QUEENS GAME Artistic Research

(2018 – 2021) (part time, 20 actual months total)

Queens Game explores the potential of the computer as dramatic storytelling medium. Presenting history through the lens of the medieval imagination, it aims to create something more than a game. Featuring a real medieval princess and a girl from the realm of King Arthur, innovative interactive dramaturgy offers an exciting ludo-narrative journey into the Middle Ages.


In process of updating January 2022.

Interactive Storytelling: HiStoryGame research production supported by the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and developed in collaboration with Snowcastle Games, Oslo; with generous assistance from the Museum & Visitor Centre, Akershus Fortress & Castle.

Original concept, story-architecture and first full draft scripts devised and written with support from the Norwegian Film Institute’s interactive development fund.

Queens Game title screen
Queens Game title screen

The year is 1363. Queen Margrete (formerly Princess of Denmark) arrives at Akersborg – today’s Akershus Castle, Oslo – as the 10-year old bride of 23-year old King Håkon VI of Norway. Players explore, with Margrete, the virtual medieval royal stronghold - most of whose physical buildings no longer exist – and discover the stories hidden there. Little is known of Margrete’s actual childhood; this gamestory is an imaginative dramatization of her introduction to her new home.

Margrete arrives at Akersborg (1363) Scene concept painting by Wenche Hellekås
Margrete arrives at Akersborg (1363). Scene concept painting by Wenche Hellekås

The Queens Game studio laboratory prototype storygame brings together advanced film and interactive media storytelling research and 3D interactive games-development for entertainment, addressing engaging dramatic narrativity on the frontiers of film, animated musical, period drama and interactive game.

Storygamers
Storygamers

A story needs first and foremost to be intriguing and surprising; a game needs to be fun, challenging and engaging. Interactive narrativity in a games environment uses space/time differently from classical dramatic storytelling: instead of acts of varying length and action of varying intensity, it unfolds in episodes/scenes set in territory which takes more or less time to navigate at differing speeds. Can contemporary interactive technology support rich, explorable, spatially-organised, dramatic narrative storygame, set against an evocative historical background?

In Queens Game, the player-character remains in the player’s control, so the drama unfolds in real time, with only the minimal use of extremely short animated pre-set ‘cut-scenes’, integrated fully into the narration - mainly showing non-player characters (NPC’s) responding to player action. This approach promotes a close and engaging relationship between player, character and story, while original music and songs provide emotional depth.

Lunete meets the Wild Herdsman. From concept to 3D gameplay - Wenche Hellekås
Lunete meets the Wild Herdsman. From concept to 3D gameplay - Wenche Hellekås

Gameplay

Gameplay analysis suggests that while the top three activities in games played mainly by males are attack and defend (combat), maneuver and steer and tactics and planning, none of which is present in Queens Game, the top three activities for female players, who “want to make creative choices”, are puzzle solving, gathering, build and design (Brune, 2021), atmospheric exploration and interactive drama (Campbell, 2017) - which are fundamental to Queens Game.

Brie Code, previously an AI programmer at game-developers Ubisoft and Relic Entertainment, set up TRULUV Studios, Canada, in 2016, because, an avid gamer herself, she wanted to make games for people “who don’t like video games” – mainly female; who “think video games lack depth” and that from games they “don't learn anything or change as a person" - or were “just flat out repulsed by video games. Few women, for example, are going to play a video game with terrible portrayals of women”. Code found these unconvinced players were irritated by “failing at things [they] didn't care about in the first place” and put off by the fact that “they don't find their own cultural references or interests in video games” (Code, 2016).

Enjoying the storygame
Enjoying the storygame

Like Code, Queens Game would like to engage people who don’t like video games (as well as those who do) and girls who don’t usually find their own interests reflected in games. Queens Game is not adrenaline-driven; no-one gets shot or tortured or hacked to death; and it does not offer rewards or prizes for speed, competition, violence or successful combat. Instead it affords a kind of ‘slow play’, providing musical, aesthetic and cultural story-rewards through atmospheric exploration - facilitating reflection and contemplation underpinned by the storytelling and gameplay. Experience points can be gained for creativity, kindness and collaboration as well as courage and confidence; you can collect songs and music - rather than weapons or material possessions - and the emphasis is on exploration and discovery.

