Video Game Cultures 2024: The Other Conference

12-14 September 2024 / Birmingham City University (UK)

Drawing on threads emerging from last year’s Video Game Cultures conference in Klagenfurt, the theme for this year’s conference is other in all its permutations: other, others, othered, othering, otherness, and beyond. We seek to centre marginal practices, marginal identities, peripheral national traditions, and consider researcher positionality in/as other. Let us reflect on other spaces and sites of gaming, discuss other approaches and methods to studying games, players, and gaming cultures. What can we learn from (or about) other researcher practices, other player practices, other design and industrial practices? How do video games create or recognise difference, what does alternative embodiment look or feel like, and what worlds are possible in games?

Video Game Cultures 2024 will therefore investigate various ways in which video game cultures, technologies, practices, communities, paratexts and genres develop within the framework of five thematic tracks. As digital games encompass an expanding range of highly complex and variant phenomena, this often leads to an overlap of issues across themes, so we are inviting participants of all backgrounds (academic, developer, producer, player, fan etc.) to submit proposals to this interdisciplinary event.

Participants are encouraged to think broadly within and across thematic tracks, and submissions can address topics and questions relevant to games such as, but not limited to:

  • Narrative and History: Histories and historical narratives. Historical practices of developers and players. Time and textuality. Creation and analysis of interactive narrative media. Intertextual and comparative perspectives. Adaptation and media exchange.
  • Gender and Sexuality: Player demographics. Representation and identity. Love, romance, desire, and/or sexuality in videogames. Gender socialization and young players. Sexual harassment in virtual environments. Gender and sexual politics in the industry.
  • Ethics and Affect: The affective turn in game studies and design. Ethics of design and experience. Roles of affect and emotion in play. The role of agency. Games as (dis-)empowerment. Affective and emotional design. Fan engagement and -cultures.
  • Hardware and Space: Inventions in gaming and their socio-cultural impact. Processing power correlating to video game history. Control, input devices and movement. Virtual reality devices and gaming cultures. The future of immersion and embodiment.
  • Ludification and Simulation: Gameplay models beyond video game studies. Playful elements in non-gaming applications. Economic, social sciences, healthcare applications of ludic activity. Playful elements on users in serious applications.

We welcome approaches to these areas that consider video games as text and/or experience, that approach the areas from the designer’s perspective, and/or that consider cultures of video gaming.

We encourage the submission of proposals for academic papers, short workshops, practitioner-based activities, best practice showcases, how-to sessions, live demonstrations, performances, and pre-formed panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings, photographic essays, installations, interactive talks, and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.       

What to send:

300-word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Tuesday 30 April 2024. All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Video Game Cultures Advisory Board. In practice, by the time a proposal is accepted, typically it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision on or by Friday 14 June 2024.

All abstracts must be submitted via openconf: https://videogamecultures.org/conference/

Ethos

This event is designed to be an inclusive academic research and publishing project. It aims to bring people together from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. Currently, we therefore plan for a fully on-campus conference and remain keenly aware of the potential necessity for hybrid or online modes of participation.

We believe it is a mark of personal courtesy to and professional respect for your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the conference and participate in all presentations. While limited options for hybrid participation can be made available, the main intention of Video Game Cultures 2024 is to create a personal, in-presence experience for its participants and to facilitate community building. Please consider this carefully when submitting an abstract for presentation.

All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hardcopy volume.