Research Theory in Digital Culture

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M2.2. Research Theory in Digital Culture[muokkaa]

A course for European Heritage, Digital Media and the Information Society Master's Programme (University of Turku)

Course code: HERI0202-0204

Credits: 5 ECTS

Learning outcomes:

  • Student is familiar with basic concepts of digital culture and its academic research
  • Student can adapt few basic digital cultural research methods such as benchmarking and user observation to one’s own work
  • Student is able to use and apply some web 2.0 working environments such as wikimedia platforms

Course contents: With this course students familiarize themselves with digital culture as a contemporary practice and an academic discipline. Course consists of exam based on literature (Charlie Gere: Digital Culture or other optional literature) and on-line admissions on varying themes such as game and mobile cultures, digital art and digital cultural production.

Teaching methods: Lectures and practical work

Assessment methods: Examination and assessment of practical work, grading: 0-5

Person in charge: Prof. Jaakko Suominen

Year of study, semester: 1st year, autumn term, II period

Personal experiences of using Wikiopisto * Omia kokemuksia Wikiopiston käytöstä

And being more precise and practical (this become something else I thought last Spring (see this wikiwersity page) to do (for practical reasons), but anyway)[muokkaa]

You will learn:[muokkaa]

  1. how to use Wikiversity (Wikiopisto) as a course environment (because probably you will become full of using Moodle in other occasions)
  2. how to make a project concept plan
  3. what is digital culture
  4. what is digital cultural heritage
  5. some basics about game cultures and game studies


  • Net exam or essay based on course literature
  • Project concept plan (by a group) dealing with digital cultural heritage (e. g. cultures of history and gaming) or digital games in teaching cultural heritage, length about 10-15 pages

Course literature:[muokkaa]

Charlie Gere: Digital Culture. 2002. (Also in Finnish Charlie Gere: Digitaalinen kulttuuri. 2006.)

and three articles related to cultural history of digital games

  • Petri Saarikoski & Jaakko Suominen: "Players, producers, pleasures and business - Relation between computer hobbyism and gaming industry: Case Finland, 1946–2008" (an article manuscript, will be distributed to students later) Players - Discussion

Course program:[muokkaa]

  1. Own time for reading at least articles (Until the meeting in Pori, 31.10.2008)
  2. Seminar day 1: course introduction, lecture of basic concepts, presenting some basic ideas, group discussion, brainstorming and presenting ideas, formation of work groups (2-4 groups): Pori, 31.10.2008
    1. Material: Relation Between Cultural Heritage and Digital Technology: Case Games
  3. Group working and presenting ideas in Wikiversity (Until the meeting in Turku, 24.11.2008) <-- We can arrange virtual check points if needed (for example something to be finished before 15th November)
  4. Seminar day 2: Presenting concepts, making of ideas how to proceed further with them: Turku, 24.11.2008 (with a real project the next step would be a demo product for example, but we won't do that here)
  5. Net exam: First exam will start 4th of December at 10:00am and end at 10:00 5th of December. Second exam will start 17th of December 10:00am and end 18th of December 10:00am.
  6. Finalized concept plan, ready for the course evaluation: 8.12.2008 (or later?)


Half points from the exam (critical thinking considering course literature and course in general), half from the concept plan (quality, realism, innovativeness, working process as a group etc)

Structure for a concept plan[muokkaa]

  • Introduction (short introduction of the idea)
  • Background research and benchmarking (Has somebody done similar things before?)
  • Description of expected user group (What sort of people would be interested in your project?)
  • Description of idea (story, parts)
  • Needed resources for completing the projects (funding, skills, technical resources etc.)
  • SWOT-analysis of the project (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
  • Timetable

10-15 pages together

Some examples of concepts plans


  • Make a plan about a happening for children/youngsters/adults/seniors about history of digital technology
  • Make a plan how to teach concepts such as counterfactualism and anachronism in the university by using digital games
  • Make a plan how to use “vanhat käsialat” (historical handwriting styles used in Finland and Sweden in the 17th and the 18th Century) for history students or hobbyist genealogist by using digital games
  • Make a plan how to analogize digital games such as mobile Snake

Group Roles[muokkaa]

  • Project Manager / Producer
    • Is responsible of the concept plan as a whole, projects time table and distribution of work within the project group
  • Benchmarking Manager
    • Is responsible for benchmarking and user research
  • Script Manager
    • Makes the script for the product in planning
  • Resource Manager
    • Makes the plan on needed resources (see the concept plan above)
    • Makes the SWOT analysis together with the project manager

Concept plans by the student groups[muokkaa]

  • Group 1 - Concept Plan (Agnes:Resource Manager, Vesku:Benchmarking Manager, Silja:Script Manager, Essi:Project Manager)
  • Group 2 - Concept Plan (Jourdain: Script Manager, Katriina:Resource Manager, Petra:Project Manager, Jenni: Benchmarking Manager)


How to use Wikipedia[muokkaa]

Other links (related to course theme etc.)[muokkaa]

Course Feedback and Comments[muokkaa]


Here you can practice how to use Wikiversity.