Ruben Vandenplas

Researcher

Personal Description

My hobbies and interests have always revolved around media in some form or another. When its gravity eventually pulled me in, I was hooked. During my studies in Communication Sciences, I explored various aspects related to media, such as representation, political economy, and parasocial interaction. However, the common thread binding it all together was gaming. As such, even though my interests have since shifted towards media and digital participation in the broader sense as part of the Knowledge Center Culture and Media Participation, video game studies still hold a special place in my heart.

A year after graduating at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Communication Studies, I returned to the VUB in August 2016, when I joined SMIT and got the opportunity to work on a wide variety of subjects including a study on the Flemish Video Game industry. A welcome subject, considering I spent most of my studies peering over books and research about video games and player experiences. However, in February 2017, I took the opportunity to start a PhD in media studies. Since then, my research has been focused on media and digital participation, where I seek to explore the various media repertoires users assemble and how these are connected to their daily lives.