Workshops

Workshops are organized on 2.6.2020. Rest of the timetables will be announced later.

Application deadline: 14th February 2020

Confirmation of participation: 18th February 2020

Cultured Games and Bildning: Designing Gameplay for the Museal Experience and Cultural Heritage

Coordinators: Fredrik Trella, Gabriella di Feola, László Sall Vesselényi

The workshop consists of both a seminar and a practical part, and is open to anyone involved or interested in games, museology and cultural heritage.

What’s bildning and how does it relate to games and cultural heritage? Bildning is considered relevant e.g. in the context of Swedish musea and can be a tool for our understanding, by helping us to navigate and understand our world. Different cultural expressions affect the content and shape of museum exhibitions, and games have been used to explore cultural heritage in different contexts, also in museums. What is relevant to explore and develop in the relationship between the museum, bildning and games?

Please contact: fredrik.trella@ri.se

Fictional Worlds, What-ifs and Surroundings

Time: 9.30-12.30

Coordinators: Ilaria Mariani, Davide Spallazzo, Gabriele Ferri, Judith Ackermann

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?

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.

Contact: Ilaria Mariani ilaria1.mariani@polimi.it

Games & Blockchain

Time: 14.00-17.00

Coordinators: Alesja Serada, Tanja Sihvonen

Today’s cryptocurrency markets are often characterized as ‘Bitcoin games’ or ‘money games’, and some authors even connect the birth of Bitcoin to the birth of ludology. It can be argued that blockchain-based games were long foreseen in game studies, for example, as the fair ‘ethical games’ of Miguel Sicart, or in the libertarian synthetic worlds of Edward Castronova. The new genre of ‘crypto games’, started in 2017 with Cryptopunks and CryptoKitties, embodies further gamification of blockchain technologies, already realized in a wealth of crypto gambling and betting apps and sites. Both scholars who study cryptocurrency-based games and those who want to learn more about blockchain and the new digital economies are welcome to attend our workshop!

If any questions arise, please contact the Workshop Committee at games.and.scholars @ gmail.com.

Location-Based Games

Time: 10.00-16.30

Coordinators: Dale Leorke

This workshop aims to address the recent shifts and ongoing developments in location-based game design and players’ experiences with them, mapping the state-of-the-art of interdisciplinary research on the topic and identifying research gaps, trends and challenges for future research. Bringing together both leading and emerging researchers, the workshop will be an occasion for networking and collaboration and for consolidating a world-wide Special Interest Group.

The workshop will be articulated in two parts: in the first half selected participants will be invited to propose short 10-15 minute presentations. The second half of the workshop will focus on further dialogue between participants, with 3 smaller groups dedicated to hands-on activities organized around the topics of “Publication”, “Ethnography” and “Design”.

To participate, please complete this short registration form: https://forms.gle/4t5gxxzaBxZ5pBzn6

Please contact: dale.leorke@tuni.fi

Ludic Unreliability

Time: 9.30-13.30

Coordinators: Jonne Arjoranta, Raine Koskimaa, Agata Waszkiewicz

Unreliability in literature and videogames is often considered in the context of a personalized narrator. Recently, however, some researchers have begun researching unreliability more generally, but little attention has been so far devoted to the idea of ludic unreliability. Thus, the goal of the workshop is to consider what it would mean for a game to be un/reliable in the ludic sense and how would it manifest. The workshop will be structured around discussion of case studies. Participants are requested to provide short biographical information, explaining their research interests and their level of knowledge about covered topics, as well as 2-3 examples of games they consider fitting the criteria of ludic unreliability (with no more than 120 words of explanation for the choice). 

Please send your submissions to agata.anna.waszkiewicz@gmail.com

Morality Play

Coordinators: Malcom Ryan, Paul Formosa

Morality Play 2020 is a workshop on empathy and ethics at play. Games and simulations offer unique opportunities to explore difficult questions of morality first-hand, and to put ourselves into other people’s shoes and experience the challenges they face. Moral themes can be explored for advocacy and education, or merely for enjoyment of the drama they create. We invite papers experimenting with the design of games for moral engagement, critiquing moral themes in existing works, empirically examining the nature of moral engagement in gameplay, or discussing the philosophical and psychological significance of (im)moral play.

