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Scholars' Symposia

The UT Scholars’ Symposia was created to introduce The University of Tampa community to vibrant researchers and writers from all over the nation. It is an annual event that features good food, great conversation, book signings (when available) and question-and-answer sessions with the scholar. The program welcomes anyone who would like to share his or her scholarship. Those interested in participating should contact Sarah Juliet Lauro, the symposia’s director, at

For more on see UT's English and Writing department.

Spring 2019

Caleb Smith

Patrick LeMieux and Stephanie Boluk

Making Metagames

March 29, 2019

Caleb Smith

Time: 4-6 p.m.
Location: Vaughn Center, Trustee Boardroom
Sponsored by the Department of English and Writing

About Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux

Stephanie Boluk is an associate professor who plays, makes and writes about games in the English Department and Cinema and Digital Media Department at the University of California, Davis. She is the co-author of Metagaming: Playing, Competing, Spectating, Trading, Making, and Breaking Videogames with Patrick LeMieux and is currently working on a new manuscript about money as a game mechanic and game mechanics as money.

Patrick LeMieux is a media artist, game designer and assistant professor also in the Cinema and Digital Media Department at the University of California, Davis. His research and teaching explore the material practices and community histories of play, from speedrunning and esports to romhacking and alternative control. After working on Metagaming with Stephanie Boluk, he is developing a series of small metagames like Triforce, a topological transformation of The Legend of Zelda, and the Octopad, an eight-player controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

About the Presentation

Title: Making Metagames

The greatest trick the videogame industry ever pulled was convincing the world that videogames were games rather than a medium for making metagames. Metagames are games about games. They are the games we play in, on, around and through videogames. From the most complex house rules and competitive tournament trends to the simple decision to press start or even purchase a game in the first place, for all intents and purposes metagames are the only kinds of games we play. And although the word “metagame” has a long history—from Nigel Howard’s Cold War game theories to Richard Garfield’s game design philosophy for Magic: The Gathering—since the turn of the millennium and especially since the emergence of social media and streaming services, the term has become a popularly used and particularly useful label for diverse forms of play, a game design paradigm and a way of life occurring not only around videogames but all digital technology. From speedrunning to esports and from virtual economies to electronic espionage, in this talk, Boluk and LeMieux will introduce histories and theories of metagaming before exhibiting the metagames they make together.

Former Guests

View former guests for the Scholars' Symposia...

Fall 2018

Peter Coviello

Peter Coviello
LONG PLAYERS: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs
Nov. 2, 2018

Spring 2018

Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith
The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict
Feb. 16, 2018

Fall 2017

Alisha Gaines

Alisha Gaines
Fantasies of Empathy and the Age of Trump
Sept. 22, 2017

Spring 2017

Dan Walden

Dan Walden
A Hell of Our Own
Jan. 27, 2017

Fall 2016

Jonathan Beecher Field

Jonathan Beecher Field
Monstrous Births
Sept. 15, 2016

Spring 2016


Professor Emma Rees
Feb. 11, 2016

Fall 2015


Eric Hayot
On Literary Worlds
Sept. 18, 2015

Fall 2014


Erica Williams
Clicks, Likes and Online Social Change
Sept. 26, 2014

Spring 2014

Barry Estabrook and The Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Tomatoland: Modern Day Slavery in Florida
Feb. 25, 2014