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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of ArtPostgraduate study

Ms Samantha Schäfer 

Postgraduate Research Student

Ms Samantha Schäfer's photo

Samantha Schäfer is a part-time doctoral researcher at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.



She is a member of the Faculty Ethics Committee and has been a visiting lecturer on MA Global Media Management since 2017. From 2016 to 2017 she was PGR representative for WSA on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

She completed her BA cum laude in Arts & Humanities at University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, Netherlands in 2012, during which she did a semester abroad in the Theatre department of University of Nebraska-Kearney. Her undergraduate research in Theatre and Media Studies and Literary Studies predominantly focused on character studies of villainous characters, culminating in the development of an analytical framework for villains in literary adaptation studies. She completed her MA in Arts & Culture (Research) at VU University Amsterdam in 2015, where she researched video game-based transmedia storytelling and character studies with her dissertation ''Nothing is True': The Different Functions of Haytham Kenway in the ASSASSIN'S CREED Kenway Saga.’

Research interests

My PhD project is supervised by Dr Seth Giddings and Dr Dan Ashton and investigates the relationship between game and player in choice-based narrative video games. Applying an ethnographic research method based on Giddings’s microethology, I am investigating the communication and cooperation between the human player and the video game, as well as the role of player memory in the creation of an individual narrative framework that informs choice-making processes. Throughout my research, I have become interested in further developing ethnography as a research method in the field of game studies.

My other research interests include storytelling in medium-specific and transmedial forms, with a special interest in narrative and character developments in the context of game studies, transmedia storytelling, literary studies, and film studies.

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December 2019 - ‘Agency and Authorship in Ludic Narrative Environments’, International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, Dublin

May 2018 - ‘The Navigational Properties of Storytelling in Choice-Based Systems’, The Work of Storytelling symposium, Winchester School of Art

October 2014 - ‘Staring Into Darkness: An Analytical Framework for Villains in Literary and Adaptation Studies’, Film & History Conference, Madison, Wisconsin

Ms Samantha Schäfer
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Park Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire. SO23 8DL United Kingdom

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