Helen W Kennedy is an academic specialist in media cultures of games and play.
Her principle focus is on technology, aesthetics and embodied perception in relation to games and play. As well as her publications she has organised a range of game related initiatives including the first UK International conference on games in 2001.
She is Head of the School of Media.
Helen W Kennedy is an educator and researcher in media, and an expert in the culture of game cultures and play.
She has been researching and writing about games since 1993. She was co-organiser of the first UK International conference on games Game Cultures in 2001. Since then she co-founded and chaired (from 2004 to present) the Play Research Group at UWE and has played a key role in the organisation of colloquia and symposia on issues relating to games Power Up (ideology and games), Playful Subjects (embodiment and gameplay) PSii (technology and games) which led to a co-edited special issue of Games and Culture that addresses this theme and PSiii (Wii Technicities) which led to a special issue of Journal of Television and New Media, published in 2010. This group holds regular play sessions through which to develop collaborative approaches to the analysis of digital games and play in general.
Helen's research is focused on technology, aesthetics and embodied perception in relation to games and play. Helen is an active member of the Women in Games (WiG) steering committee and has helped to organise conferences and network events since its inauguration in 2004. Helen has represented the group at a number of public events (eg. the London Games Festival Fringe and in March 2008 a games panel at Birds Eye View Film Festival). She also co-convened (with Emma Westecott) the WiG strand within DiGRA 2009. WiG has been instrumental in raising the visibility of women within the games industry as well as encouraging ongoing projects to highlight the role of women in the development of games technologies, game design and as game players. Helen is also a Co-Investigator in an International collaboration ‘Feminists In Games’ which seeks to identify to roots of the digital divide in games participation and to intervene in its reproduction: www.ludicjunk.com/fig. In 2012 Helen worked with Auroch Digital, UKIE & Ada Lovelace Day to convene the first ever all female games jam which took place as part of the London Games Festival. A film was commissioned to document the event: https://vimeo.com/61886636.
Helen was until recently President of the Digital Games Research Association having been a board member since 2005. Helen is also the author (with Jon Dovey) of Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media, McGraw Hill, Open University Press, 2006 and has published in Game Studies, Games & Culture and tekka.net.
Kennedy, Helen W. (2018) Game Jam as Feminist Methodology: The Affective Labours of Intervention in the Ludic Economy Games and Culture. ISSN 1555-4120
Kennedy, Helen W. (2018) Funfear Attractions: The Playful Affects of Carefully Managed Terror in Immersive 28 Days Later Live Experiences In: Atkinson, Sarah and Kennedy, Helen W., eds. Live Cinema Cultures, Economies, Aesthetics. Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, pp. 167-184. ISBN 9781501324857
Atkinson, Sarah and Kennedy, Helen W. (2017) Live Cinema: Cultures, Economies, Aesthetics [Edited Collections]
Kennedy, Helen W. (2017) ‘Join a cast of 1000s, to sing and dance in the Revolution’: the Secret Cinema ‘Activist’ brand and the commodification of affect within ‘experience communities’ Participations, 14 (2). pp. 682-696. ISSN 1749-8716
Atkinson, Sarah and Kennedy, Helen W. (2016) From conflict to revolution: The secret aesthetic, narrative spatialisation and audience experience in immersive cinema design Participations, 13 (1). pp. 252-279. ISSN 1749-8716
Atkinson, Sarah and Kennedy, Helen W. (2016) Inside-the-scenes: The rise of experiential cinema Participations, 13 (1). pp. 139-151. ISSN 1749-8716
Atkinson, Sarah and Kennedy, Helen W. (2015) “Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need an Effective Online Audience Engagement Strategy”: The case of the Secret Cinema viral backlash Frames Cinema Journal, 8. pp. 1-24. ISSN 2053-8812
Atkinson, Sarah and Kennedy, Helen W. (2015) ‘Tell no one’: Cinema auditorium as game-space – Audience participation, performance and play GAME, 1 (4). ISSN 2280-7705
Kennedy, Helen W., Bell, Becky and Rawlings, Debbie (2013) XX Games Jam 2012 [Digital and visual media]
Giddings, Seth and Kennedy, Helen W. (2010) Incremental speed increases excitement: bodies, space, movement and televisual change Television and New Media, 11 (3). pp. 163-179. ISSN 1527-4764
Crogan, Patrick and Kennedy, Helen W. (2009) Technologies between games and culture Games and Culture, 4 (2). pp. 107-114. ISSN 1555-4120
Kennedy, Helen W. and Giddings, Seth (2008) Little jesuses and fuck- off robots: on aesthetics, cybernetics, and not being very good at Lego Star Wars In: Swalwell, M. and Wilson, J., eds. Computer gaming: essays on cultural history, theory and aesthetics. McFarland & Co, Jefferson, USA, pp. 13-32. ISBN 9780786435951
Dovey, Jonathan and Kennedy, Helen W. (2006) Games culture: computer games as new media McGraw Hill Education, UK. ISBN 9780335213573
Kennedy, Helen W. (2006) Illegitimate, monstrous and out there: female 'Quake' players and inappropriate pleasures In: Hollows, J. and Pearson, R., eds. Feminism in Popular Culture. Berg, Oxford, UK, pp. 183-201. ISBN 9781845202231