Friday, November 02, 2001

Some Calls for Papers and links to conferences

International Workshop on Entertainment Computing, Japan May 14-17 2002

The Communication Technology section of IAMCR, Barcelona July 21-27 2002


APRIL 5-7, 2002
Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition,
University of Manchester
Manchester, England

Deadline for submissions: Friday, December 21, 2001.

Computer games have now been taking up room in people's homes for over twenty-five years. The mid-seventies fad for the black and white block graphics of Pong has turned into an industry worth over $6 billion in the USA alone. The new generation of consoles along with the almost frenetic development in graphic and CPU technologies for PCs demonstrates a time of great technological innovation for gaming technology and this is reinforced by the growing importance of new methods of gaming-related retail such as web-based e-commerce and interactive digital television. Further, gamers are becoming increasingly organised and professionalised through growing consumer gaming exhibitions, national and international gaming competitions and arenas such as LAN parties and online gaming.

At this rapidly moving point in the gaming industry the ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC) will be hosting a conference of computer gaming, gamers and the gaming industry on the 5th-7th April 2002 at The University of Manchester.

Bringing together researchers from sociology, psychology, games design, cultural studies, economics, management and other disciplines, along with members from various sectors of the gaming industry such as developers, publishers and retail the central aims of the conference are:

* To provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas, information and analysis on the gaming industry and gamer research

* To foster research links between academic research and the gaming industry and develop new networks of research activity

* To offer students a supportive environment for sharing and developing their idea with more established researchers

* To facilitate dissemination of work produced for the conference in printed and electronic format

The organisers welcome submissions from any discipline, as well as work from those producing games and other leisure-orientated new media or working within associated industries. Panel presentations which establish connections across disciplines, institutions and/or continents are especially encouraged.

We invite paper, presentation, and panel proposals on, but not restricted to, the following areas:

Gamers as producers
Gaming communities
Ethnographies of gamers
Gender differences

Gaming Industries:
Organisational culture
E-commerce and bricks & mortar retail
Market values and sectors
Strategic alliances

Gaming Effects:
Gaming and health
Gaming and development
Games software in education

Gaming technologies:
Technological convergence
Avatars and AI
Console wars
Gaming via WAP, WED and dTV

Textual analysis
Gender in games
Constructing gameplay
Character and narrative
Gaming history

Legal Aspects:
Software piracy
Game certification
IPR and copyright
Gamers as a consumer market

Individual paper and presentation proposals should be no more than 500 words. For panel proposals, the session organiser should submit a 250 word description of the panel topic along with abstracts of up to 500 words for each paper or presentation in the panel.

Abstracts and proposals should be submitted electronically to in RTF, Word or PDF format or sent to:

Jason Rutter
ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition,
The University of Manchester,
Ground Floor, Devonshire House,
Oxford Road,
M13 9QH
PH: +44 (0) 161 275 6859

Deadline for abstracts: Friday, December 21, 2001.
Accepted authors notified: Friday January 21, 2002


Call for Papers

Consortium for Computing in the Humanities (COCH-COSH)
Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE)
2002 Annual Meeting at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities
May 26-28, 2002
University of Toronto / Ryerson Polytechnic


Theorizing Computer Games: Do We Need a New Theory?

Although late to the scene, scholars have begun defining approaches to computer game scholarship, the most common being rooted in studies of narrative, cinema, and dramatic performance. As promising as these perspectives are, Espen Aarseth cautions against the oft-repeated mistake he finds in many recent approaches to digital media:
the race is on to conquer and colonize these new territories for our existing paradigms and theories, often in the form of "the theoretical perspectives of is clearly really a prediction/description of ." (Aarseth, 1999, 31 & 32)

This joint session between COCH/COSH and ACCUTE will address the problem--if, in fact, there is a problem--with theorizing computer games from perspectives used to explain narrative, cinema, and dramatic performance. If theoretical perspectives for analyzing non-digitally interactive forms of art and culture potentially represent computer games as something they are not, then what are the new questions we must ask about computer games that require new paradigms and theories? What is there about computer games that make them so different from other forms of culture that they need their own theory? Can computer games be understood in terms of narrative, cinema, or dramatic performance? Or does their use of character, plot, time, space, interactivity, user-initiated sequencing, subject positioning, special effects, and new computer technologies require a new theory of computer games?

Proposals for presentations are invited that address these and other questions related to the theorization of computer games.

Submit by e-mail or snail mail a full paper or 500 word abstract plus a short bio and CV by December 15 to:

Andrew Mactavish
McMaster University
School of the Arts
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario CANADA L8S 4M2

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