Conventions

The stereotyped portrayal of women and girls in video-games, where even the most apparently proactive and dynamic females have a tendency to wilt into damsels in distress in need of rescue by a male player-character, is well attested (Sarkeesian, 2013). In Queen’s Game, Lunete rescues herself and others, finding her own way in the world and setting game-Margrete an example which real-life Margrete’s later policies suggest would have resonated with her.

Lunete plays and sings in Gunvor’s Hall - scene concept painting by Wenche Hellekås and ingame test screenshot
Lunete plays and sings in Gunvor’s Hall - scene concept painting by Wenche Hellekås and ingame test screenshot

More scholars have examined the role and perception of female protagonists in film, with a view to transforming these (Mulvey, 2019; Jacey, 2010; Murdock,1990), than in game - although Feminist Frequency actively continues to analyze and critique game role-stereotyping (see also Thomas, 2009).

The convention in neomedieval games, whereby active female protagonists adopt male behaviours - particularly fighting - and do not wear skirts, are sometimes driven by the fact that a female protagonist model is actually an original male default model, literally dressed up in a wig and a feminized version of men’s clothing emphasizing bust, waist and hips. It is also true that long skirts, or indeed any skirts, are notoriously tricky to animate convincingly on an active player-character. Not many ready-made female models or off-the-peg animations exist, and those that do are frequently capable only of a hip-swinging catwalk swagger or lounging seductively, or carrying out office tasks - or sports activities not appropriate to medieval women (see e.g. Mixamo). The Unreal Engine default player-character is a sturdy, male, robot-like, stormtrooper type - however you clothe it, it moves like a sturdy, male, robot stormtrooper-like character. Making a prototype with a male protagonist is easier than making one with a female protagonist, who behaves like a woman (as seen by women). The player characters and main non-player characters (NPC’s) in Queens Game are all designed and animated from scratch by a female artist, their costumes and demeanour based on 14th-century manuscript illustrations.

Mærta, Alewife, Spinner – 3D character-models by Wenche Hellekås
Mærta, Alewife, Spinner – 3D character-models by Wenche Hellekås

Queens Game - built, not on frustrating combats and violence, but on atmospheric exploration, interactive drama, gathering and creativity - also uses techniques from stage and screen, such as character-based dialogue and unfolding relationships, music and song, to enrich emotional identification and dramatic effect.

Sample experiment in interactive dramaturgy
Margrete's Voice: Isabella Van Rel

Finding your way

The main player-character is a real historical princess, child bride and queen, who found her own way to innovative leadership. Margrete was a good chess-player and history shows that, as a strategist, she always preferred diplomatic and creative, rather than warlike, policies (Etting, 2004; Haug, 2000; Kjesrud & Løkka, 2017). The characters, challenges and outlooks game-Margrete (in the person of Lunete in the fantasy world of the Round Table) encounters in Queens Game playfully prepare a girl to handle the role of a woman - not a man in woman’s clothing – who has both responsibilities and authority, at home in her castle of Akersborg.

Many girls, and women, today will hopefully find themselves recognising and responding to Margrete’s feelings and actions. To those who don’t usually see their own experiences reflected in games, or who feel excluded by their adrenaline-driven ethos but nonetheless enjoy interactive, explorable storygame, Queens Game will, it is hoped, prove intriguing, fun and engaging. Its incorporation of chance operations and reconfigurable, spatially-organised narrativity aims to make it surprising, however often it is played by those who fall under the spell of its medieval world, its music and its characters.

