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Vacancy: Student assistant Past-at-Play lab (0.2 fte)

7 May 2020

The Past-at-Play lab is looking for two student assistants to help and assist the team with their research activities. The Past-at-Play lab is a research lab and public play-space where the project will run open days, research experiments, and focused group discussions around the past in and as play.


We are looking for students with an active interest in the past and play and a willingness to co-host public events. The appointment will be for one day a week, and a three-day training programme will be provided at the beginning of the appointment.


We are looking for students who:

  • Are fluent in Dutch and advanced proficiency in English;
  • Are available one day per week (0.2 fte), either Thursdays or Fridays;
  • Are able to commit to the full term of the position (1 September till 31 May);
  • Have an active interest in the past and games;
  • Have good communication skills. You will be co-hosting Past-at-Play events, including welcoming a diverse set of visitors, guiding them through play sessions, and conducting (focus group) interviews;
  • Have good technical skills. You are able to work with and troubleshoot computer-based events and data collections. Basic knowledge of audio-visual recording strongly preferred;
  • Have good organisational skills, an eye for detail, logistics, and able to focus on the job at hand;
  • Have mastered basic research skills, including academic writing and basic qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.

We offer

The student assistant will be trained in:

  • Advanced qualitative and quantitative methods (including ethical aspects of public lab-based research);
  • Game-research;
  • Collaboration and teamwork;
  • Public outreach.

We offer a fixed term position from 1 September 2020 to 31 May 2021. The student assistant will be paid a 0.2 fte salary according to pay scale 'student assistant' of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary, depending on the student's academic year ranges from €2.049,- to €2.390,- gross per month based on fulltime employment (1 fte).

How to apply

Submit a short CV, a maximum one-page cover letter. Also submit a short vignette in text, audio, or video format discussing the last game you played (please also provide the title of the game);

A vignette is a small, yet detailed story or anecdote, often used in game-studies research, which tells of your experiences, observations and thoughts. It needs to be precise, yet appealing and to the point (see example below).

Deadline for applications is 31 May 2020.

For questions please contact a.politopoulos[at]arch.leidenuniv.nl

Example of a vignette

We are at DreamHack Winter 2009 – a massive LAN party – and making our way to our seats for the weekend, lugging our computers with us in a somewhat motley mix of Ikea bags, a suitcase, and assorted backpacks. The panorama in the main hall is extraterrestrial. The view of the room falls into the hands of the light cables, brought and strung up by the players’, that if linked together would light up the leaning tower of Pisa.

Joyful civil order combined with the heady humming of powerful PC’s dominate the human soundscape. A pulsing drumbeat pounds down from the stage. There’s not a Mac in sight. As we walk the minutes it takes from entering the main hall to our seats in row.

Example from: Taylor, T. L., & Witkowski, E. (2010). This is how we play it: What a mega-LAN can teach us about games. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, 195–202.

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