DiGRA 2015

The next major DiGRA conference to take place in European soil will start tomorrow in Lüneburg, Germany. There are several interesting dimensions to this year’s event, including its chosen theme on “Diversity of Play” and the research papers that highlight the multiple phenomena that bound together games, cultures and identities (sometimes in problematic, as well as constructive ways). Myself, I will be e.g. celebrating the original Level Up conference (2003; see the re-opened website), chairing the “From Game Studies to Studies of Play in Society” panel (related to our “Ludification and the Emergence of Playful Culture” research project), and talking about Finnish games and game cultures in the “Video Games Around the World” session (based on a new book of the same title). See you soon in Germany! The conference program is here: http://projects.digital-cultures.net/digra2015/files/2015/05/digra_program_final150504.pdf.

DiGRA 2016

Spreading the word: The School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the 2016 International DiGRA Conference in Dundee, Scotland, tentatively scheduled for August 3 – 6, 2016.

Abertay University is the home of the Europe’s oldest computer games program and the UK’s first university Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education, offering undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in games technology, game design and production management, and computer arts. The city of Dundee has been a major hub for game development since the release of Lemmings in 1991 by DMA – now known as Rockstar North.

Dundee is less than an hour away by train from the city centre of Edinburgh, and the 2016 conference will be held in the week immediately preceding the Edinburgh Festival (including the Fringe), the largest annual cultural festival in the world. Abertay also hosts the Dare Protoplay festival, one of the largest indie games festivals in the UK, and the Dare to be Digital game design competition, which will be held just before the conference.

As a reminder, DiGRA’s 2015 conference will take place 14-17 May 2015 at Lüneburg, Germany. The call for papers is currently open (deadline is January 22, 2015). Further information is available here: http://www.digra2015.org/

CFP: DiGRA 2015

Call for papers: DiGRA 2015

Diversity of play: Games – Cultures – Identities
14-17 May 2015, Lüneburg, Germany
www.digra2015.org

Video game culture has had a self-image of being a distinct cultural form united by participants identifying themselves as ‘gamers’ for many years. Variations in this identity have been perceived either in relation to preferred platform or level of commitment and skill (newbie, casual, core, pro, etc.). Today the popularity of games has increased dramatically, games have become more specialized and gaming is taking place in a number of divergent practices, from e-sport to gamification. In addition, the gamer position includes a number of roles and identities such as: players, learners, time-fillers, users, fans, roleplayers, theory crafters, speed runners, etc. Furthermore, techniques like gamification and game-based learning, as well as the playful use of computer simulation for training purposes, is making it difficult to distinguish games from non-games.

Additionally, video game culture is merging with other forms of popular culture and new mobile technologies are making distinctions between digital and non-digital gaming blurred. Yet, whilst the forms of play seem to have become more diverse, the content of games is often only challenged by independent titles. This is the case despite a maturing audience, some of whom now seem to urge for more diverse themes and representations within games. In the light of increasing criticism of the representations and practices that have dominated much of games culture, it seems that the relationship between the identity of the ‘gamer’ and the content of games is undergoing a change.

Traditionally, game studies has tried to find common ground, seeking shared definitions and epistemologies. DiGRA 2015 seeks to encourage questions about the ‘Diversity of play’, with a focus on the multiple different forms, practices and identities labeled as games and/or game culture. The conference aims to address the challenge of studying and documenting games, gaming and gamers, in a time when these categories are becoming so general and/or contested, that they might risk losing all meaning. Given this, what concepts do we need to develop in order for our research to be cumulative and how do we give justice to the diverse forms of play found in different games and game cultures?

As in the previous year, DiGRA 2015 will accept submissions in five categories: full papers, abstracts, panel, workshops, and events. All submissions will be peer-reviewed using double blind reviewing. In addition, all submissions will receive a meta review and authors of rejected full papers will have the possibility to send a rebuttal if they perceive they have been given biased or uninformed reviewers. The conference welcomes submissions on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Game cultures
  • Games and intersections with other cultural forms
  • Online gaming and communication in game worlds
  • Gender and gaming
  • Games as representation
  • Minority groups and gaming
  • Childhood and gaming
  • The gaming industry and independent games
  • Game journalism
  • Gaming in non-leisure settings
  • Applications of game studies in other domains
  • Gamification
  • System perspectives and mathematical game theory
  • Hybrid games and non-digital games
  • Game design characteristics
  • Technological systems
  • Simulations

Deadlines

  • Submission deadlines 22 January (hard deadline)
  • Acceptance/rejection notification 16 March
  • Rebuttal deadline 19 March
  • Camera ready deadline 14 April

