Panagiotis Koutsouras (2013 cohort)

Panos’s research investigated the digital economies that emerge from video game contexts. His PhD focused specifically on how Minecraft (one of the most successful modern video games) has become a lucrative business environment for many professional game creators, who use it as a tool to both create and sell content to various companies and organisations.

Panos, who submitted this PhD thesis entitled ‘Crafting Content: The Discover of Minecraft’s Invisible Digital Economy’ in September 2017, will be using this grant to:

  • Commission a new Minecraft environment for professional game builders (a process studied as part of his PhD) in order to raise awareness on what is involved in the creation of such online worlds.
  • Use the developed environment as a resource to inform players, parents and policy makers about the unregulated emerging videogames markets (e.g. Minecraft commissions, eSports, and streaming) that provide possibilities but also pose threats to players.

In order to devise the content and interactions that should be built into the Minecraft world, Panos is planning to run a number of participatory design workshops involving professional Minecraft players, game user researchers, and videogame companies at locations such as The National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham.