IN-BETWEENNESS OF PLAY

April 11-13, 2024

Staffordshire University London Digital Institute

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Here East, London E20 3BS

In-Person Registration

If you plan on joining us on campus, the registration window is open now. You can access it by clicking here.

Online Registration

If you plan on presenting online, please confirm your attendance by filling out this form.

If you are not presenting, but would like to attend online please confirm your attendance by filling out this form.  

Schedule

A full conference schedule can be accessed here.  

Directions

Staffordshire University London is based at Here East, set within the grounds of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

We are within easy walking distance of three stations – Hackney Wick, Stratford City and Stratford International. There’s also a free shuttle bus service from Stratford.

Travelling on foot

If you’re arriving at Stratford underground station, it takes around 15 to 20 minutes to walk to campus.

Use the postcode E20 3BS on Google Maps. En route, you can also grab lunch or hit the shops at Westfield Stratford City, Europe’s largest shopping centre.

You can also walk here in under 10 minutes if you arrive at Hackney Wick.

Travelling by Bike

Our campus can be reached by using the Supercycle Highway 2.

Travelling by Train

Arrive at Stratford station or Stratford International station and catch the free shuttle bus service. This operates from Stratford International bus stop F and Stratford City bus stop X, and will take around five minutes to reach Here East (bus stop in The Yard). The buses are clearly marked ‘Here East’ and run Mondays to Fridays, every seven to 15 minutes, from 7.30am to 11pm. Alternatively, it’s a 10-minute walk, if you follow this map.

For information, Stratford station is served by the following services:

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Jubilee Line, Central Line and Elizabeth Line

National Rail services operated by Greater Anglia and c2c

London Overground service

And Stratford International is served by the following services:

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Southeastern High Speed 1 services*

* Travel from Stratford International station to London St Pancras in fewer than seven minutes using Southeastern Trains, which then provides connections across the UK.

You can also take the London Overground train service to Hackney Wick station, which is a five-minute walk to campus.

Travelling by car

Staffordshire University London has fast links to Central London and the south and east of England, with easy access to the A11, A12, A13, A102, A406, M11 and M25 roads.

Once you’re here, the closest car park is located at Westfield Stratford City. This car park has around 4,500 parking spaces in three car parks over 15 levels. All of the car parks have easy access to the campus via the free shuttle bus, which operates from Stratford International station’s bus stop E.

Where in Here East?

Staffordshire University London is located at Entrance D: the Fabric Factory at the south-west corner of the Broadcast Centre building. It’s just around the corner from the Here East shuttle bus stop.

We occupy a number of floors of this building, so just ask for us at reception and staff will direct you. We are clearly signposted from the first floor.

The In-Betweenness of Play

CALL FOR A PAPERS

 DIGRA Brazil / British DIGRA Joint Hybrid Conference

The In-Betweenness of Play

As part of a broader initiative aimed at amplifying diverse voices within the interdisciplinary field of game studies, DIGRA Brazil and British DIGRA invite short panel and paper proposals to a special two-day joint hybrid conference on the ‘in-betweenness’ of play that will take place from April 12-13 at Staffordshire University London.

In 1971, Brazilian Cultural Critic Silviano Santiago introduced the concept of ‘in-betweenness’ as a vital lens for understanding the intricate dynamics emerging from the clash of modern Western theories with the complexities of contemporary non-Western cultural production. It offered depth to the experiences of artists and intellectuals involved in the production of identities, economies, and aesthetic strategies caught between nativism and cosmopolitanism while challenging the untrustworthy, often exploitative, Western notions of cultural originality. It also helped shape the understanding of the ongoing influence of colonial legacies and power dynamics in cultural encounters.

In addition to outlining a critical position, the concept of in-betweenness also refers to productive spaces where new collaborations can flourish—spaces where shared feelings of cultural in-betweenness give-rise to the creative reimagining of ontologies, technologies, methodologies and practices. A space in-between, in other words, is also a place of learning by way of emulation, adaptation, collaboration and critical reflection.  