Location & Date

14-17 May 2015

Lüneburg, Germany
At Campus of Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Scharnhorststr. 1
D-21335 Lüneburg
For more information and the latest updates regarding the DiGRA 2015 conference, see www.digra2015.org

Program Chairs
Staffan Björk
Jonas Linderoth

Analog Game Studies

Analog Game Studies (Dice Photo by Dave Ward)
Analog Game Studies (Dice Photo by Dave Ward)

Digital games are not everything there is in games, far from it. There is now a new journal, Analog Game Studies, for all of us interested in board games, table-top role-playing games, card games — I think that actually means most of contemporary game scholars. There has been long-standing discussion that the name of DiGRA should be changed to “GRA” instead (taking “Digital” away from its dominating position of games research), but information technologies sure has been a catalyst for some interesting developments in the field of game cultures, as well as in industry, of course. When there are more dedicated venues of the different forms which games and play are realized in, then we can more clearly see the universals, as well as the particularities, of these specific forms. Link: http://analoggamestudies.org/ .

ToDiGRA: Nordic DiGRA Special Issue

After some technical delays, the special ToDiGRA journal issue based on the Nordic DiGRA 2012 conference best papers is now online. You can find the table of contents below, and the direct link to journal is: http://todigra.org/index.php/todigra/issue/view/2

Transactions of Digital Games Research Association, Vol 1, No 2 (2014)

Special Issue, Selected articles from Nordic DIGRA 2012

Guest editors: Raine Koskimaa, Frans Mäyrä and Jaakko Suominen.

Table of Contents

Special issue, Nordic DIGRA 2012

Introduction: Exploring Nordic Game Research HTML PDF
Raine Koskimaa, Frans Mäyrä, Jaakko Suominen
Digital Materialities and Family Practices: The Gendered, Practical, Aesthetical and Technological Domestication of Play HTML PDF
Jessica Enevold
Player Types: A Meta-synthesis HTML PDF
Juho Hamari, Janne Tuunanen
Player-reported Impediments to Game-based Learning HTML PDF
J. Tuomas Harviainen, Timo Lainema, Eeli Saarinen
A Practical Guide to Using Digital Games as an Experiment Stimulus HTML PDF
Simon Järvelä, Inger Ekman, J. Matias Kivikangas, Niklas Ravaja
Should I stay or should I go? A Study of Pickup Groups in Left 4 Dead 2 HTML PDF
Jonas Linderoth, Staffan Björk, Camilla Olsson
In Defence of a Magic Circle: The Social, Mental and Cultural Boundaries of Play HTML PDF
Jaakko Stenros

Extension: DiGRA 2014 CFP

(Please spread) In an attempt to accommodate requests by DiGRA members, we are extending the Call for Participation. We will be accepting papers, abstracts, panels, and additional submissions, see below, until February 24th.

DiGRA 2014 is being hosted by the University of Utah’s EAE program and will be held in the Wasatch Mountains at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort from August 3rd-6th. The location is scenic, secluded, economical, and within easy access of Salt Lake City’s International Airport. We believe it offers a unique setting in which to explore games, and the blanks in games research.

To such end the theme of DiGRA 2014 is a phrasal template: <Verb that ends in ‘ing’> the <noun> of Game <plural noun>

For DiGRA’s 2014 Conference we playfully emphasize work that explores non-traditional questions, peers between the cracks of areas that are starting to become well-worn, and revisits old themes from new perspectives. In other words, what has been overlooked or otherwise not given the care and respect it deserves? A Mad Lib is a word game in which one player asks another for nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech with little or no context. They then proceed to fill in the blanks of a phrasal template to often humorous and sometimes profound results. As game scholars we have worked hard to figure out what were the most important blanks. However, at this, the seventh DiGRA conference, we invite you to point out the blanks that have yet to be filled. Your answers to our Mad Lib theme could highlight the profound, sublime, or humorous. We encourage you to trying working the theme into the title of your work.

Conference Website:  http://digra2014.eae.utah.edu/

TRACKS
———-

DiGRA aims at being a venue for game research from all research disciplines. In line with this, it accepts and encourages submissions on a wide range of subjects including but not limited to:

•    Game design: design techniques, practices, methods, post mortems, etc.
•    Game criticism and analysis: close readings, ontologies and frameworks, historical studies, philosophical explorations, and other humanities-informed approaches
•    Play studies: studies of play, observations and interviews of players, and research based on other methods from the social sciences
•    Game technology and production: case studies of experimental game technologies, evaluations of existing systems, and studies of game production processes
•    Applications and uses of games: inquires in serious, documentary games, games for health, gamification, games education, teaching and learning.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the DiGRA conference, authors and reviewers alike will be required to describe their research background and field of study. The intention for this is to help reviewers be conscious of when they are reviewing work outside their own field as well as making clear the proportions of contributing fields.

