Sercan Sengun - Academic adventures in cultural informatics, virtual identities, and video game studies

About

Dr. Sercan Sengun is a researcher exploring phenomena at the intersections of cultural informatics, virtual identities, digital interactive narratives, and video game studies. He is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, conducting research as a part of MIT CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) and MIT ICE Lab (Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory). In the first half of 2017, he was also stationed in Doha, Qatar within Qatar Computing Research Institute as a visiting joint postdoc.

Profiles: Facebook, Academia, Linkedin, Steam, Twitter, Instagram

News

July 2017: New publications in Journals, Proceedings, and Theses Supervised.

June 2017: Presenting our new work in ACM Creativity and Cognition 2017, in Singapore, between June 27-30.

December 2016: @neosavbot is launched. Read about it in projects or see it live here.

November 2016: Where2Begin is launched. Read about it in projects or see it live here.

November 2016: Neverwhere is launched. Read about it in projects or see it live here.

Publications

Book Chapters   Journals   Proceedings   Theses   Theses Supervised

Book Chapters

Ozturkcan, Selcen and Sengun, Sercan (2016) Pleasure in pain: how accumulation in gaming systems produce grief. In: Bostan, Barbaros (ed.) Gamer Psychology and Behaviour, Charm: Springer International Publishing, pp. 41-55.

Sengun, Sercan (2015) Gaze of the local vs the other: images of Istanbul in video games. In: Bernard, Veronika (ed.) IMAGES (IV) - Images of the Other, Berlin: Lit Verlag, pp. 95-104.

Ozturkcan, Selcen and Sengun, Sercan (2015) Gaining rewards vs avoiding loss: when does gamification stop being fun?. In: Davis, Donna & Gangadharbatla, Harsha (eds.) Handbook of Research on Trends in Gamification, Hershey: IGI-Global, pp. 48-72.

Sengun, Sercan (2015) Sanal hikaye anlatıcılığı çağında yaşayan bilimkurgu ve fantastik dünyalar olarak video oyunları. In: Şahin, Seval, Öztürk, Banu & Büyükarman, Didem Ardalı (eds.) Edebiyatın İzinde: Fantastik ve Bilimkurgu, Istanbul: Baglam Yayinevi, pp. 211-220.

Journals

Sengun, Sercan (2017) Ludic voyeurism and passive spectatorship in Gone Home and other "walking simulators." Video Game Art Reader, 1(1), accepted, in print.

Sengun, Sercan (2015) Why do i fall for the elf, when i am no orc myself? the implications of virtual avatars in digital communication. Comunicação e Sociedade, 27, pp. 181-193.

Sengun, Sercan (2015) Por que é que hei de apaixonar-me por um duende, quando também não sou nenhum ogre? as implicações dos avatares virtuais na comunicação digital. Comunicação e Sociedade, 27, pp. 181-193.

Sengun, Sercan (2015) A semiotic reading of digital avatars and their role of uncertainty reduction in digital communication. Journal of Media Critiques, Digital Communication Impact Special Issue, doi: 10.17349/jmc114311.

Sengun, Sercan (2013) Silent Hill 2 and the curious case of invisible agency. Lecture Notes on Computer Science, 8230, pp. 180-185.

Proceedings

Salminen, Joni, Sercan Şengün, Haewoon Kwak, Bernard Jansen, Jisun An, Soon-Gyo Jung, Sarah Vieweg, and D. Fox Harrell (2017) Generating cultural personas from social data: A perspective of Middle Eastern users. IEEE International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud (FiCloud-2017), August 21-23, 2017, Prague, Czech Republic.

Harrell, D. Fox, Sarah Vieweg, Haewoon Kwak, Chong-U Lim, Sercan Sengun, Ali Jahanian, and Pablo Ortiz (2017) Culturally-grounded analysis of everyday creativity in social media: A case study in Qatari context. ACM Creativity and Cognition, June 27-30, 2017, Singapore.

Sengun, Sercan (2016) Video oyunlarının toplumsal ve politik değişim potansiyellerini okumak amacı ile farklı bir sınıflandırma önerisi. Yeni Medya Çalışmaları II. Ulusal Kongre Kitabı, pp. 459-471.

