Dr. Olli Tapio LEINO

Visiting address
Phone: +852 34424711

Author IDs

Willing to take PhD students: yes
Willing to talk to media: yes


Dr Olli Tapio Leino is a philosophy of computer games and new media art scholar focusing on materiality, experience, emotion, interpretation, and performativity in computer games and playable art. His recent publications include an article on the technological specificity and playful practice in Mahjong in Games & Culture (2017), an article on the neoliberalist underpinnings of computer games in Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds (2016), a chapter on romantic attraction to computer game characters in the Game Love anthology (2015), a chapter on ontology of gameplay in Springer anthology Philosophy of Computer Games (2012) and an article on the technological specificity of single-player computer games in Game Studies (2011).

Leino and Dr Sebastian Möring (University of Potsdam) are exploring the avenue of 'existential ludology', focusing on the methodological implications of the world-likeness of computer games. Leino's current two-year Hong Kong GRF-funded research project 'Ideas and Realities of Gamification' (2017), together with co-investigators Dr. Sebastian Möring from University of Potsdam and Prof. Espen Aarseth from IT University of Copenhagen, investigates the phenomenon of gamification from a critical humanities perspective. His previous GRF project 'Existential Hermeneutics for Playable Media' (2014) focused on how technological materialities of computer games affect the conditions of experience, emotion, and interpretation in computer game play.

Leino has carried out contracted research on eSports together with Dr. Yong Ming Kow and Mr. Chun Pang Yim from School of Creative Media, forming the Play/Work Research Group, affiliated with and funded by a three-year grant from City University's Applied Computing for Interactive Media (ACiM) Research Centre. Leino has also written about human/technology relations in new media art, and curated the 'New Playable Art' exhibition for IFVA'14 at Hong Kong Arts Centre. He has given invited speeches and keynotes internationally and is working on a book addressing questions of interpretation and experience at the overlap of computer games and playable art and media. He has been interviewed on the topic of computer games on Hong Kong TVB Pearl and BBC Radio 5.

Leino teaches courses on computer games and philosophy of technology, mainly for MA in Creative Media and MFA in Creative Media programmes. His courses include: Critical Ludology: Games, Playability and New Media ArtAnalysis and Criticism of Computer GamesPhilosophy of Technology and New Media, and Technologies in Art, Science and Everyday Life. He also advises both theoretical and practice-based student projects on undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels.

Leino is a founding member of Chinese DiGRA chapter, a member of the steering group of the Game Philosophy Network and member of the editorial board of Journal of the Philosophy of Games. Leino was the Symposium Director and Conference Chair of 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art ISEA2016 Hong Kong. At School of Creative Media, Leino has previously served as the Programme Leader of BA in Digital Media Broadcasting and currently serves as the Exchange Coordinator (overseas) and coordinates an international two-certificate Joint Undergraduate Degree Programme offered by City University of Hong Kong and Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany.

Leino earned his PhD from the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen in 2010 and MA from Faculty of Art & Design, University of Lapland in 2005. Prior to joining CityU in Spring 2010 he collaborated with Nokia in a research project on pervasive gaming, carried out contracted research for Ubisoft on multiplayer games and emotions, and was a visiting scholar at the Play Research Group of the University of the West of England

Research Interests/Areas

  • Computer Game Studies
  • Ludology
  • Philosophy of Computer Games
  • Computer Game Analysis
  • Computer Game Criticism
  • Computer Games
  • Arcade Games
  • Electronic Sports (eSports)
  • New Media Art
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Post-phenomenology
  • Existentialism
  • Hermeneutics
  • Performativity
  • Materiality