This symposium has been designed as an intensive reading group meeting with a small number of invited participants, who will attend in either physical or virtual capacity. The discussion will explore new directions in the theorisation of Network Culture in order to go beyond the current conventions.

How do debates about Networks intersect with those on the concept of the Commons? Is it possible to undertake a process of “commoning the Networks”? How could this be implemented in practical terms? Which are the techniques, technologies, language requirements and relevant methodologies to make this possible? What can we learn from the ways in which interactions occur amongst networks, both vertically/horizontally and rhizomatically/progressively? How could a feminist methodology facilitate movement, processing and exchange of ideas and practices in multiple directions amongst and across diverse networks, within an ethos that engages with creativity through a process of “commoning the Networks?”


The structure of the intensive reading group session will be developed between now and the 21st of September with input from the invited participants.

The group leading this process (Sophia Lycouris and Penny Travlou, both members of CIRCLE and the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with external contributors Dafni Dragona and Helen Varley Jamieson) will provide some reading materials for the participants to use prior to the meeting on the 21st. Participants will be invited to contribute keywords and themes that interest them within the framework provided above. Their suggestions will be used to frame the discussion on the 21st. Participants will join the event both physically and virtually through online video conferencing via Google Hangouts on Air, and the entire event will be documented.

The intensive session on the 21st of September is understood as a step within a long-term process. We are aiming at new observations which will provide a platform for the next stage of this process.

If you would like to participate please email Sophia Lycouris at by Wednesday 10 September, and you will receive further details. The event is free and the venue will be in Edinburgh. However participants can also attend virtually.

CIRCLE (Creative Interdisciplinary Research in Collaborative Environments) research network 

CIRCLE's members are researchers and creative practitioners at the University of Edinburgh and elsewhere. They work across the creative arts, architecture, the humanities, the physical and social sciences. Their research focuses on developing creative collaborative environments, employing methods across disciplines. Their aim is to develop effective and affecting interactive environments, within a critical framework, seeking the insights that interdisciplinary inquiry might allow.

*This event is funded and supported by the University of Edinburgh.


PhD at Teesside University: Interactive Storytelling for Pervasive Entertainment

An enhanced stipend of £18,000 per annum is offered to a strong candidate for a full time Industrial CASE PhD studentship at Teesside University; Portal Entertainment. The studentship is funded by the Engineering; Physical Sciences Research Council, Portal Entertainment and Teesside University, and will be for 3 ½ years, subject to satisfactory progress. This research will explore Interactive Storytelling in the context of pervasive entertainment, which presents specific challenges in terms of media content, interaction techniques, and adaptive plot generation.

The candidate will be expected to contribute to the design of new narrative generation techniques adapted to pervasive storytelling, as well as their integration within fully-implemented prototypes, in partnership with Portal Entertainment. This is an opportunity to join one of the leading groups in Interactive Storytelling research, and work with a company that blends entertainment, psychology and technology to develop the next generation of interactive media. Portal Entertainment is a UK based digital entertainment company, which makes thriller-type content for tablet and mobile platforms responding to user emotions. It collaborates with renowned studios (Hammer Film), media services (Pinewood) and leading entertainment corporations (Warner Bros).

Entry Requirements Candidates should hold an undergraduate degree (2:1 minimum) in a relevant discipline, preferably Computer Science with a working knowledge of AI (Planning, advanced search techniques or constraint programming) and appropriate programming experience. Previous knowledge of Interactive Storytelling is not essential, but an interest in entertainment applications and the thriller genre is desirable.

To qualify for full funding, applicants must meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria. You can apply online for this opportunity. Please use the standard PhD full time application form, and state the studentship title and Director of Studies in the personal statement section.

For administrative queries, please contact

For academic enquiries, please contact Professor Marc Cavazza (

Closing Date: Monday 8th September 2014, 11.59pm. We envisage that interviews will take place in the second half of September 2014. It is preferable that the successful applicant starts in October 2014, but a delayed start, no later than December 2014, could be negotiated.