Contact: Malcom Ryan Malcom.ryan@mq.edu.au

The State of the Avatar

Coordinators: Ea Christina Willumsen, Danial Vella

The study of avatars and related phenomena (player figures, playable characters, etc.) is continuously expanded as scholars dive deeper into the configurations of interaction with and within digital games and the worlds they project. The topic has been approached from a variety of perspectives, from phenomenology to game design, psychology and the social sciences. The workshop will bring together researchers interested in exploring the avatar, to examine, compare, and debate the uses and applications of different approaches, to consider how the game studies community may best handle the present challenges to avatar theory, and to discuss whether and how the term can productively be used in future work in game studies.

Contact daniel.m.vella@um.edu.mt or ea.willumsen@uib.no for more information and full CFP.

Urban Play and the Playable City

Coordinators: Yoram Chisek, Anton Nijholt, Mattia Thibault

In this full-day workshop we aim to compare and contrast the various forms of play that occur in urban environments from simple hide and seek games to augmented reality games, i.e. urban installations or environments in which the sensors, actuators and digital communication networks that form the backbone of smart city infrastructure are used to create novel interfaces and interventions intended to inject fun and playfulness into the urban environment both as a simple source of pleasure and as a means of facilitating and fostering urban and social interactions while exploring current innovations and the future potential of the ideas and technologies involved with the intent of producing an edited volume of the collected articles and ideas. For further information see: https://sites.google.com/view/theplayablecity/home

Playing with Democracy

Coordinators: Anna Szilágyi-Nagy, Marta Brković Dodig

Are you enthusiastic, sceptic, critical or simply curious about how games work in democratic planning and design processes? If so, join the PECHA KUCHA session, share or listen to inspiring stories and be ready to develop an agenda for a better practice in involving citizens into making, implementing and monitoring decisions about the future of their surroundings. In the subsequent GAME JAM, you get the chance to practice critical game design. You will play the dialogue-based live board game ‘Urbanity’ and experiment with the influence of various democratic values – liberal, participatory, representative democracy, etc. – on the game.

For more information and applications as Speaker, Player or Participant click here.

Note: PECHA KUCHA Speakers are asked to upload a 500-word summary of their talks. GAME JAM is limited to 18 Participants.

Contact Anna for more information: szilagyi-nagy.anna@kulturaktiv.hu

Post-digital Hybrid Play in Tabletop Gaming

Coordinators: Ville Kankainen, Melissa Rogerson, Janne Paavilainen

In this full-day workshop, we will discuss the multitude of technologies and cultural and social practices that merge together in the post-digital landscape of tabletop gaming, bringing forth new kinds of hybrid experiences. The aim is to identify key factors, future trends and emerging theories that help in understanding the messy nature of post-digital hybrid play in tabletop gaming.

This workshop has two parts, first the participants will briefly present their research interests. After this we will conduct an academic paper jam, format derived from game jams, where we will draft abstracts for research papers on the topic.

More information and submission guidelines on the website: https://postdigitaltabletopgames.wordpress.com/

Methods for Game Historiography. Towards a New Game History

Organized and curated by Riccardo Fassone, Maria B. Garda, Jaakko Suominen, Jaroslav Švelch

In recent years, a number of contributions have articulated the necessity of diversifying the objects, approaches, and methods of game historiography with the intent of offering more inclusive and accurate histories. 

This burgeoning field of studies, which can be described as a veritable new game history, may benefit from the construction of a shared set of methodological tools, that may help scholars navigate the variety of approaches that characterize contemporary game historiography. 

This workshop will bring together historians, archivists, and scholars working on the reconstruction of game histories, and ask them to share their methods and discuss the advantages and shortcomings of their approaches. This workshop will constitute a collegial gathering for game historians and will offer participating scholars both a forum for free discussion and an opportunity to develop a shared methodological framework.

Contact Riccardo Fassone for more information: riccardo.fassone@unito.it

MMA Jam

Time: 14.00-17.00

Organizers: Hartmut Koenitz, Mirjam Eladhari, Christian Roth, Rene Glass, Jasper Van Vught, Annakaisa Kultima

Our understanding of a game might be very different depending on the chosen framework for analysis (Lankoski and Björk 2015). It seems therefore clear that a combination of lenses will yield additional insights. We propose a multi-method analysis (MMA) of games as a way to gain a broader understanding and overcome the limitations inherent in individual analytical methods. This half-day workshop introduces a new format, the ‘analysis jam’ (MMA Jam), as a structure to create MMAs. Researchers will work in groups and use a distinct method for analysis. In a second round, the results will be compared and evaluated. The resulting MMAs results will be made publicly available in a wiki.

