Workshop on Digital Humanities, Linked Open Data and Games Research at Stuttgart Media University

On the 15th of August we held a small one-day workshop on the topics of digital humanities, linked open data and games research at Stuttgart Media University with colleagues from Leipzig University as well as a researcher from France starting work at Ritsumeikan University. The four presentations and the ensuing discussions revolved around some of the core interests of the JVMG project, but also offered interesting perspectives on potential future directions for expanding the project.

Following an opening round of introductions and unstructured discussions we started the event off with an overview of the state of the art as well as upcoming foci of the JVMG project.


Next up, Christoph Hust from Leipzig University introduced the Geschmacksbildung und Verlagspolitik. Repertoireentwicklung und Kanonisierung im Spiegel der Absatzentwicklung Leipziger Musikverlage (ca. 1830–1930) project (Taste formation and publishing policy. Repertoire development and canonization as reflected in the sales development of Leipzig music publishers (ca. 1830–1930)). This project, while being very different in its focus on nineteenth to early twentieth century sheet music publishing, shares many of the underlying assumptions of the JVMG project in relation to the way recorded information from various sources can be utilized to open up new avenues of research in relation to cultural production and consumption.


We also had a chance to learn about Christoph Hust and Ipke Starke’s upcoming project Kulturen der Heimcomputermusik: Technik, Netzwerke und Produkte in den 1980er Jahren zwischen Kaltem Krieg und Globalisierung (Cultures of Home Computer Music: Technology, Networks and Products in the 1980s between the Cold War and Globalization). The new directions in music and sound design enabled by the evolution of the home computer in the eighties also left their mark on the sound of a lot of anime produced in that decade, thus a better understanding of these intertwined developments in technology and music also help us gain a more nuanced understanding of the domestic and international cultural impact of anime from that period.

The second round of presentations and discussions began with Remy Delanaux‘s talk on his upcoming JSPS research project at Ritsumeikan University focusing on creating an RDF data model for works available through video on demand (VOD) services. VOD has become a dominant way of accessing and enjoying movies, series and animation. However, understanding the VOD landscape both in relation to the works being offered in various geographical locals and time frames as well as regarding the demand side and consumption patterns of users is lagging behind its adoption. By creating a framework for processing information on the offerings of VOD services as linked open data (LOD), this project will be able to take advantage of other LOD data sources such as the JVMG knowledge graph to help enrich its core data with relevant contextual information for example for the analysis of VOD anime availability across countries and genres.


Finally, Hiroshi Yoshida from The University of Tokyo, currently on research leave at Leipzig University introduced us to the present focus of his ongoing study on video games and aesthetics, namely the exploration of the materiality and physicality of playful experiences in the context of digital games. By relocating (Japanese) video games in the lineage of toys – understood as materializations of play experiences – his research helps to direct our attention to various spatial and physical aspects of playing video games and the way the hardware they are played on both shape and in turn are formed by these practices of play and constraints of materiality. Highlighting the differences in Western and Japanese living spaces, for example, helps us better understand some of the underlying features that shaped the development of Japanese video games, which in turn influenced the development of other Japanese visual media as well.


This workshop offered us the possibility to go into in-depth discussions in relation to the various aspects of the individual projects and the possible connections between them. We would like to once again thank all the participants for their contributions to the workshop and for agreeing to have their slides published here on this blogpost. We hope to be able to organize similar events in the future in order to further pursue these discussions and find even more mutual points of interest for potential collaborations.