For more information, visit the conference website: http://digra2014.eae.utah.edu/

Formats
———–

Submit a paper or an abstract?

DiGRA 2014 supports two different categories for submitting research; full papers (no more than 16 pages) and abstracts (up to 1000 words including references). The structure reflects the cross-disciplinary nature and different conference traditions of the conference attendants. A full paper submission is recommended for completed research work, in particular empirical or technical work. The abstract format is suitable for discussion topics and ideas. Both papers and abstracts are subject to a double-blind review process, and get equal time for presentation and discussion during the conference.

Accepted full-length submissions will be uploaded into the DiGRA digital library after the conference. Both papers and abstracts will be available from the conference web site, and authors of abstracts may submit a full-length text. Do however note that abstracts, and full-length texts written post conference will not be uploaded to the DiGRA digital library. Finally, both selected articles and full-length texts may be invited for re-publication in the DiGRA journal ToDiGRA.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES
———————————

Submissions site: https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=digra2014

Full papers:
•    No more than 16 pages
•    Will be published on the conference website
•    Will be published in the DiGRA digital library
•    Submission template: here
•    Submission deadline: February 24, 2014
•    Notifications of decisions: March 21, 2014
•    Rebuttal deadline: April 1, 2014
•    Notifications of final decisions: April 15, 2014
•    Revised submission deadline: May 15, 2014 (camera ready)

Abstracts:
•    No more than 1000 words, including references
•    Will be published on the conference website
•    Will not be published in the DiGRA digital library
•    Submission deadline: February 24, 2014
•    Notifications of decision: March 21, 2014
•    Full text submission deadline: May 15, 2014

Panels:
•    Proposal: no more than 1000 words, including references
•    Will not be published in the DiGRA digital library
•    Submission deadline: January 31, 2014
•    Notifications of decision: March 21, 2014
•    Full text submission deadline: May 15, 2014

Workshops:
•    Proposal: no more than 1000 words, including references
•    Indicate full or half day (Workshops will take place August 3, 2014)
•    Contact details of organizing committee
•    Will not be published in the DiGRA digital library
•    Submission deadline: February 24, 2014
•    Notifications of decision: March 21, 2014
•    Full text submission deadline: May 15, 2014

Conference event submissions, filling in the blanks of DiGRA 2014:

DiGRA 2014 understands that no call can accommodate all types of research. We believe that there is excellent research and scholarship happening in the spaces between the formats we traditionally offer. We are happy to consider submissions not listed above, for example tutorials, performances, or an experimental session. Many participants in the past have asked, “why don’t they do a blank” at DiGRA. This is an invitation to fill in the blank.

A conference event proposal can be at most 1000 words long and should provide justification for the event, describe the required time and resources, and provide names and backgrounds of the organisers.

•    Submission deadline: February 24, 2014
•    Notifications of decision: March 1, 2014

Submissions to conference events
For conference events that issue their own calls, deadlines should conform to this schedule.
•    Events Submission deadline: April 15, 2014
•    Events Notification date: May 15, 2014

Program Chairs
———————
•    Staffan Björk, University of Gothenburg, Sweden (staffan.bjork@gu.se)
•    Annika Waern, University of Uppsala, Sweden (annika.waern@im.uu.se)

Conference Chairs
————————-
•    Roger Altizer, University of Utah, USA (roger.altizer@utah.edu)
•    Jose Zagal, University of Utah, USA (jose.zagal@utah.edu)

Program Committee
—————————-
TBA

Venue
——–
Snowbird, Utah – http://www.snowbirdmeetings.com/

CFP: Nordic Digra 2014

Petri Lankoski

Games are becoming more and more pervasive in our everyday life. Gamification and game-based learning are research topics that are blooming. Games are also used in electioneering.

We invite submission for full papers and for workshops. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

– gamification
– games in society
– games and learning
– games as propaganda
– persuasive games
– games in teaching
– critical stances to gamification and game-based learning

IMPORTANT DATES
– Full paper submission and workshop proposals March 30, 2014
– Notification of acceptance: April 25, 2014
– Camera ready May 18, 2014
– Conference: May 29-30, 2014

SUBMISSIONS

Papers submitted are subject to peer review.

Long papers should be 8 to 12 pages in Digra format (http://todigra.org/public/journals/1/DiGRAJournalPublicationFormat.dotx) . For detailed information see Submission page. Selected papers will be published in conference site as well as at Digital Library of Digital Game…

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