Videogaming and Cultural Values
2nd Annual Summer Graduate Workshop
July 27 and 28 2023, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time (GMT +4)


The International Academy for the Study of Gaming and Religion hosts the second annual summer graduate school workshop. Exclusively for early-stage researchers and doctoral students, the conference welcomes research on media-centered approaches, perspectives of game developers and publishers, and viewpoints of gamers. The workshop provides a unique opportunity for participants to engage in discussions and debates about theoretical approaches for studying the intersection of religion, culture, and video gaming. The workshop is held online and provides a collaborative environment for scholars at all stages to learn together and expand and deepen the field of study.Conference Organizers: Gregory Grieve ( and John Borchert(, UNCG’s Network for the Cultural Study of Videogaming.

You can join the workshop via Zoom.

Schedule At-a-Glance Thursday, July 27

10:00-10:15 Huizinga Room

Welcome and Tutorial — Greg Grieve and John Borchert


Session 1: Huizinga Room Ziran Zhao: “Being prescribed to perform romantic? Game platform as a place for romantic relationship practice.”

Session 2: Nelson Room  — Tara Smith:  “Blood for the Blood God!” – Engaging with Gods and Religion in the Warhammer 40K Universe


Session 3:Huizinga RoomSophia Rosenberg:  “Blessed Are The Geek:  Christian Gaming Content Creators and Digital Discipleship.”

Session 4: Nelson Room Leonid Moyzhes: “Exorcism of the Cyborgs: The Possibility for (Re-) enchanting Narratives in Cyberpunk Role-Playing Games.”

12:00-14:00 Huizinga Room

gamevironments Board Meeting [closed]


Session 5: Huizinga RoomAJ Swieringa: “Pious Players and Digital Divines: Divine Embodiment in God of War.”

Session 6: Nelson RoomJieyu (Warren) Liu: “When We ‘Trailblaze’ The Universe: How HoYoverse Approaches the Western Players Through Occidentalizing Its Games.”

Schedule At-a-Glance Friday, July 28

10:00-10:15 Huizinga Room

Welcome to Day Two — Greg Grieve


Session 7: Huizinga RoomEd Watson: “Fear the Old Blood’: Bloodborne, Christian Concepts of Communion, and Cultural Critique”

Session 8: Nelson RoomEmma Sundström: “Fanatical Alien Monsters: Halo and Religion in Fan-Forum Discourse”


Session 9: Huizinga RoomEvan Moore: “The Use of Quest Design and Experimentation for Teaching.”

12:00-13:00 Lunch and Valheim Break

13:00- 14:00  

Session 10: Huizinga RoomSimone Baldetti: “Religious Gameplay”. How religious laws make games”

Session 11: Nelson RoomEthan Divon: “Expanding Classics: Comparative World Mythology and its Reception in Gaming”

14:00-14:45  Retreat to move forward