Playtesting March 2022
Playtesting March 2022: “It was cool being Margrete herself and seeing how people lived”.
Portrait of young Margrete by Luisa Araujo-Skartveit, aged 8, after seeing a demo of the HiStoryGame and trying it out
Portrait of young Margrete by Luisa Araujo-Skartveit, aged 8, after seeing a demo of the HiStoryGame and trying it out

Project Development Process

The Queens Game studio laboratory pilot research production was developed in four phases. The first, from January 2019 – May 2019, was carried out by dedicated BA-level interns from the game design course at Westerdals Kristiania University at Snowcastle Games, Oslo, who worked on characters, environment, gameplay and storytelling. Then came the architectural modelling of Akersborg castle in consultation with Akershus Museum, and experimenting with player characters and dialogue at Snowcastle Games. After that, the Queens Game project team, based at the Norwegian Film School’s graduate campus in Oslo, developed the environment, characters, action, dialogue scenes and gameplay iteratively, with consultation from Snowcastle Games. The whole project took 80 actual weeks across 3 years.

Queens Game HiStoryGame experimental pilot prototype development process
Queens Game 4-phase development process
Queens Game 4-phase development process

Augmented Reality

The Queens Game project, in addition to creating a prototype pilot video storygame, explores, with the Danish company Interaktive Oplivelser, the potential of an innovative on-site Augmented Reality experience at Akershus Castle, incorporating research and some assets from the game. The ic3d stereoscopic viewer is an effective, convenient device for viewing recorded ingame footage, providing instant time-travel by enabling visitors to the castle to explore, from within the locations themselves, the virtual furnished and populated rooms and courtyards of Queens Game’s (Unreal Engine) navigable castle of Akersborg, as it was in the fourteenth century. No other interaction device – such as tablet, smartphone, headset or goggles – is necessary for the ic3d AR experience. This offers instant, situated, hands-free immersion in the colourful and dynamic animated world of the past created for Queens Game.

Akershus Castle Great Hall 2022 showing ic3D stereoscopic viewer (Interaktive Oplivelser, Denmark)
Akershus Castle Great Hall 2022 showing ic3D stereoscopic viewer (Interaktive Oplivelser, Denmark)
Ic3D stereoscopic viewer inside Great Hall with insert of 3D Queens Game footage of the Hall in 1363, as seen through viewer
Ic3d stereoscopic viewer inside Great Hall with insert of 3D Queens Game footage of the Hall in 1363, as seen through viewer

Dissemination

Exhibition

Part of Queens Game is included as a standalone interactive exhibit, 'Medieval Akersborg Castle', in the international exhibition ‘Vår fru dronning Margrete - Our noble lady Queen Margrete’ (March 2022 – September 2023: https://karpedammen.no/mal-arrangement).

Exhibition Poster
Exhibition at the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and Visitor Centre, Akershus Fortress and Castle, March 2022 – September 2023

As well as the Queens Game explorable model of the Bjørvika landscape and medieval Akershus castle, most of which is no longer visible after the ravages of time and rebuilding, this minigame, designed to fit the timescale of a museum visit, includes original dialogue and music from the HiStoryGame. As an owl or a cat, you can travel through time to visit the castle, furnished and populated as it was in the 14th century.

Bendik Stang (Executive Creative Director, Snowcastle Games, Oslo) demonstrates the Medieval Akershus Castle interactive exhibit at Akershus Castle Museum (cat explores kitchen).
Bendik Stang (Executive Creative Director, Snowcastle Games, Oslo) demonstrates the Medieval Akershus Castle interactive exhibit at Akershus Castle Museum (cat explores kitchen).
Interactive exhibit, Medieval Akershus Castle, ‘Vår fru dronning Margrete - Our noble lady Queen Margrete’ exhibition, Akershus Castle Visitor Centre 2022-23
Interactive exhibit, Medieval Akershus Castle, ‘Vår fru dronning Margrete - Our noble lady Queen Margrete’ exhibition, Akershus Castle Visitor Centre 2022-23
Medieval Akershus Castle - Queens Game interactive exhibit, Akershus Castle Museum
Medieval Akershus Castle - Queens Game interactive exhibit, Akershus Castle Museum

A 120cm 3D-printed model of the medieval castle, showing various theories of when and how the parts now lost or built over were constructed, developed from the newly-researched computer model, made in consultation with chief curator Tom Andersen for Queens Game by Extended Media (CEO Rafal Hanzl, Senior Research Associate, Queens Game), will, after the exhibition, become a permanent feature of the Visitor Centre.