Contact: Hartmut Koenitz at hartmut.koenitz@hku.nl

Politicizing Agency in Videogames after Humanism

Organisers: Aleena Chia (Simon Fraser University), Paolo Ruffino (University of Liverpool)

Agency is a fundamental keyword in game studies. Drawing from media and cultural studies, the humanistic study of games has adopted normative frameworks that divide audiences into active and passive, in order to evaluate players’ power over and participation within architected environments. Agency is, however, at an inflection point in the cognate fields of critical theory and media studies. This workshop intends to challenge the ways in which agency has been understood in game studies. It will deploy theories and consider methods to politicize ways of conceptualizing, designing, and organizing games for agency beyond human centrism.

Contact: Paolo Ruffino p.ruffino@liverpool.ac.uk

Gamer Practices and Habits

Coordinators: Anne Mette Thorhauge, Milan Jaćević, Andreas Gregersen, Stinne Gunder Strøm Krogager, Claus Toft-Nielsen, and Feng Zhu.

This workshop brings social theory and game studies closer together. The concepts of ‘practice’ and ‘habitus’ are grounded in social theory and help us to consider gameplay patterns within a broader framework of theories dealing with everyday habits and routines, together with how these form us as subjects. We aim to facilitate an interdisciplinary exchange on various kinds of gameplay practices, how the practices that arise from some games can shape those of others, and how they are shaped by practices outside of games. In particular, we will consider the ways in which these practices give rise to enduring ‘dispositions’ or ‘habitus’ (Bourdieu, 1977 [1972]) amongst the players.

Please contact feng.zhu@kcl.ac.uk for more information.

Playing with National Game Histories: A ‘Making Data Playable’ Workshop

Coordinators: Stefan Werning, Jasper van Vught, Rene Glas, Annakasia Kultima, Jaakko Suominen

In this workshop we explore the role game co-creation can play in studying national game cultures. We demonstrate game co-creation using tools like Nandeck to “make data playable”, i.e. participants will playfully engage with and (re-)interpret game-historical datasets from different cultural contexts. Based on this methodological foundation, we discuss epistemic patterns in national game histories, how to explore the similarities and discrepancies between these often marginalized histories using practice-based game research, as well as how to harness them as an alternative repository for cultural identity formation. Participants will contribute their own perspectives on game history, preservation and game design-as-research; furthermore, we seek to extend our existing consortium for a planned EU/cultural heritage grant application on the topic.

Contact: s.werning@uu.nl

Games Citation

Time: 09.30-12.30

Coordinators: Stefano Gualeni and Paul Martin

There is currently no consensus on how academics should cite games, and this lack of consensus has negative implications for game scholarship. The objective of this workshop is to consult with game scholars, publishers and editors on what would constitute an appropriate method for citing games in academic writing. The workshop will build on Gualeni, Fassone and Linderoth’s 2019 DiGRA paper on game citation, offering game scholars an opportunity to discuss principles that should inform the development of a citation standard and technical details involved in creating the standard. Results of the discussion will be used to develop a game citation standard which could then be implemented by editors of journals, books, and proceedings and be included in citation standards such as APA, Harvard and MLA.

Contact email: paul.martin@nottingham.edu.cn

Fostering Inclusion in Collegiate Esports Clubs

Time: 14.00-17.00

Coordinators: Johanna Brewer and Morgan Romine

During this hands-on workshop, we will share actionable techniques and tailored tools that educators can use to ensure diversity and inclusion are at the core of the collegiate esports programs they oversee. Stepping through the 12 best practices identified within AnyKey’s recently released white paper, this workshop will equip attendees with the necessary skills and practical resources to manage their campus esports programs in a way that prioritizes student well-being and development. Attendees will also receive training to prepare them to administer AnyKey’s newly developed Inclusion 101, a contemporary curriculum for collegiate gaming clubs. To participate we ask attendees submit a 500 word proposal with a brief bio, a summary of learning objectives, and a statement highlighting recent challenges you have faced and/or experiences you propose to share to johanna@anykey.org.