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[Commlist] CfP: Fictional worlds, what-ifs and surroundings - DiGRA 2020 Workshop

Mon Jan 13 12:01:26 GMT 2020

*Call for abstract *
*Workshop "Fictional worlds, what-ifs and surroundings” *
* *
/A half-day workshop held as part of DiGRA 2020
2 June 2020, Tampere, Finland
The starting point will be asking ourself "What if…?”

Games inherently deal with exploring alternative worlds. Worlds where we suspend our disbelief for experiencing other roles, being open towards possibilities. But what about play for stimulating designers towards more responsible, aware, inclusive and diversity oriented processes of envisioning, speculation, creation? And what about embedding reflections on the complex challenges we face today, tomorrow, or in the long run?

Today we are witnessing an increasing utilization of game design as an approach for addressing issues that cannot be easily reduced or solved, but are rather complex matters of investigation (Schouten et al. 2017) or even “wicked problems” (Buchanan 1985; 1992; Sicart 2010; Bosman 2019).  As a matter of fact, it is getting more and more frequent to run into games designed for empowering people to explore scenarios representing possible, plausible, or simply alternative presents, but also to speculate about preferable, probable or even undesirable futures (Coulton et al. 2016). From digital games and interactive narratives, to LARP and board games, the field is becoming populated of compelling practices, showing a consistent interest. In parallel, also the literature stream on the topic is increasing, reinforcing how games can be a powerful and engaging medium for speculation.

/Being situated in the trend of future-oriented design practices, where fictional worlds, what-ifs and their surroundings nurture design, we invite DiGRA participants to join us for an experience of playful speculation!/
/In the workshop we will introduce a meta-design game—or better a playful meta-design tool—aimed at supporting practices of envisioning and framing possible futures.

*The workshop is held on Tuesday June 2nd, in conjunction with the 2020 DiGRA conference in Tampere, Finland.
It is structured into two main activities.
1. Participants will be invited to play with a meta-design game that aims at envisioning and speculating about the future(s). The objective is to play for building fictional worlds as scenarios that explore possibilities, options, what-ifs. Fictional worlds where to discuss and untangle relevant and challenging topics. 2. Capitalizing on the various possible backgrounds and expertise of the participants, the play activity will be followed by a research phase. Participants will be asked to exchange opinions and join us in a co-design activity, aiming at further improving practices of game-based speculations.
The "Fictional worlds, what-ifs and surroundings" workshop focuses on the extension and application of game practices for speculate about our future, in a way that it can include the design activity itself.

*We are calling for extended abstract (max 1000 words + references) dealing with fictional worlds, speculation and games, to various extents.

Extended abstracts can be submitted using EasyChair at: * *

Submissions will undergo a blind peer review process.

The selection will consider quality and relevance to the workshop, taking into account a *future publication* presenting mature, complete research,* as an edited volume or a special issue*.

The workshop invites contributions exploring topics as the following, but are not limited to:
• Games and Game Design as a way for speculating
• Storytelling and roleplaying feeding speculation and envisioning
• Practical and theoretical intersections between games, Critical and Speculative Design, and other disciplines
• Playful practices for thinking about what-ifs and possibilities
• Games and Game Design as a way for rethinking ideas about Design
• Practical and theoretical collisions between game design and design research This workshop is part of an ongoing study that follows a research-through-game-design approach that broadly relies on the potentialities of interdisciplinarity, which shares a Game Studies and Game Design background, and reaches out to wide-ranging complementary, neighboring knowledge. Besides scholars and practitioners dealing with game studies, design and criticism, we particularly welcome cross-disciplinary experts in sociology, philosophy, education, and computer science (just to name a few).

Abstract submission: 12 February 2020
*Notification to authors: 18 February 2020
Workshop Date: 2 June 2020

At least one author of each accepted contribution should attend the workshop and register to the DiGRA 2020 conference <>

Ilaria Mariani, Research Fellow at the Department of Design and Adjunct Professor at the School of Design, Politecnico di Milano Davide Spallazzo, Assistant Professor at the Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano Judith Ackermann, Full Professor of Digital Media in Social Work, Potsdam University of Applied Sciences Gabriele Ferri, Design Researcher at Play and Civic Media, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

*Conference website
Submission link
*Questions about the submission and request of information about the workshop should be emailed to Ilaria Mariani at ilaria1(dot)mariani(at)polimi(dot)it

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