3D-printed model of Akershus medieval castle developed from Queens Game original model (Akershus Fortress and Castle Museum from March 2022)
3D-printed model of Akershus medieval castle developed from Queens Game original model (Akershus Fortress and Castle Museum from March 2022)

For the exhibition, the Museum also commissioned Queens Game visual artist, Wenche Hellekås, to create a series of 6 images depicting important moments in Queen Margrete’s life, using the historical research and style developed for the HiStoryGame. This specially commissioned series will also become part of the permanent display at Akershus Visitor Centre.

6 scenes from the life of Queen Margrete by Wenche Hellekås (see beginning of web-page, Margrete arrives at Akersborg, from Queens Game, for style)
6 scenes from the life of Queen Margrete by Wenche Hellekås (see beginning of web-page, Margrete arrives at Akersborg, from Queens Game, for style)

Public presentation and trial

The Queens Game pilot demonstrator was presented at the Artistic Research Café, Myrens Verksted, Oslo, on 30 May 2022, contextualised with slides; visitors had the opportunity to try the HiStoryGame and participate in Q & A.

REFERENCES

  • Amt, E. (1993). Women’s lives in medieval Europe. Routledge.
  • Brandenburg, A. (2020). If it’s a fantasy world, why bother making it realistic? – constructing and debating the Middle Ages of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. In Lorber, M. & Zimmermann, F. (Ed.). History in games: contingencies of an authentic past (pp. 201-220). Transcript Verlag.
  • Brune, M. (2021). Zooming in on female gamers with consumer insights data. Newzoo March 31, 2021. https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/zooming-in-on-female-gamers-with-consumer-insights-data/.
  • Campbell, C. (2017, Jan 20). Which games are women and girls playing? Polygon. https://www.polygon.com/2017/1/20/14337282/games-for-women-and-girls.
  • Code, B. (2016). Video games are boring. GameIndustryBiz, 07 December. https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-11-07-video-games-are-boring.
  • Coldwell, M. (1986). Jougleresses and trobairitz: secular musicians in medieval France. In Bowers, J. & Tick, J. (Ed.). (1986). Women making music: The western art tradition (pp. 39 – 61). University of Illinois Press.
  • Etting, V. (2004). Queen Margrete I (1353-1412) and the founding of the Nordic Union. Brill.
  • Feminist Frequency (n.d.). Conversations with pop culture. https://feministfrequency.com/.
  • Gillett, N. (2015) Grim Fandango remastered, review in The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/te....
  • Granström, H. (2013). Elements in games for virtual heritage applications [Master Degree project in informatics dissertation, University of Skövde]. http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:627227/FULLTEXT01.pdf.
  • Haug, E. (2000). Margrete, den siste dronning in Sverreætten. Cappelen Damm.
  • Jacey, H. (2010).The woman in the story. Michael Wiese Productions.
  • Kjesrud, K. & Løkka, N. (2017). Dronningen i vikingtid og middelalder. Scandinavian Academic Press.
  • Lorber, M. & Zimmerman, F. (Ed.), (2020). History in games: contingencies of an authentic past. Transcript Verlag.
  • Medieval Institute Publications at Western Michigan University Journal: Medieval people: social bonds, kinship and networks. (n.d.) (ISSN 2690-8182; eISSN 2690-8190).
  • Mulvey, L. (2019). Afterimages: on cinema, women and changing times. Reaktion Books.
  • Murdock, M. (1990). The heroine’s journey. Shambala.
  • Murray, J. (1977). Hamlet on the holodeck: the future of narrative in cyberspace. Simon & Schuster/Free Press, 1997.
  • National Museum of Denmark. (1997). Margrete I regent of the North: The Kalmar Union 600 years. Nordisk Ministerråd/Nationalmuseet.
  • Olsen, R. (Ed. & translated into Danish) (1981) Sjællandske Krønike. Wormianum.
  • Orme, N. (2003). Medieval children. Yale University Press.
  • Power, E. (2013) [1924]. Medieval people. Tradition.
  • Power, E. (1995)[1975]. Medieval women. Cambridge University Press.
  • Rowling, M. (1987). Everyday life in medieval times. Dorset Press.
  • Ryan, M-L. (2016). Narrative as virtual reality 2: revisiting immersion and interactivity in literature and electronic media. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Sarkeesian, A. (2013). Tropes vs women in video games. https://feministfrequency.com/video-series/.
  • Shahar, S. (1983). The fourth estate. Methuen.
  • Thomas, M. (2021). Cinematic forms and cultural heritage, pp. 122 -141 in Breeze, M. (ed). Forms of the cinematic. Bloomsbury Press.
  • Thomas, M. (2009). Taking a chance on losing yourself in the game. Digital Creativity, 20:4, 211–234 (Special Issue: Women in Games).
  • Wei, Huaxin. 2011. Analyzing the game narrative: structure and technique. Vancouver: Simon Fraser University. PhD Thesis. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Analyzing-the-game-narrative%3A-structure-and-Wei/94f184c9467c4fa8572b2c5e0add76c94df91a7f.

