Tanja Välisalo

Tanja Välisalo
University of Jyväskylä | JYU · Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Master of Arts

About

27
Publications
5,417
Reads
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31
Citations
Introduction
Media audiences, media fandom, and game communities are my main research interests. My PhD research (ongoing) is on engaging with fictional characters in media. My research interests are in the areas of game studies and fandom studies. I have also published on topics related to teaching and learning in higher education. I teach interdisciplinary courses on Game Studies & ICT at the University of Jyväskylä, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Additional affiliations
November 2019 - March 2020
University of Jyväskylä
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Working on my PhD as part of the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (funded by Academy of Finland). Mainly working on Overwatch Research Project.
August 2018 - January 2019
University of Jyväskylä
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Working on my PhD as part of the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (funded by Academy of Finland). Mainly working on Overwatch Research Project.
November 2016 - April 2017
University of Jyväskylä
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • The World Hobbit Project - audience reception study on a global scale
Education
September 2015 - May 2016
University of Jyväskylä
Field of study
  • Pedagogical Studies in Adult Education, 60 ecrs
February 2011 - February 2012
University of Jyväskylä
Field of study
  • University Pedagogy, 25 credits
September 1999 - September 2010
University of Jyväskylä
Field of study
  • Finnish History

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Full-text available
In this explorative study, we investigated motives of autonomous learners to participate in an online course, and how these motives are related to gameplay motivations, engagement in the course experience, and learning outcomes. The guiding premise for the study has been the idea that learning and game playing carry phenomenal similarities that cou...
Chapter
Change is a constant element of online games, and Overwatch as well as its playable characters have been through multiple changes since the launch of the game in 2016. In this chapter, we examine the relationships players have with the playable characters of Overwatch and specifically the role that character mechanics have in these relationships. C...
Article
Full-text available
In our article, we analyse the ways audiences engage with Overwatch esports and construct their fan relationships. We situate our research into several intersecting theoretical frames. To understand how Overwatch esports audiences engage with the esports through different media and media related practices we apply the framework of transmedia studie...
Article
Full-text available
Transmedia has become the dominant form of media production. This article introduces the concept of transmedia universe to encompass the complexity of transmedia storytelling, production and consumption. Abstract In this article, we introduce the concept of transmedia universe to encompass the complexity of transmedia storytelling, production and c...
Chapter
Introduction to fandom studies and the particular role of fantasy and science fiction in fan phenomena.
Chapter
What is the relationship between fantasy fiction and transmedia? Introducing transmedia studies and exploring the concept of transmedia universe using examples such as The Hobbit and Battlestar Galactica.
Article
Full-text available
Fictosexuality, fictoromance, and fictophilia are terms that have recently become popular in online environments as indicators of strong and lasting feelings of love, infatuation, or desire for one or more fictional characters. This article explores the phenomenon by qualitative thematic analysis of 71 relevant online discussions. Five central them...
Article
Full-text available
Nörttikulttuuri on identiteettikriisissä. Perinteisesti nörttimäisinä pidetyt käytänteet ja kulttuurituotteet ovat siirtyneet lähemmäs valtavirtaa, mikä on häivyttänyt rajaa nörttien ja muiden median ja teknologian käyttäjien välillä. Nörttikulttuurin sisälle tämä on heijastunut kiistaksi siitä, kuka saa osallistua nörttikulttuurin kuluttamiseen, t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Esports has often been likened and compared to traditional sports. This paper suggests an alternative interpretative framework for competitive gaming by focusing on the team-based first-person shooter game Overwatch. We explore Overwatch esports using multi-sited ethnography and demonstrate how the fans and viewers use a rich spectrum of cultural p...
Book
Full-text available
A report on gamedev-oriented higher education in four countries, based on reciprocal study visits to Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz (Poland), Charles University in Prague (Czechia), University of Jyväskylä in Jyväskylä (Finland), and Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul (Turkey). It is an overview of curricula, learning outcomes, collaborati...
Conference Paper
Esports phenomena have grown rapidly in recent years, and so has research on the topic. Some of the research has also addressed esports fandom (see e.g. Taylor 2012). Nevertheless, studies comparing and contrasting how players and fans engage with the game and the esports based on that game are scarce. This study compares and contrasts how players...
Article
Full-text available
Producing digital and interactive journalistic products offers unique and important new learning opportunities for journalism education. This study analysed the experiences of two pilot courses on so-called ‘newsgames’ in a Finnish university in 2015 and 2017. The data consisted of the newsgames and other materials produced by the students, student...
Article
Full-text available
Nuorten 1980-luvun musiikkikulttuureja ovat leimanneet mielikuvat kaupallisuudesta, pinnallisuudesta ja värikkäistä musiikkivideoista. Tutkimuksellisen kiinnostuksen kohteena ovat puolestaan olleet erityisesti erilaiset musiikilliset alakulttuurit. 1980-luvun nuoriso- ja musiikkikulttuurien suuret linjat ovat kuitenkin jääneet vielä tutkimuksellise...
Article
Full-text available
Characters are important for the audience reception of films, but little empirical research on actual audiences has been conducted on the topic of character reception. Are characters important for all audiences, and if not, what are the possible reasons and implications? How do audiences construct their engagement with characters? I argue that in a...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines audience engagement with The Hobbit fantasy film trilogy as a participatory and transmedial experience. To do so, we use the data collected by The World Hobbit Project in order to investigate the transmedial user practices of the Finnish audience of the trilogy. We will, firstly, look at what kinds of transmedial user practice...
Presentation
Characters have a central role in the reception of fictional content. This is evident for example in the way characters are the focus of many audience practices, such as creating fan art, cosplaying, or writing fan fiction. With transmedia storytelling and creation of transmedia worlds becoming more dominant modes of production in the entertainment...
Presentation
Battlestar Galactica (US 2004–2009) is an example of a television series acting as the center of a vast transmedia universe comprising of novels, comics, games, collectibles, webisodes, films and spin-off television series, among others. As Jenkins (2007, 2011) notes, transmedia narratives provide gaps and excesses that invite fans to create their...
Article
Museology is a discipline still establishing itself. It can currently be studied in five Finnish universities. Museology came to Finland as early as 1969 when Secretary of Museum Affairs Jorma Heinonen from the Finnish Museums Association gave his first course in museology. It took more than a decade before museology gained status as a university s...

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The project aims to develop (1) research-based learning spaces and platforms that support skills and knowledge needed in a digital society, (2) methods for evaluating the effects of novel learning tools and environments, and (3) methods for enriching learning in various work-related contexts. This is a joint project between University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä and company partners.
Project
Uses of Fantasy is the Finnish sub-project of the World Hobbit Research Project. It is coordinated by Research Centre for Contemporary Culture at the University of Jyväskylä. The project focuses on the following questions: 1. What is the meaning of fantasy to the respondents, and what does fantasy bring to their lives; 2. How are questions of identity, fandom and cultural consumption visible in the meaning-making processes of the respondents; 3. What kinds of transmedial strategies of media use can be found through the practices of media use as reported in the data; 4. How do conceptions of national, territorial and cultural identity affect the processes of meaning-making as well as strategies of reception within the audience of the Hobbit trilogy? The project is currently funded by The Finnish Cultural Foundation. Read more: https://theworldhobbitprojectfinland.com/