I will be running a workshop at the RIDERS Summer School on "How To Record and Edit Good Audio" - most film experts will agree with me that good audio is even more important than good visuals in a film, but that's one to chat through with Andrew Murchie, the RIDERS 3D film expert at Summer School... from my part, I want to prepare you to make your audio really great and to sound the very best you can, while using everyday mobile technology.  

Workshop session 1 - In the first session, you'll learn what makes a good, useable recording and how to make it using basic equipment. You'll learn how to get the best sound under various conditions, what to look for when choosing somewhere to record, how to deal with less than optimal environments, learn more on foreground and background sound, and how different sound qualities may suit different stories. Ideally, you will bring an iPhone / iPad with the app Voice Recorder HD installed.You can get this here

You may instead want to use a dedicated audio recorder (Zoom or similar) or you may instead want to use your Android devices. That is fine, although, there may be less detailed instructions on the device in that case.

Workshop session 2 - The second session will look at using sound to tell a story. You will learn to work with the audio you have collected in the first session, using Reaper, a popular digital audio workstation (DAW). You will begin learning how to edit and process audio with Reaper and will be introduced to some techniques for getting the best from whatever you have recorded. You will look at mixing audio, editing and preparing the sound for output. Please bring along a laptop, as you will need one to work on, and you should install Reaper onto it before you arrive. It is not open source, but there is a long, unrestricted free trial period. You can get it here

Luke Clancy - Radio Producer

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When I first spoke to the the good people at RIDERS about interactive comics, I had to make a disclaimer: I am not an expert on interactive comics...

They interest me greatly. I’ve done a bit of reading on the subject, debated with creators, and I’ve handled more than a few interactive comics. Some completely astounded me with their elegance and creativity, or knocked me sideways with their untapped potential, and then there were those barely deserving of the term “interactive” - or “comic” for that matter.

It’s very possible, and even likely, to read two different interactive comics successively, and not feel as if the two works are even part of the same medium. My explanation for this phenomenon of unaffixed media lurch is what motivated me to disclaim that I am not an expert in the field and even speculate that there are no experts in interactive comics. What causes me to make such outlandish proclamations?

Simple:Interactive Comics are not a least, not yet. Understanding what interactive comics are for, their role in our culture, and how people best read them, is what will make them a storytelling medium, rather than simply an amusing technology. But that understanding only starts to take shape when we start asking the right questions.

At the RIDERS Summer School, I’m going to invite audience members to come along on a adventure to find those questions, so that we can start asking them together. Starting with my experiences as a comics creator and my formal training as a creative writer, we’ll trace connective lines between some seemingly unrelated academic disciplines, hear legends about our mysterious questions from colorful characters who’ve sought them before, and examine some artifacts that have been unearthed along the way. If there aren’t any real experts on interactive comics yet, I’m hoping that by the end of our time together, the first ones may be sitting in the audience. See you at Summer School...

Errol Rivera

Call for participation - The Geometry Friends Game AI Competition Submission deadline: July 26

Geometry Friends is a 2-player cooperative puzzle platformer game, where 2 players control 2 simple characters (a circle and a rectangle), with distinct characteristics, trying to collect all diamonds in a set of levels as fast as possible. The game promotes collaboration between the two players and presents challenging control of the characters in a simulated physics environment.

It is an very interesting test-bed for AI agents. To successfully solve the several levels the AI agents need to:

1) Deal with coordination at different layers: from motion control (e.g. achieving perfect timing) to level resolution (e.g. devising shared plans)

2) Dealing with limited actuation situated in a simulated physics environment (with gravity and friction).

3) Solve platform (skill) based puzzles, which involves discovering the proper order to collect the diamonds and identifying the points where collaboration is need.

The competition is held at IEEE Computational Intelligence in Games 2014 - Go on - give it a try!

The organization committee, Rui Prada, Francisco Melo and João Quitério.

RIDERS | Heriot Watt University (Riccarton Campus) | Currie | Midlothian | EH14 4AP