Cultural History of Video Games

Special Kinephanos issue emerging from the symposium (link)

The 2014 edition of the symposium featured panels on the many communities and social practices that define the history of video games: the role of engineers, game designers and store owners, the retro gaming phenomenon, user generated content, marginal themes and the place of minorities, etc.

This first edition of the symposium had the privilege to welcome four distinguished keynote speakers at the symposium: Tristan Donovan (journalist, author of Replay), Mia Consalvo (Canada research chair in game studies, author of Cheating), Philippe Ulrich (founder of Cryo) et John Szczepaniak (journalist, hardcoregaming101)

2014 symposium chairs:

  • Maude Bonenfant, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Jonathan Lessard, Université Concordia
  • Martin Picard, Université de Montréal
  • Carl Therrien, Université de Montréal


Exhibit ‘Micromakers. Early ZX Spectrum Homebrew Development’


Discussions of the rise of independent game development saturate popular discourse around contemporary video game production. However what is lacking in many of these conversations is the fact that video games have been the site for independent production and experimentation throughout the medium’s history.
In 1982 the introduction of the ZX Spectrum color microcomputer created an affordable platform which catalyzed hobby programming cultures in the United Kingdom. This exhibition charted notable contributions by hobbyist Spectrum game makers, commenting on the larger microcomputer development scene, and exploring possible connections to contemporary independent game production.

Curator: Skot Deeming
Consultant: Alison Gazzard