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Game Studies

Resources for researching the interdisciplinary field of game studies at SUNY Oneonta.

Student Gaming Groups

SUNY Oneonta Esports Club

The Oneonta Esports club is designed to bring competitive gamers together in a happy and healthy environment to meet and engage with peers that share similar interests. The club will, when possible, create teams to represent Oneonta at local or online esport competitions. The club also hosts in-house tournaments and events.

SUNY Oneonta Gamer's Guild

Oneonta Gamers' Guild is Oneonta's tabletop gaming club. Our main interests include (but are not limited to) Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: the Gathering, Yugioh,  Axis & Allies, Lords of Waterdeep, 7Wonders, and Settlers of Catan. We are open to any type of board or card game, not just collectible games. All members of any game skill level are welcome! We look forward to seeing you there!

Dragon's Lair

The Dragon’s Lair is a free gaming service for SUNY Oneonta students, sponsored by the Student Association and Hunt College Union. It is located on the main floor of Hunt College Union.  You can't miss it on your left as you enter the front entrance of Hunt Union.   The Lair was founded in 2009 by a group of students affectionately titled, "The Vanguard". It was conceived for one purpose; social networking through social gaming. Students could gather in one, large, positive space; away from their private rooms and suites. There needed to be a place that was open for anyone to hang out, relax, play games, and build relationships. 

Faculty Working With Games

Dr. Katherine Lau (Psychology)

Dr. Lau is developing research studies that will use virtual reality in conjunction with physiological equipment, to study differences in physiological reactivity (e.g., heart rate variability) in relation to personality traits (e.g., psychopathy, narcissism), fear, and antisocial behaviors. A lot of research on this area has primarily taken the form of self-report questionnaires, and hypothetical vignettes that an individual reads and has time to think over, which may not be very realistic. By using virtual reality, and specific games, I hope to create a more realistic or ecologically valid environment that an individual is immersed in to assess their immediate reactions.

Dr. Matthew Unangst (History)

Students in WHIS 206: Nation and Race are playing Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945. In the game, players role play historical figures involved in the process of Indian independence and partition. They inhabit the past, working through historical sources and real-life challenges to try to defeat their rivals. The challenge of the game is how to reconcile religious identity with nation building—perhaps the most intractable and important issue of the modern world. Through the game, students gain a deeper understanding of the difficulties of building a nation and the power of nationalism to shape our world.

Dr. Karen Stewart (Communication and Media Studies)

Dr. Karen Stewart examines Otome visual novel video games. Otome games are romance-based visual novel video games designed specifically for female players. Dr. Stewart investigates why these games are popular with women around the world, and what young women in particular learn about friendship, love, and intimacy while playing. Dr. Stewart is currently building an Otome game called Leap of Faith to better understand the narrative strengths and limitations of this gaming genre.

Brendan Aucoin (Milne Library)

Brendan Aucoin has worked on various scholarly video games projects including collaborating with Dr. Stewart to bring Leap of Faith to the Milne Library in 2021. Brendan has also worked on multiple video and card game projects with Hartwick professor Joseph Von Stengel. Brendan and Joe have presented their collaborative work at the national Popular Culture Association conference. Brendan studied 20th Century British Culture and Theory while earning his Masters degree at the University of Vermont. As a librarian Brendan worked to bring a graphic novel collection to SUNY Cobleskill, and has been a facilitator to highlight video game research at the SUNY Oneonta Milne Library.

Erin Larucci (Milne Library)

Erin Larucci is pursuing research into various facets of player experiences in video games – primarily focused on accessibility features built in to modern AAA games, how the LGBTQIA+ community is represented within games (with a focus on representation of the player character rather than non-playable characters), and using information literacy techniques to improve the gaming experience of – and to teach critical information literacy skills to – roleplayers in The Elder Scrolls Online.