To promote as much participation as possible, panel (750-1000 words including bibliography) and paper (250-500 words including bibliography) proposals on any aspect of game or gaming adjacent research written in English or Portuguese are welcome. Attendees can present online or in person; the deadline for submissions is Tuesday, December 12, 2023, and proposals can be sent to inbetweenessofplay@googlegroups.com. Last but not least, both organizations are also seeking postgraduate student support for this and future events, so if you are an MA or PhD student interested in volunteering for the event planning committee please send a short email expressing your interest to inbetweenessofplay@googlegroups.com.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, research on the spaces in-between:

– Sustainability and Development

– Accessibility and Design

– Analog and Digital Games

– Amateurs and Professionals

– Studios, Workers, and Publishers

– Players, Fans, and Spectators

– Bodies and Affects

– Labour and Leisure

– Storytelling and Design

– Platforms and Cultures

– Learning and Teaching

– Institutions and Esports

– Research and Practice

– Representation and Identity

– Post-colonialism and Decolonization

– Posthumanism and Agency

– Automation and Art

CHAMADA DE TRABALHOS

Conferência Híbrida Conjunta DIGRA Brasil/British DIGRA

Os Entre-Lugares do Jogo

Como parte de uma iniciativa mais ampla destinada a ampliar vozes diversas no campo interdisciplinar dos game studies, os chapters brasileiro e britânico da Digital Games Research Association – DIGRA Brasil e British DIGRA, respectivamente – convidam propostas curtas de painéis e artigos para uma conferência híbrida especial de dois dias sobre a ‘intermediariedade’ do jogo, que acontecerá de 12 a 13 de abril de 2024 na Universidade de Staffordshire, em Londres.

Em 1971, o crítico cultural brasileiro Silviano Santiago introduziu o conceito de ‘Entre-Lugar’ como uma lente vital para entender as dinâmicas intrincadas que surgem do choque das teorias ocidentais modernas com as complexidades da produção cultural contemporânea não-ocidental. Isso ofereceu profundidade às experiências de artistas e intelectuais envolvidos na produção de identidades, economias e estratégias estéticas presas entre o nativismo e o cosmopolitismo, desafiando também as noções ocidentais de originalidade cultural. Além disso, ajudou a moldar a compreensão da influência contínua das heranças coloniais e das dinâmicas de poder nos encontros culturais.

Além de delinear uma posição crítica, o conceito de Entre-Lugar também se refere a espaços produtivos onde novas colaborações podem florescer – espaços onde sentimentos compartilhados dão origem à recriação criativa de ontologias, tecnologias, metodologias e práticas. Um espaço intermediário, em outras palavras, é também um lugar de aprendizado por meio de emulação, adaptação, colaboração e reflexão crítica.

Para promover o máximo de participação possível, são bem-vindas propostas de painéis (750-1000 palavras) e artigos (250-500 palavras) sobre qualquer aspecto da pesquisa de jogos ou relacionada a jogos, escritas em inglês ou português. Os participantes podem apresentar online ou presencialmente; o prazo para envio de propostas é terça-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2023, e as propostas podem ser enviadas para  inbetweenessofplay@googlegroups.com.

Tópicos sugeridos incluem, mas não se limitam a, pesquisa sobre os espaços intermediários:

– Sustentabilidade e Desenvolvimento

– Acessibilidade e Design

– Jogos Analógicos e Digitais

– Amadores e Profissionais

– Estúdios, Trabalhadores e Editores

– Jogadores, Fãs e Espectadores

– Corpos e Afetos

– Trabalho e Lazer

– Narrativa e Design

– Plataformas e Culturas

– Aprendizado e Ensino

– Instituições e Esportes Eletrônicos

– Pesquisa e Prática

– Representação e Identidade

– Pós-colonialismo e Descolonização

– Pós-humanismo e Agência

– Automação e Arte

– Bibliografia Selecionada

Selected Bibliography

Amaro, M., & Fragoso, S. (2020). East meets South: The creative appropriation of Nintendo and Sega videogames in Brazil. In Proceedings of the 2020 DIGRA International Conference: Play Anywhere. http://www.digra.org/digital-library/forums/digra2020/page/11/.

Blanco, B., & Job Da Silca, A. C. (2021). From The Scratchware Manifesto to Game Workers Unite: manifestos and labor claims in two decades of indie video games. Contracampo, 40(2).

Chia, A. (2022). The artist and the automaton in digital game production. Convergence, 28(2), 389-412.

de Paula, B. (2021). “Emergent countries play, too!”: The Zeebo console as a (partial) decolonial project.Contracampo, 40(2).

