Dr. Sercan Şengün is an Assistant Professor of Games and Interactive Media in the UCF Nicholson School of Communication and Media.
Dr. Sercan Sengun is a researcher, teacher, and game designer, exploring phenomena at the intersections of video game studies, gamer communities, cultural informatics, virtual identities, and interactive narratives. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Games and Interactive Media at University of Central Florida and a research affiliate for MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality and MIT IDSS (MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society) within the Antiracism, Games, and Immersive Media ICSR Project Team.
In the past, he conducted research as a part of MIT CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory), MIT ICE Lab (Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory), and Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s QCRI (Qatar Computing Research Institute) and taught graduate and undergraduate game design courses at multiple institutions.
More information about his work can be found on his personal website.
Encyclopedia of Computer Graphics and Games
He is one of the editorial board members of the book Encyclopedia of Computer Graphics and Games (Springer, 2023)
Below are several recent representative research on virtual identities and digital representations:
On the Plane
Considering another person’s perspective can be a challenging endeavor—but recognizing our errors and biases is key to building understanding across communities. To assist with perspective-taking, Dr. Sengun and collaborators have developed “On the Plane,” a virtual reality role-playing game (VR RPG) that simulates discrimination. Situated on an airplane, players can take on the role of characters from different backgrounds, engaging in dialogue with others while making in-game choices to a series of prompts. In turn, players’ decisions control the outcome of a tense conversation between the characters about cultural differences.
Is Death Only the Beginning? How People Mourn Artificial Characters in Social Media
In this work, Dr. Sengun and collaborators analyze the audience response to the death of narrative-driven fictitious characters with predetermined fates, whether part of a virtual or cinematic story, and specifically from video games and TV series.
Contours of virtual enfreakment in fighting game characters
In this open access research, “Contours of virtual enfreakment in fighting game characters,” Dr. Sengun and collaborators analyze 64 characters who have ties to physical world nationalities and ethnicities from the popular fighting videogames Street Fighter V and Tekken 7. Through the analysis, they conclude that the distinct appearances, costumes, attitudes, and powers of these characters often result in a systematic process that they call virtual enfreakment.
Below are several recent representative projects on game studies:
FORGING CONNECTIONS: THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF “DEATH STRANDING” AS A PARADIGM SHIFT IN GAMING
In this project, Dr. Sengun and his colleague Dr. Bostan aim to define a new potential digital game genre called a “strand game” through their analysis of and work on the game Death Stranding. They have presented their findings in the recent GAME-ON conference as well as publishing it in New Trends in Computer Science journal.
The project follows Dr. Sengun’s previous work on other digital game genres such as walking simulators and storytelling games.