Dr. Costantino Oliva (Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta) and Dr. Akito Inoue (Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto) participated in March 2023 in an Erasmus+ ICM exchange between the two institutions. Ritsumeikan University is one of the top leading private universities in Japan with a history of 120 years, and is home to more than 2,700 international students.
Dr. Oliva visited Kyoto for a week, lecturing topics related to musicking with digital games and testing a new, original digital game. Currently in development, the game takes inspiration from the traditional Japanese motif “Night Parade of 100 Demons”, and features folkloristic yokai spirits engaging in playful musical activities. Finally, Dr. Oliva participated in the symposium “New Avenues in Game Studies”, hosted by the Center for Computer Game Studies and co-organized by the IDG’s own Prof. Stefano Gualeni. The exchange was subsequently followed up by a visit from Dr. Inoue to the University of Malta. Dr. Inoue lectured students on topics related to Japanese Game Studies, focusing on archiving and preservation of digital games. Finally, Prof. Inoue held an open lecture at the IDG, engaging with members of the Maltese digital game industry and discussing his serious game "#denkimeter" (CEDEC AWARD, Game Design Category, Excellence Award).
After a lengthy stop caused by the COVID19 restrictions, the Erasmus+ ICM inter-institutional agreement between the two institutions is currently ongoing, and will likely result in further mobilities next year. The exchange has so far contributed to the academic relationship between Malta and Japan, as well as providing a platform for international collaborations between Game Studies scholars.