Publications:

Thomas, M. & Stang, B. (2022). A serious game for cultural heritage?, pp. 334 - 374 in O. Bernardes & V. Amorim (Eds.). Handbook on promoting economic and social development through serious games. IGI Global. https://www.igi-global.com/book/handbook-research-promoting-economic-social/281145

A serious game for cultural heritage?

Thomas, M. (2021). Cinematic forms and cultural heritage, pp. 122 -141 in Breeze, M. (Ed.). Forms of the cinematic. Bloomsbury Press. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/forms-of-the-cinematic-9781501361425/

Forms of the cinematic
Forms of the cinematic

Presentations:

  • Artistic Research Café (https://www.filmskolen.no/en/r...) Norwegian Film School, Oslo, 30 May 2022 Professor Maureen Thomas (Norwegian Film School) & Bendik Stang (Executive Creative Director, Snowcastle Games Oslo) present and demonstrate Queens Game live. Kariina Gretere sings her settings of original lyrics by Maureen Thomas composed for Queens Game against a projection of Medieval Akersborg Castle from the HiStoryGame played live by Wenche Hellekås. Sound mixed live by Idunn Snædis Agustsdottir. Immersive contextualising 3D animated visuals created and mixed live by Rafal Hanzl.
Queens Game core team Q & A
Queens Game core team Q & A
  • PKU Artistic Research Forum (online) 14 March 2022 Professor Maureen Thomas (Norwegian Film School) Interactive Storytelling: HiStoryGame - Queens Game https://diku.no/en/events/artistic-research-spring-forum-2022
  • Artistic Research Café (Norwegian Film School and Norwegian Film Institute Lab), Norwegian Film School Oslo (Online), March 2021 Professor Maureen Thomas (Norwegian Film School) & Game Developer and Director Bendik Stang (Snowcastle Games Oslo) in conversation: How can artistic research at a film school and professional practice at a games development/production studio benefit each other? Queens Game.
  • Norwegian Artistic Research Forum, Norwegian Film School, Lillehammer September 2019 Maureen Thomas (Norwegian Film School) presents and Bendik Stang (Snow Castle) demonstrates Queens Game second pre-production prototype: June - September 2019 https://diku.no/arrangementer/artistic-research-autumn-forum-2019
  • Artistic Research Café March 2019 Maureen Thomas presents Queens Game initial pre-production experimental prototype: January – May 2019 work achieved and in progress https://www.nfi.no/kalender/artistic-research-cafe
  • Artistic Research Café (Norwegian Film School and Norwegian Film Institute Lab), Norwegian Film School Oslo, October 2018 Maureen Thomas presents Queens Game: proposed project https://www.filmskolen.no/artikler/2018/ar-cafe-1