Sengun, Sercan (2015) Dijital avatarlar için semiyotik bir okuma ve avatarların dijital iletişimde belirsizlik azaltma rolleri. Dijital İletişim Etkisi Uluslararası Akademik Konferansı Bildiri Kitabı, Istanbul: Iskenderiye Kitap, pp. 33-44.

Sengun, Sercan (2013) Cybertexts, hypertexts and interactive fiction: why shan't the prodigal children overthrow their forefathers. Innovation, Difference, Irregularity, LIT FICTION '13 Conference Proceedings, Istanbul: Mimar Sinan University Press, pp. 58-66.

Sengun, Sercan (2012) Engagement model as the basis for video game design. ECREA 2012 Pre-conference: Experiencing Digital Games: Use, Effects & Culture of Gaming.

Theses

Ph.D. Dissertation: Sengun, Sercan (2016) Narra Ludens: explaining video game narrative engagement through player types and motivations. Istanbul Bilgi University, Thesis advisor: Ast. Prof. Selcen Öztürkcan.

Master's Thesis: Sengun, Sercan (2013) Six degrees of video game narration: a comprehensive classification of narrative in video games according to interactivity and autonomy. Istanbul Bilgi University, Thesis advisor: Ast. Prof. Tuna Erdem.

Theses Supervised

M.A. Dissertation: Kıcıkoğlu, Doruk (2017) Comparing players' self-perceived and actual gaming dedication levels. Bahcesehir University, Faculty of Media and Communications, Game Design Graduate Degree.

Projects

Computation & Expression   Analog Game Design   Digital Game Design   Design   Other

Computation & Expression

@neosavbot is a Twitter bot that publishes random neosavs of neoteric concepts. @neosavbot reimagines the oral Turkic language tradition and structures of savs in contemporary discourse. See it live here.

Where2Begin is an expressive computing project that aims to show the fluidity of language, meaning, gender, and imagination. Where2Begin randomly generates an opening sentence for a novel/story by mashing together the opening sentences of 100 famous novels. See it live here.

Neverwhere randomly generates location names in West Germanic / Early Medieval English context. The names are best suitable for medieval fantasy settings and would be usable to authors, game designers, role players, dungeon masters or whoever that needs ideas. See it live here.

Analog Game Design

A Murder Most Fowl is a peculiar card game about crypto communication and people reading. The game can be downloaded and printed for free or a printed copy could be bought from The Game Crafter.

Digital Game Design

Painting Gallery with Niru Niru & Friends is a digital colouring book with an infinite number of pages. Download from AppStore or visit Official Page and Facebook Page.

Save Christmas with Niru Niru & Friends is a Christmas-themed fun mini game collection for kids. Download from AppStore or visit Official Page and Facebook Page.

Pathika is a puzzle game in which the player makes correct use of tiles and colors in order to solve a labyrinth. Download from AppStore or visit Facebook Page to see reviews of the game in various websites.

Quiz Apps: World Football is a mobile trivia game about soccer. Download from AppStore.

Quiz Apps: Hollywood is a mobile trivia game about the Oscars. Download from AppStore.

Design

Murat Gülsoy – Tanrı Beni Görüyor Mu? (2010) was printed in 2010 by CAN Yayinlari. The book has a colored middle section that features a graphic novel for the short story “Bize Kuşdili Öğretildi”, written by Murat Gülsoy and illustrated/designed by Sercan Şengün.

Altkitap is the first online publishing house that produces free e-books in Turkey. It was founded in 2005 and till 2013 its board of editors consisted of Murat Gülsoy, Adnan Kurt and Yekta Kopan, book designer Cem Uçan, website designer Sercan Şengün, and software engineer Onur Yıldırım. In 2013 this team has delegated their work to a new team. Read about Altkitap in Wikipedia.

altZine is a hypertext literature and culture magazine that launched in 1998, during the 10th Istanbul Theatre Festival, as a part of a theatre performance called 80060, which was written by Özen Yula and directed by Murat Daltaban. Joining forces with author Yekta Kopan and designer Sercan Şengün, altZine was born. The website continued for 9 years till 2007. Between 2007-2010 it lied dormant. On January 2010, the website was re-created by a new editorial and design team. Read about altZine in Wikipedia.

HayaletGemi.com is the archive website for Hayalet Gemi literature magazine that was published between 1992-2002, designed by Sercan Sengun.