Gallagher, R. (2022). Humanising gaming? The politics of posthuman agency in autobiographical videogames. Convergence, 28(2), 359-373.

MacCallum-Stewart, E. (2013). Diggy Holes and Jaffa Cakes: The rise of the elite fanproducer in video-gaming culture. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, 5(2), 165-182.

Ruffino, P., & Woodcock, J. (2021). Game workers and the empire: Unionisation in the UK video game industry. Games and Culture, 16(3), 317-328.

Trigo, A. (2004). The Space In-Between: Essays on Latin American Culture. By Silviano Santiago. Edited by Anna Lúcia Gazzola. Translated by Tom Burns, Ana Lúcia Gazzola, and Gareth Williams. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001. Pp. 188.

Webber, N. (2020). The Britishness of ‘British Video Games’. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 26(2), 135-149.

Welcome to the British DiGRA site!

Hello everyone!

As your new board, we would like to thank all previous board members for their work and effort to develop British DiGRA as a community and a chapter. We are honoured and delighted to represent the chapter and hope you will join us in building this community even further.

Over the next two years the board will work with members to achieve the following:

  1. Develop further as a strong community of scholars, game designers and  developers, as well as wider communities of games professionals. 
  2. We aim to make British DiGRA a vibrant and diverse network more visible to its members, and  develop ways to support all our members to have better access and contacts within British DiGRA and beyond. We are thus planning to identify key areas of interest and research through consultations with our members. If you currently have suggestions or recommendations for the board, please do not hesitate to contact us.
  3. Develop more content and increase our engagement with different game-related communities. We are planning to develop content around introducing some of the great work game scholars, developers, and other professionals are doing around diversity, ecology, LGBTQ+ and other challenges and opportunities our industry and research have in hand. 
  4. Bring together the diverse communities and groups working in UK games research – from academia to industry,  from AI to music, from storytelling to data analytics – as a cohesive games research network that shares its values and strengths, and works together on the challenges facing games research in the UK.
  5. Keep Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at the centre of our activities and considerations. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch to keep up to date with our upcoming activities on :

Discord, Twitter, Facebook, Mailing List?

Chair – Dr Tom Brock

Co-chair – Dr Charlie Hargood

Co-chair – Dr Andra Ivănescu

Communication and Content Officer – Dr Hadi Mehrpouya

Marco Benoît Carbone

Understanding the World of Esports

ESPORTS poster
Understanding the World of Esports

Understanding the World of Esports

Register for free here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/understanding-the-world-of-esports-esports-science-series-2023-tickets-645852360797

Hosted by the Digital Society Research Group in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Date: August 29 and 30, 2023

Time: 9:30 AM – 5:00PM

Location: Benzie BZ303

Admission: Free for all students, faculty, and staff

About the event:

Are you intrigued by the fast-growing world of esports? Do you wonder how esports intersects with sports science, business and law, media studies, and philosophy? Then please consider attenting the upcoming symposium, Understanding the World of Esports, hosted by the Digital Society Research Group in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Key topics include:

  • Applied Esports Psychology
  • Esports Education  
  • Esports Hospitality and Tourism
  • Esports Venue Design and Management
  • Esports and Environmental Sustainability
  • Esports Cultures in Europe, Asia, and Oceania
  • Esports Fandom
  • Toxicity in Esports
  • Human Resource Management and Esports
  • Esports and Gambling

Speakers include:

Dr Seth Jenny, Associate Professor of Exercise Science and Athletic Training

Dr Julia Hiltscher, Director of Corporate Responsibility ESL FACEIT Group

Peter Varga, Senior Engineer FNATIC

Danielle Rourke, Senior Higher Education Strategist DELL Technologies

Dr Laura Swettenham, Sports Psychologist

Pia Büßecker, CEO – The Metagame

Professor Raine Koskimaa, Professor of Contemporary Culture Studies

Please contact Dr Tom Brock (t.brock@mmu.ac.uk) for more details or sign up here

Historical Games Network website launched

Red Dead Redemption 2 screenshot by Rockstar Games

The Historical Games Network has just launched an exciting new website! The Network is convened by Adam Chapman, Esther Wright, Iain Donald, and Nick Webber. Here’s the official blurb:

The Historical Games Network brings together academics, game makers and other cultural workers to explore the relationship between history and games of all kinds. We aim to engage a diversity of perspectives, to support – and offer a platform to – new voices in the field, and to speak to a broad audience, both professional and public.

