paolo ruffino


Recent publications

Ruffino, P. 2022. There is no cure: Paratexts as remediations of agency in Red Dead Redemption 2. Convergence (link).

Ruffino, P. (editor) 2021. Independent Videogames: Cultures, Networks, Techniques and Politics. London: Routledge (link)

Ruffino, P. 2021. Workers’ visibility and union organizing in the UK videogames industry. Critical Studies in Media Communication (link)

Ruffino, P. 2021. Seeking Deep Relations in a Precarious Industry: Addressing mental health through independent videogame development. Television and New Media (link)

Ruffino, P. 2020. Nonhuman Games: Playing in the Post-Anthropocene, in Death, Culture and Leisure: Playing Dead, edited by Matt Coward-Gibbs, Emerald Publishing, pp. 11-25 (link)



I am an academic and artist. I am a Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool, where I teach and research on videogames, interactive media and digital cultures. My research is concerned with how power and control are negotiated and challenged through digital games by players, producers and theorists. I am currently investigating new forms of independent production of videogames, labour unions in the videogame industry, and nonhuman and posthuman play in the digital age. I have been awarded a PhD in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths in 2015, with a thesis on the narratives that bring about and challenge the dualism gamers-games. Previously, I have been working at the University of York, University of Lincoln, London South Bank University and the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University.

I am the author of Future Gaming: Creative Interventions in Video Game Culture (MIT/Goldsmiths Press 2018), and editor of Independent Videogames: Cultures, Networks, Techniques and Politics (Routledge 2021). I have co-curated the volume Rethinking Gamification (Meson Press 2013) and co-edited journal issues of Convergence, Games and Culture, GAME The Italian Journal of Game Studies.

I am one of the four founding members of the artist group IOCOSE. The collective investigates how the narratives surrounding the future of society and technology leave traces on the present. We work with visual media, mostly video installations and prints. Founded in 2006, IOCOSE have been exhibiting at major artistic and cultural institutions such as Tate Modern (2011), Photographers Gallery (2018, 2016), FACT (2012), Transmediale (2013, 2015), MAMbo (2018), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2017) Science Gallery (2012), Jeu de Paume (2011), Aksioma (2021).


Labour Unions and the Future of Game Work
University of Liverpool April 28th 2021

Live debate: Can Video Games Change the World?
Red Pepper Magazine April 30th 2020 

Future Gaming at Talks at Google, March 1st 2018