Other

Nintendocu Magazine was published by Nortec Eurasia with ISSN #13090062 between 2009-2011, led by Sercan Sengun as editor-in-chief. Download digital versions from Nintendocu.com

Zindanlar & Ejderhalar Oyuncunun El Kitabi (Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook) was translated into Turkish by Sercan Sengun and printed by Arka Bahçe Yayincilik with ISBN #9789758518241 in 2003.

Magic: The Gathering Portal 2-Player Starter Set was translated into Turkish by Sercan Sengun and printed by Wizards of the Coast with ISBN #1575302594 in 2003.

Participations

Academia   Industry   Columns & News

Academia

Paper presentation @ ACM Creativity and Cognition 2017: ACM Creativity and Cognition 2017 on 27-30 June 2017 @ National Gallery of Singapore, Singapore.

The 8th Philosophy of Computer Games Conference: Sercan Sengun was a member of the organization committee for The 8th Philosophy of Computer Games Conference that took place in Istanbul between 13 and 15 November 2014.

Panelist @ AmberFest Games for Change Panel: Sercan Sengun was a panelist at "AmberFest Games for Change Panel" on 6th of November 2015 @ AmberFest, Istanbul.

Lecturer @ Video Games and Kids Seminar: Sercan Sengun was a lecturer at "Video Games and Kids Seminar" invited by Ministry of Education Besiktas District targeted at 600 high school teachers on 23-24th of June 2015 @ Besiktas, Istanbul.

Paper presentation @ International Digital Communication Impact Conference 2014: International Digital Communication Impact Conference 2014 on 16-17 October 2014 @ Istanbul Commerce University, Istanbul.

Paper presentation @ Literary Fiction 2013: Innovation, Difference, Irregularity: LIT FICTION ’13 was hosted by DAKAM (Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center) on 21st of November 2013 @ MSFAU (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University), Istanbul.

Paper presentation @ Türkçe Edebiyatın Hayalperver Çocuğu: Fantastik ve Bilimkurgu Edebiyatı: 15th of November 2013 @ Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul.

Paper presentation @ ICIDS 2013: International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling 2013 on 7th of November 2013 @ Istanbul Bahçesehir University, Istanbul.

Paper presentation @ ECREA 2012 Experiencing Digital Games: Use, Effects & Culture of Gaming: ECREA 2012 Pre-Conference: Experiencing Digital Games: Use, Effects & Culture of Gaming on 24th of October 2012 was organized by the ECREA Temporary Working Group (TWG) on Digital Games Research hosted by the Plato College of Higher Education and organized in collaboration with Turkish Chapter of the the Digital Games Research Association (DIGRA) & BUG – Game Lab, Bahçeşehir University.

Industry

OYUNDER Board Membership: Sercan Sengun has been selected as a board member for OYUNDER (Game Developers, Publishers and Distributors Association) for the period of 2016-2019. The announcement could be read here.

Workshop Instructor @ Startup BootCamp Istanbul (Game BootCamp): Sercan Sengun gave a workshop on "Creativity in Game Design" on 8th of January 2016 @ Startup BootCamp Istanbul. See a list of all mentors and workshops here.

Workshop Instructor @ Games & Narrative Workshop (Oyunder/GameX 2015): Sercan Sengun gave a workshop on "Games & Narrative" on 19th of December 2015 @ GameX, Lütfü Kirdar Center, Istanbul. See the gallery of the workshop here.

Jury @ StartupBootCamp (GameBootCamp): Sercan Sengun was a jury for the finalists of "StartupBootCamp (GameBootCamp)" on 7th of November 2015 @ StartupBootCamp, Istanbul.

Jury @ Microsoft Windows 10 Game Jam: Sercan Sengun was a jury for the finalists of "Microsoft Windows 10 Game Jam" on 23-24th of May 2015 @ BUG Game Lab, Istanbul.

Panelist @ Mobile Day 2015: Sercan Sengun was a panelist for "Mobile Day 2015" on 23rd of May 2015 @ Bahcesehir University, Istanbul.

Oyunder /G Industry Talks #5: UNITY in Turkey: Sercan Sengun was the moderator for "Oyunder /G Industry Talks #5" on 7th of May 2015 @ Koc University Incubation Center - an event which hosted guests from Unity Europe.

