Abertay University
  • Kayleigh MacLeod – Abertay University
  • Gaz Robinson – Abertay University
  • Matthew Sangster – University of Glasgow
  • Rhys Williams – University of Glasgow


Trapped in a pyramid with limited light remaining, you must traverse the perils and collect the gems. But your actions have consequences! What will await you at the end: Snakes, or Balloons?

Game: The REAL Guide to Saint Andrews

Team: One Star Games

Full credits

  • Code: Paul Robertson and Andrei Boiko (Abertay University)
  • Design and Art: Robin Sloan (Abertay University)
  • Writing and Design: Dayna Galloway and Mona Bozdog (Abertay University)


We exist in a time where it is common for people to experience the world through socially connected mobile applications. This parody ‘app’ presents a playful take on how flawed individuals with ulterior motives can obscure and twist reality until the truth of a location can become a distant memory – or indeed, a place long forgotten…

View the game “The REAL Guide to Saint Andrews “

For further information please contact Prof. Margaret-Anne Hutton at