Playful Encounters with Animals

Designing playful engagements with animals to find, imagine, or emphasize non-speciesist practices


Peer Reviewed Publications

(for citation references see my Google Scholar Profile)


Westerlaken, M. (2017). Self-Fashioning in Action: Zelda’s Breath of the Wild Vegan Run. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, (Krakow, PL, November 28-30). PDF, LINK


Westerlaken, M. and Gualeni, S. (2017). A Dialogue Concerning ‘Doing Philosophy with and within Computer Games’ – or: Twenty rainy minutes in KrakowProceedings of the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, (Krakow, PL, November 28-30). PDF, LINK


Westerlaken, M. (2017). Uncivilizing the Future: Imagining Non-SpeciesismAntae – Special Issue on Utopian Perspectives4(1), 53-67. PDFLINK


Gollonitsch, K., and Westerlaken, M. (2017). Beyond Yarn-Balls & Squeaking Bones: Inviting animals as co-players and co-designers. In Welt der Spiele 360°, 31-51, Krems, AT:  Donau Universität Krems. LINK 


Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. Becoming With: Towards the Inclusion of Animals as Participants in Design Processes. Proceedings of the Animal Computer Interaction Conference, ACM Press(Milton Keynes, UK, November 14-15, 2016). PDF, LINK


Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. Situated Knowledges and Game Design: A Transformative Exercise with Ants. Proceedings of  the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, (Valletta, MLT, November 1-4, 2016). PDF, LINK


Westerlaken, M. Playful Animals: An Invitation to ParticipateExtended Abstract in Proceedings of Digra/FDG (Dundee, UK, August 1-6, 2016). PDF, LINK


Gómez Maureira, M.A., Westerlaken, M., Janssen, D., Gualeni, S., and Calvi, L. (2014) Improving level design through game user research: A comparison of methodologies. Entertainment Computing, Elsevier, 5(4), 463-473. LINK


Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. Felino: The philosophical practice of making an interspecies videogame. Proceedings of  the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, (Istanbul, TUR, November 13-15, 2014). PDF, LINK


Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. Grounded zoomorphism: An evaluation methodology for ACI design. Proceedings of ACE’14 Workshop on Animal Human Computer Interaction, ACM Press, (Madeira, PRT, November 11-14, 2014). PDF, LINK


Westerlaken, M., and Camilleri, A. User testing an interspecies videogame. Proceedings of NordiCHI’14 Workshop on Animal Computer Interaction, ACM Press, (Helsinki, FIN, October 26-30, 2014). PDF


Gómez Maureira, M.A., Janssen, D., Gualeni, S., Westerlaken, M., and Calvi, L. Comparing Game User Research Methodologies for the Improvement of Level Design in a 2-D PlatformerAdvances in Computer Entertainment, 77-92. (Twente, The Netherlands, November 13-15, 2013). LINK


Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. Digitally Complemented Zoomorphism: a Theoretical Foundation for Human-Animal Interaction DesignProceedings of Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces (DPPI ’13) ACM Press, (Newcastle, UK, September 3 – 5, 2013). PDFLINK


Public Speaking

Keynote Speaker at the Zürich GameZ & RuleZ conference (Switzerland), November 2017. LINK


Speaker at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong), guest lecture in the MSc program in Multimedia & Entertainment Technology, September 2017. LINK


Speaker at Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach (California), public talk, July 2017. LINK


Speaker at Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), guest expert at the graduate studies Design for Animals Lab, June 2017. LINK


25% PhD Seminar, Malmö University (Sweden), Department of Culture and Society (K3), May 2017. LINK


Speaker at the University of Skövde (Sweden), guest lecture at the Department of Media, Technology, and Culture, February 2017. LINK


Speaker at Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach (California), public talk, July 2016. LINK


Speaker at University of Malta Institute of Digital Games in Malta, public talk at the Game Lecture Series, April 2016. LINK


Speaker at the 9th Future and Reality of Gaming Conference in Vienna (AT), invited conference speaker, October 2015. LINK


Keynote speaker at the Game Happens Conference in Genova (IT), June 2015. LINK


Interviews, Panels, and Workshops

Des Jeux Vidéo pour Animaux. Interview with Swiss newspaper ‘La Liberté’ (written by Vincent Bürgy). December 2017. LINK


Workshop organizer – Representations of Dragons in Videogames. Hong Kong Polytechnic University. October 4th 2017. LINK


Beyond the Game – Playful Pets with Michelle Westerlaken. Interview with Indie Toaster (written by Alessandro Cossidente). May 2017. LINK


Games on Games: Game Design as Critical Reflexive Practice. Panel member at the 10th Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Msdia (MLT), November 1-4 2014. LINK 


A MAZE. Magazine No. 4 Animals. Animals as Players: Rethinking Relationships with Animals In Captivity. 2016. LINK


Workshop organizer at the 12th Student Interaction Design Research Conference (SIDeR). Micro Gamejam: Exploring Playful Relationships Between Humans and Insects. April 2, 2016, Malmö (SE). LINK


Wie Hund und Katz mit Computern Spielen. Interview with ORF. 2015. LINK


Malmö University website. (2015). Designing for Animals – Master Student Internationally Recognized. LINK


Independent Game Philosophers Panel. Panel member at the 8th Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Istanbul (TUR) November 13-15 2014. LINK


The New Scientist. (2014). Lassie Gets an Upgrade. LINK


Brewed Magazine. (2014). Felino. Because Cats Love Games too. LINK



Westerlaken, M. (2015). Exploring the Mediating Role of Playful Technological Artefacts Designed for Animals and Humans. Thesis for the MSc in Interaction Design at Malmö University. LINK

Westerlaken, M. (2014). A New User Testing Methodology for Digitally Mediated Human-Animal Interaction. Thesis for the MSc in Interaction Design at Malmö University. LINK

Westerlaken, M. (2012). Design Methodologies for Embodied Play in Canine Digital Interaction. Thesis for the Master in Media Innovation at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, available on request.

One comment on “Publications

  1. Pingback: Felino – Videogame Playtesting with Cats | Technologically Mediated Animal Interaction

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