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[Commlist] CFP: Ante-Conference: Games + Communication

Wed Jan 30 00:10:24 GMT 2019

CFP for Ante-Conference: Games + Communication
Deadline Extended: February 7
Day Long Conference Friday, May 24 (the day before ICA, 2019).

The ICA Game Studies Division and American University (AU) request proposals for papers, unusual panels and demos for a one-day conference in Washington, DC on the intersection of games, research in the field of communication, policy, and innovative methods.

We have received a diverse and interesting set of proposals! However, in order to fully embrace the numerous types of submissions suggested for the conference, we have decided to extend our submission period for one week beyond the deadline to Feb. 7, 2019.

Use this extra week as an excuse to propose a bold, innovative and provocative project that tackles the intimate and important relationship between games, game studies and communication. Think of this conference as both testing ground and means to reflect on the fundamental relationship between this medium and field.

Find out more about the conference at: and see below for our submission types and further information:

Submission Types
OPTION A: more traditional, including:

Research Reports and Theoretical Papers submitted as Extended Abstracts of 500 – 1200 words. Each proposal should contain a (1) brief description of the research gap and theoretical background, (2) research questions, (3) methodological approach, (4) progress and anticipated implications. Submissions are not required to provide full results in cases of ongoing data collection, but presenters are expected to present their findings at the conference. Make sure to give a sense of your progress so far, and why you are likely to have something provocative or useful by late spring. Traditional papers will be given less priority than those clearly stating why they should be discussed outside a traditional conference (e.g., thorny issues about how to frame a particular finding may be more interesting than basic learning gains from a game).

Panel Proposals are to be submitted as Extended Abstracts of 500 – 1200 words. Each panel proposal should consist of (1) abstract of the core ideas the panel desires to address, (2) a rationale for the panel, and (3) a brief overview of individual topics covered. Non-traditional panels, or those relevant to the topics below are encouraged to apply. Evidence of high-quality speaking/speakers is recommended.

Word counts do not include citations, tables and other ancillary material.

OPTION B: innovative and provocative formats, especially as alternatives to the traditional structures of academic conferences:

Hall of Meaningful Failure: We invite studies from scholars that should have worked – but didn’t. This format is meant to encourage scholars to view their research as being iterative and building upon itself, like a well-designed game. Or perhaps to warn of a pitfall that more game scholars should be aware of and avoid at all costs. Send a 500 – 1200 word proposal of what you will discuss. Indicate if you would like “no recordings” and for attendees to avoid public discussion to make for a safer space for honest discussion.

Implications for Policy or Funding: These 1000 – 1200 word papers translate a recent publication in games or related research into clear recommendations (bullet points) for what policy makers should do differently, based on the insights of the paper. The source paper should not be your own, or your team’s work. Be as specific as possible about the funding agency or policy unit that should respond.

University Studios: What have university-led studios with external clients or earned revenue models learned about making games, and how can they improve? Grant-funded labs could also share findings, so long as they can address how to balance the relationship with the funder in the making and distribution process. Submit a 1000 – 1200 word paper, ideally comparing your studio or lab with at least one other institution or model.

Methods that Break Play: How is studying games different from other fields of communication? Send a 500 – 1200 word abstract. Do we need to tweak any established methods in order to study games well?

Design Principles: These 500 – 1200 word abstracts will directly address how game studies scholarship can affect design. Each principle or “mini-theory” for design should be posited and defended, such as “friends lists should be ranked by recency.” Such principles are needed so that designers can act on research findings.

Playful Societies: These 500 – 1200 word abstracts reflect on how playful practices are migrating out of games. This might include activities like cheating or the subversion of norms and rules, as well as how playful attitudes persist after the game is over. Papers can also provide recommendations and ideas of how to bridge from games into other domains and activities.

Well-Played-with-a-Theory: We invite 500 – 750 word proposals that bring audiences through a bit of real game play, either commercial or serious games, with a twist; the talks must highlight a key theory that is becoming more prevalent in game studies. We also ask game developers to submit under this heading utilizing gameplay from their own games. Ideally you should be ready to bring whatever console or adapters necessary to show live gameplay.

The Wrong Term: What’s a word that game scholars should cease using, or be using differently? Submit 250 – 500 word abstracts for presentations that will comprise “micro-talks” lasting no more than 10 minutes, followed by plenty of debate. Demo (showcase): 250-500 word abstract, including the current status of the project and readiness of the demo. We plan to show demos during the lunch hour or evening reception in a parallel format.  Priority will be given to games that are used to test a research idea or apply a research finding in a novel way that advances our understanding of the connection between research and practice.

Word counts do not include citations, tables and other ancillary material.

Hints, Selection Process and Curatorial Approach

To maximize quality with such fluid and unusual categories, the chairs will curate this event.  Our goal is to make the day provocative and satisfying as an experience, not necessarily to represent all categories equally or in proportion to the number of submissions.

Our main advice is to craft proposals that you find personally interesting and think your peers would find provocative with implications for the field or future research.

We expect the tone of the conference to be reflective, with plenty of time for questions and discussion. It will likely have one keynote speaker, include an arcade that will showcase demonstration games (see above), and a networking reception.

For relevant submissions (particularly Demos), screenshots, images, or other visuals are strongly encouraged to allow reviewers to better understand games/projects.
How to Submit

Please email all submissions and questions to Maxwell Foxman ((mfoxman /at/

In the title of your email include the submission type under which you are presenting. As an example: For someone submitting under the “Well-Played Theory,” the subject line should read: WELL-PLAYED THEORY: [Title of Submission]

Submissions should include authors’ names, institutions and titles. Where appropriate, submissions will be anonymized by the organizers (i.e., you do not need to remove your name) and reviewed by a panel of international scholars.

Important Dates
Deadline for submissions: February 7, 2019 at 11:59pm EST.
Notification of Acceptance: February 22, 2019. (Speakers are expected to register within a week of their notification of acceptance so we can finalize the public program.) Be notified! Email us if you would like to be notified when the registration page goes up in February
Conference Committee:
Chair: Maxwell Foxman, University of Oregon
Co-Chair: Benjamin Stokes, American University
Advisor: Rabindra Ratan, Michigan State University

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