Queens Game Core Team

Principal Investigator: Professor Maureen Thomas (research, story architecture, dramaturgy, dialogue, direction)
Senior Research Associate: Dr Rafal Hanzl (PhD, Polish Film School, Lodz; Norwegian Artistic Research Programme Fellowship (completed 2019), (3D sculpting, 3D model-rigging, 3D castle modelling, Unreal Engine project optimization, Unreal texture creation, 2D-animation, panoramic site photography, video editing, Perforce management, web-design, graphics, creative technology research)

Creative Practice Research Assistants:
Kariina Gretere (MA Music Therapy, Roehampton University, London; MMus Composing for New Media, London College of Music and Media; BA (Hons) Humanities with Music, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts/Open University UK) (music and sound)
Wenche Hellekås (MFA Animation Storytelling, Norwegian Film School; BA 3D Animation, the Gameschool, Hamar) (concept art, 3D character art, modelling and animation)
Sindre Lie (BA Game Design, Vocational Diploma 3D & Animation, Westerdals Kristiania University College) (3D art, environment design)
Carlos Maldonado (Bachelors’ programme, Animation and Digital Art, Inland Norway University, Hamar campus, 2019-22) (Rigging and animation)
Johannes Skjeltorp-Borgaas
(Bachelors’ programme, Game Technology and Simulation, Inland Norway University, Hamar campus, 2019-22) (Unreal programming)
Amir Soltani (BSc Computer Science University of Tabriz; PhD candidate, Dept of Architecture, University of Cambridge; Director, metrowave) (historical architectural modelling)
Emil Walseth (Noroff University College Bergen (2020 – 23) 3D and Animation; Game Development; Åsane Folkehøgskole: Game Development (2020) (Unreal programming)
Iðunn Ágústsdóttir (BA New Media Music Composition, Iceland University of the Arts) (audio)

Special thanks to:
Ann Iren Bratt (financial management, co-ordination and support, Den norske filmskolen)
Christian Fremming Olsen (technical art – player-character model rigging)
Christopher Hobbs (design - chess pieces)
Interaktive Oplevelser ApS (ic3d stereoscopic viewer)

For Snowcastle Games A/S Oslo:
Erik Hoftun (producer)
Nikola Kuresevic (games design)
Theo Nogueira (audio)
Bendik Stang (games design)
Fredrik Tyskerud (initial player-character modelling)

Snow Castle interns from Westerdals Kristiania University College, Oslo (2019):
Alexander Espeseth (project management)
Terje Ballestad (game design)
Erik Holst (sound)
Sindre Lie (3D art, environment)
Sindre Majgren Uthaug (3D art, character models)
Matthias Tellefsen (programming)
Rolf Jackob Thommesen (3D art, rigging, animation)

For the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and Visitor Centre, Akershus Fortress and Castle:
Tom Andersen (Chief Curator & Historian)

About Professor Maureen Thomas

Professor Maureen Thomas has integrated her love of medieval literature, drama and oral tradition into much of her creative work since graduating from the University of Cambridge, where she read English Literature and Drama with Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic. A Dame Bertha Phillpotts Bursary enabled her to carry out research at the Institute of Icelandic Studies, Reykjavik on myth as drama and the chivalric legends in Old Norse/Icelandic, before becoming a tutor and research fellow at University College London’s Dept of Scandinavian Studies. In parallel, while working as a dramatist and director (and script-reader for Channel Four Films), Maureen was a tutor in Screenwriting at the National Film and Television School UK, also developing and guiding film, TV, animation and documentary projects; she became Head of Screen Arts in 1994. In 2000, after working with Norsk Film and Statens Studiesenter for Film, Oslo, Maureen was appointed Professor of Narrativity and Interactivity at the Norwegian Film School, where, since 2018, she has been a senior researcher and research advisor. She is now Professor Emeritus.

