paolo ruffino



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My name is Paolo Ruffino. I am an academic and artist. I live in London, U.K. My research touches areas such as video game studies, media and cultural studies, art criticism, semiotics and philosophy of language. Previously I have been working and studying in Rome, where I was born and raised, in Bologna and Copenhagen.


Research and teaching

I am about to complete a Ph.D. at Goldsmiths, University of London. My research project investigates how the relation between gamers and games has been narrated in recent years in video game culture, and how it could be narrated otherwise. In this context I look at the archaeologies of the medium of the video game, forms of hacking of game consoles and online networks for gaming, the rise of independent games, gamification, game art and the gamergate controversy. I propose a ‘creative’ approach to the study of games and digital media, one that reconsiders the involvement of the scholar in the performative act of creating narratives in order to make sense of the events of video game culture.

Since 2012 I am also a Research Associate at the Gamification Lab, Centre for Digital Cultures (Leuphana University). The Gamification Lab investigates the aesthetic, ethical and political implications of gamification and works on innovative formats of gamified apps, civic technology, and socially aware intervention with ludic methods. In May 2015 we will be organising the yearly DiGRA conference, the major international conference on game studies.

Since 2010 I have been teaching at Goldsmiths as Associate Lecturer, teaching at the ‘Introduction to Media and Technologies’ and ‘Media Arts’ modules. Since 2011 I am also a Lecturer at London South Bank University, where I teach at the ‘Game Cultures’ BA (Hons) and the 'Digital Media Arts' BA. At LSBU I also supervise students’ dissertations in game studies and digital media production.


Artistic work

I am a member of the artist group IOCOSE. Among our works, we have hijacked an exhibition at Tate Modern, produced an obituary about the imaginary death of pop star Madonna, designed a religious hi-tech device, crafted an IKEA guillotine, experimented a drug made out of floppy discs, and organised an international contest for the most valueless video on YouTube. We have exhibited, among many, at the Venice Biennale (2011, 2013), Tate Modern (London, 2011), Science Gallery (Dublin, 2012) Jeu de Paume (Paris, 2011), FACT (Liverpool, 2012), Shift festival (Basel, 2010), The Influencers (Barcelona, 2010), TAJ and SKE gallery (Bangalore, India).