The university’s English and linguistics programme welcomed back alumna and Atawhai Interactive co-director Lisa Blakie as the new professional practice fellow in game studies.
The role provides a bridge between the university and local industry. Ms Blakie will continue to lead Atawhai Interactive.
She starts in February, and in semester two she will be part of the teaching staff for ENGL251: Creative Writing for Games and Interactive Media.
"Some topics included in the paper cover worldbuilding, writing characters and cutscenes for games, an introduction to game-writing software, cultural analysis of video game genres and subversive game design."
Ms Blakie said game studies focused heavily on elements of interaction and simulation.
"Crafting compelling characters, dialogue and story are key skills needed for any creative writing medium, however techniques for game writing rely heavily on how the writing strengthens gameplay and interactivity.
"The key factor is how can the writing, characters and worldbuilding create meaning for the actions taken within a game?"
The appointment marks the culmination of a three-year partnership between the New Zealand Centre of Digital Excellence (Code) and Otago’s English and Linguistics Programme, which saw the successful pilot of New Zealand’s first creative writing paper dedicated to video games.