Selected production credits

  • Homo Novus. 2018. [Screenwriter] (feature film adaptation of Anšlavs Eglītis Latvian novel) Director Anna Viduleja. Production: Film Angels. National Film Centre of Latvia Centenary Prize for Screen Adaptation (script); most-viewed centenary film - Rigas Nami Award; Latvian Film Prize. (Teaser: https://vimeo.com/251614479; Trailer: https://vimeo.com/280358531).
  • WE. 2016. [Writer/Director] (integrated media ‘total theatre’ performance) with Studio for Electronic Theatre (www.setlab.eu), Roundhouse & Camden People’s Theatre, London.
  • Marvellous Transformations. 2015. [Dramatist, Lyricist and Reconfigurable-voicescript Writer/Director] (installation – digital 3D art by Marianne Selsjord, supported by the Norwegian Arts Council; music by Kariina Gretere) (Jock Colville Hall, Cambridge).
  • GhostCinema. 2013. [Story-architect, Director, co-Writer] (interactive locative Apple App) Production: Universities of Cambridge, Liverpool and Edinburgh in partnership with the Survey of London at English Heritage (AHRC-funded).
  • Viking Seeress. 2010. [Story-architect, Writer, Director] (live integrated media performance using realtime navigable 3D ‘set’ on stage) with performers Kariina Gretere, Helen McGregor; designer Marianne Selsjord (MIST, Cambridge).
  • RuneCast. 2007. [Interactive Story-architect, Writer, Director] (interactive cross-platform RT3DVE & video cultural heritage media art – installation and broadband for smartphone). Spatially-organised aleatoric dramatic & musical narrative based on Viking mythology and aesthetics (EU IP funded).
  • In Norway:
    Aldri mer 13 (Goodbye 13). 1996. [Screenwriter with director Sirin Eide] (feature film). Production: Moviemakers. LUCAS Award for Best Film, Frankfurt International Festival 1996, and Best Film Award, Antwerp International Film Festival 1997.

Maureen’s creative practice research and teaching at Higher Education Institutions (incorporating doctoral supervision/examination) includes: University of Cambridge; University College, London; Narrativity Studio, Swedish Interactive Institute, Malmø; Media Lab, Aalto University, Helsinki; Digital Studios, Goldsmiths University of London; Dept of Art, Design & Architecture, University of Ulster; Welsh Film School, University of South Wales; National Film & Television School, UK (former Head of Screen Arts and Chair, Academic Standards Committee).

Selected publications

  • Thomas, M. & Stang, B. (2022). A serious game for cultural heritage?, pp. 334 - 374 in O. Bernardes & V. Amorim (Eds.). Handbook on promoting economic and social development through serious games. IGI Global.
  • Thomas, M. 2021. Cinematic forms and cultural heritage, pp. 122 -141 in Breeze, M. (ed). Forms of the cinematic. Bloomsbury Press.
  • Speed, C., Thomas, M. & Barker, C. 2017. Ghost Cinema app: temporal ubiquity and the condition of being in everytime, pp. 313-336 in Penz, F. & Koeck, R. (ed). Cinematic urban geographies. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Prager, P., Thomas, M. & Selsjord, M. 2015. Transposing, transforming and transcending tradition in creative digital media, pp. 141-199 in Harrison, D. (ed). Handbook of research on digital media and creative technologies. IGI Global.
  • Thomas, M., Selsjord, M, & Zimmer, R. 2011. Museum or mausoleum? Electronic shock therapy, pp 10 – 35 in Lytras, Damiani, Diaz & Ordonez De Pablos (ed). Digital culture and e-tourism: technologies, applications and management. IGI Global.
  • Thomas, M. 2009. Taking a chance on losing yourself in the game’. Digital creativity, 20:4, 211–234 (Special Issue: Women in Games).
  • Thomas, M. 2005
    (i). Playing with chance and choice – orality, narrativity and cinematic media, pp. 371-442 in Bushoff, B. (ed.). Developing interactive narrative content: sagas/sagasnet. High Text.
    (ii). The power of narrative: 2D, 3D, 4D', pp. 51-76 in Blackwell, A. & MacKay, D. (ed). Power. Cambridge University Press.
  • Thomas, M. 2003. Beyond digitality: cinema, console games and screen language – the spatial organisation of narrative, pp. 51 – 134 in Thomas, M. & Penz. F. (ed). Architectures of illusion. Intellect.

Web layout and implementation: Rafal Hanzl. Last updated 30 September 2022.

Maureen Thomas fix 6text