About me

Japanologist • Games scholar

I work as a game scholar and Japanologist. Having lived in four different countries, and speaking multiple languages, I consider myself a versatile and internationally-oriented person. This is something you’ll also notice when looking at my academic work, which is highly interdisciplinary as I conduct my research on the fields of Game Studies, Japan Studies, Transmedia Storytelling, Platform Studies, and Fandom Studies. I research characters, games and their role in popular media, Japanese popular culture, and mediated intimacy.

Japanese Studies (BA)

I started the Bachelor’s programme called “Japanse Talen en Culturen” (Japan Studies) at Leiden University in The Netherlands in 2010, and graduated in 2014. I specialized for my final year of the BA-programme in Japanese art in general, and in contemporary Japanese art in specific, and did a minor in Media and Theater to further delve into my interest in Media Studies. During my studies, I went on a one-year exchange programme (JLPT) to Nagasaki University, in Nagasaki-city on the Southern island of Kyushu in Japan.

Media and Performance Studies (RMA)

After my graduation in 2014, I was accepted into the Research Master’s programme “Media and Performance Studies” at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. Here, I started studying topics such as transmedia storytelling, and games, and combined that with my knowledge on Japanese language and (popular) culture. To further build my interest in games, I participated in the Erasmus Exchange Programme, joining the MA programme Games at the IT University of Copenhagen in Denmark as an exchange student from August 2015 – January 2016. I graduated from my master’s programme in January 2017.

Game Studies (PhD)

In December 2016, I was hired as a PhD Fellow on the Making Sense of Games project at the Centre of Computer Game Studies at the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU). For three years, I dedicated myself to writing a dissertation on game characters. I went to conferences, wrote papers, grew my network, and went on a third international exchange, this time to the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, as a visiting researcher from March 2018 – July 2018. My thesis eventually received the title “The Dynamic Game Character: Definition, Construction, and Challenges in a Character Ecology“.

I finished my thesis in December 2019, and my defense was planned for March 30th, 2020, but unfortunately, the pandemic put a hold on that event for a while. After a couple of months, I received the green light, and managed to defend my thesis successfully on June 19th, 2020!

Current project

Since January 2021, I work as a university lecturer at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies at Tampere University in Finland, where I research mediated intimacy, and parasocial relations with game characters. My book Video Game Characters and Transmedia Storytelling was published by the Amsterdam University Press in October 2023.