Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art


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Critical Hit Speaker Series: Rilla Khaled and Pippin Barr

Posted by Jess

This Thursday, join us for the fifth evening of Critical Hit’s Distinguished Speaker Series, with not one but two guest speakers! Rilla Khaled and Pippin Barr have both graciously agreed to join us. Taking the place of the slow jam playtests now that phase 2 of the incubator has begun, the speaker series will feature game creators and researchers of all stripes who will share their experiences in the field and in the community. It’s our way of bringing GDC to Montreal!


Rilla Khaled is an associate professor at the Institute of Digital Games at the University of Malta. She received her PhD in computer science from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand for her thesis on culturally-relevant persuasive technology. She has worked on diverse topics, including persuasive and serious games, and cross-cultural psychology and has been the lead designer for a number of large-scale research projects, including the EU FP7-funded SIREN serious game project and the EU FP7-funded ILearnRW project. Her current focus is on reflective game design, a new alternative design agenda from which to design, deconstruct and make sense of play experiences.

Her talk will focus on reflective design:
What is reflection, and how can it inform how we design games and make sense of the world? Drawing on influences including philosophy, theatre, performance art, and interaction design, I will sample various ways in which reflection has informed other media. Rilla will then introduce reflective game design, a new alternative design agenda from which to design, deconstruct and make sense of play experiences, and what we need to disable in mainstream game design to enable


Pippin Barr is a video game maker and critic who lives and works in Malta. His games address everything from airplane safety instructions to contemporary art. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and teaches prototyping and game design at the University of Malta. Pippin also writes a blog of game and game design criticism and his book, How to Play a Video Game, introduces the uninitiated and culturally curious to the world of video games.

His talk will focus on time:
Time. It’s pretty important, it’s all over the place, it’s even in our games. While the exploration of space may be one of the defining properties of digital games, the exploration of time is just as fascinating and strange. Using my own games as examples, Pippin will take a look at some ways in which time can be examined and experienced through a game, as well as what time can say about computers and about games themselves.

TAG and Critical Hit are delighted to welcome Pippin Barr and Rilla Khaled back to Concordia. Last year, Pippin was our visiting game designer, teaching a course on game design, and TAG has had the pleasure of having Rilla as a guest speaker this past spring.

All talks will be in the District 3 Innovation Centre (EV 7.105).

Don’t know where that is? No worries, we’ll take you there!
Meet us in the Hexagram Game Lab (EV 11.425, 1515 St. Catherine O.) a few minutes early and we’ll head down together.

Stay tuned for more news about upcoming speakers in the series!

WHO: Rilla Khaled and Pippin Barr
WHAT: A double-feature! A talk about reflective design by Rilla Khaled and a talk about time by Pippin Barr
WHEN: Thursday, August 7th, 5PM
WHERE: D3 Innovation Center (EV 7.105)