Oyunder /G Industry Talks #4: Meet-up Sercan Sengun was the moderator for "Oyunder /G Industry Talks #4" on 2nd of January 2015 @ Koc University Incubation Center - an event which hosted guests from Disney Interactive, Blizzard Entertainment & Riot Games.

Oyunder /G Industry Talks #3: GameX Sercan Sengun was the moderator for "Oyunder /G Industry Talks #3" on 5-6th of December 2014 @ GameX.

Panelist @ II. Istanbul Design Biennial: Sercan Sengun was a panelist for "II. Istanbul Design Biennial / “The Future of Fashion, Advertisement and Game Design”" on 29th of November 2014 @ Galata Rum Okulu.

Oyunder /G Industry Talks #2: Game Audio Day Sercan Sengun was the moderator for "Oyunder /G Industry Talks #2" on 15th of November 2014 @ SAE Institute.

Jury @ Turkcell Coding Future Mobile Games Atelier Sercan Sengun was a jury for "Turkcell Coding Future Mobile Games Atelier" during March-April and June-September 2014 in Istanbul Bahçesehir University Game Lab.

Moderator/Speaker @ Istanbul Aydin University Career Days Sercan Sengun was a moderator/speaker for "Digital Game Production in Turkey Panel" in Istanbul Aydin University Career Days on 16th of April 2014.

Moderator/Speaker @ GILT Academy 14 Sercan Sengun was a moderator/speaker for "Mobile Gaming Industry in Turkey Panel" in GILT Academy 14 on 4th of April 2014. Video recording available here.

Oyunder /G Industry Talks #1 Sercan Sengun was the moderator for "Oyunder /G Industry Talks #1" on 22nd of March 2014 @ Istanbul Bahçesehir University.

Lecturer @ Istanbul Ticaret University Sercan Sengun was the lecturer for "Highlights of Mobile Gaming Industry in the World and a Focus on Turkey" on 7nd of March 2014 @ Istanbul Ticaret University, Mobile Technologies Development Lab.

Columns & News

Monograf Journal Issue #4 featured Sevket Tüfekci's analysis article of hypertext joint projects by Murat Gülsoy and Sercan Sengun.

TurkGamer.net Video Interview: The Turkish videogame news website TurkGamer.net has conducted a video interview with Sercan Sengun about his academic work and ideas on education for videogame design. The interview could be watched here.

Monograf Journal Issue #2 featured Sevket Tüfekci's in-depth analysis article of “Bize Kuşdili Öğretildi” - a joint project by Murat Gülsoy and Sercan Sengun.

Oyungezer featured an article from Sercan Sengun's blog VOT? as a news piece.

Oyunder.org, the website of Game Designers, Developers and Publishers Association in Turkey features Sercan Sengun's column on contemporary industry issues.

Education

Ph.D. in Communication Sciences Istanbul Bilgi University (2013-2016)
National Post-Graduate Scholarship from TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) and Faculty Scholarship from Faculty of Communications. Graduation grade; 3,91 of 4,00.

M.A. in Film and Television Istanbul Bilgi University (2011-2013)
Full Faculty Scholarship from Faculty of Communications. Graduated as 2nd in Social Sciences Institute and High Honors Student with a grade of 3,96 of 4,00.

B.A. in Communication Design Istanbul Bilgi University (2001-2005)
Full Faculty Scholarship from Faculty of Communications. Graduated as 1st in Department and Honors Student with a grade of 3,49 of 4,00.

Work Experience

Massachusettes Institute of Technology (2016-current)
Postdoctoral Research Associate | MIT CSAIL

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (2016-2017)
Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate | Qatar Computing Research Institute

Istanbul Bilgi University (2015-2016)
Lecturer | Digital Game Design Graduate Degree

Istanbul Bahcesehir University (2014-2016)
Lecturer | Game Design Master Degree

kreatiFabrika (2011-2013)
Managing Partner | Digital Agency

Nortec Eurasia (Nintendo Turkey) (2005-2011)
Brand and Marketing | Video Games

Avaturk (2003-2005)
Customer Relations and Services | Video Games

Arti Interaktif (plus v.2) (1998-2003)
Brand and Marketing | Digital Agency

©2017 Sercan Sengun. All Rights Reserved.