paolo ruffino

Photos by Jacek Barcikowski




I was born in Rome, Italy, and I currently live in London, UK. I have been studying media and communications, digital media and semiotics in Rome, Copenhagen, Bologna and London. My interests include video game theory and culture, digital media, fakes and 'new media' art.


I am a Ph.D. and Associate Lecturer at the Media and Communications department at Goldsmiths, University of London. My research project is a cultural analysis of video game consumers and, particularly, of the emergence of the prosumer in the video game industry. It involves a study of the concepts of consumer and producer, the history of the medium of the video game and phenomena such as 'modding', independent gaming, open engines and game art. While analysing discourses surrounding the 'Playstation hacking', the Independent Games Festival, gamification, games for change and game development kits, I propose a new perspective to the linear and hierarchic division between producers and consumers.

The idea for this research project comes from a long experience in video game journalism. I have published several papers on these topics, worked as a translator, as a guest lecturer in higher education and presented at international conferences in Europe and the USA. From 2010, I am also studying for the PGCert (Management of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education).

In 2012 I joined the Gamification Lab at the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana Universität in Lüneburg, Germany. As a Research Associate I will be investigating recent developments in the video game industry, particularly the ethical and political implications of new forms of consumer engagement.

Since 2011 I am a Lecturer at London South Bank University. I teach about video game culture (Game Contexts module) and supervise students' final dissertations at the Game Cultures programme.



I am a member of the artist group IOCOSE. Our mission is to subvert ideologies, processes and practices of identification and production of meanings. We work with camouflage, mimicry, fakes and pranks, mostly based in news, social and mass media. Among our works, we have hijacked an exhibition at Tate Modern, invented a spam campaign for the Italian Democratic Party, designed a religious hi-tech product based on electric shock, crafted an IKEA guillottine, experimented a drug made out of floppy discs, and organized an international contest for the most valueless video on YouTube. We have exhibited, among many, at the Venice Biennale (2011, 2013), Tate Modern (London, UK, 2011), Science Gallery (Dublin, Ireland, 2012) Jeu de Paume (Paris, France, 2011), FACT (Liverpool, UK, 2012), Shift festival (Basel, Switzerland, 2010), The Influencers (Spain, 2010).


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