You can find the Network at historicalgames.net and follow along on Twitter at @HistoryGamesNet.

Red Dead Redemption 2 screenshot by Rockstar Games

CfP: British Digital Games Research Association Conference 2021: Politics and Games

Videogames are intrinsically political texts, even when political messages are not explicitly presented, but there is still uncertainty on how game studies can take that into account. Within our field of research, since the earliest debates and publications, we have been interrogating interactive texts for their political messages, and aiming to establish a method for making sense of how videogames exist in the world. The early work of art historian Julian Stallabrass, for example, was already identifying in videogames a representation of economic systems, which inevitably reflects on the ‘real life’ economy in which the game has been produced and is played (Stallabrass, 1993; Giddings, 2018).

This year British DiGRA conference explores politics in games from various angles and approaches from design to analysis and from impact evaluations to philosophical issues. The focus is not just on games as designed artefacts but also includes, among other aspects, the production and circulation of games, forms of public discourse around games and how they are made. Submissions on all kinds of games from board games through LARPs to videogames are welcome.

The conference invites submissions in topics including, but not limited to:    

  • Civic engagement and activism
  • Digital misinformation proliferation
  • Loss of confidence in democracy
  • Fake News
  • Stretching of truth
  • Accountability
  • Parody and disinformation
  • Promoting engagement with voters
  • Knowledge and awareness of politics
  • Activism
  • Politics and art
  • Politics in online communities
  • Politics of videogame industry
  • Political uses of gamification

The conference is fully online using Zoom and consists of paper sessions of three hours spread over the course of three days and workshop sessions of four hours the day before.

Selected papers from the conference will be invited to a special issue of ToDiGRA journal to be published in 2022.

Full Call for Papers here

Paper submission guidelines

The papers will be selected for presentation based on extended abstracts of 500-1000 words (plus references). Abstracts should be delivered in PDF format. Please use 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, for your text. Guidelines for submitting full papers and 10 minute prerecorded presentations will be provided with the notification of acceptance.

Our aim is that all participants can familiarise themselves with the papers in advance and the participants get access to all submitted full papers one week before the conference. The maximum length for a full paper is 5000 words (plus references). The prerecorded 10 minute seminar presentations should encourage discussion, instead of repeating the information presented in the papers. After the presentation the designated commentator and the audience will have 20 minutes to discuss the paper online. 

Workshop proposal submission guidelines

The workshops will be selected based on proposals of maximum 1000 words (plus references). The proposals should include a description of the workshop focus and format, technical and online venue requirements, maximum and minimum number of participants, and how the workshop participants are selected (e.g. drop-in session, position paper submission). 

Submissions and any questions regarding the conference should be sent to: bdigra21@lincoln.ac.uk.

Maximum of 15 papers and 2 workshop proposals will be accepted to the conference.

Important dates

Abstract and workshop proposal deadline: April 4, 2021

Notification of acceptance: April 12, 2021

Full Paper deadline: July 12, 2021

Conference dates: Workshops July 20, paper sessions July 21 – 23, 2021

Venue

British DiGRA 2020 Conference is organised by University of Lincoln in collaboration with University of Liverpool, Brunel University London, and British Digital Games Research Association (http://bdigra.org.uk/). The conference is hosted by University of Lincoln Games Research Network. More information at the conference web-site http://lncn.ac/bdigra21.

Call for Papers – Video Games and Religion: Apocalypse and Utopia

Video Games and Religion: Apocalypse and Utopia: Thursday 19 November 2020

Call for Papers: Submission Deadline: Friday 30 October 2020

With the growth of scholarly interest in the religious and theological tropes encountered in video games, there is a developing awareness of the special valence of apocalypticism, millenarianism, and associated themes in video game narratives and gameplay. This virtual symposium invites academic explorations of the role of apocalypse and utopia in video games. We welcome discussions of a wide-range of approaches to ultimacy and cosmic destiny in video games. Topics might include, but are not limited to, analysis of narratives of apocalypse and utopia, eschatology broadly conceived, themes of final revelation deriving from religious scriptures and traditions, allusion to Edenic origins and Kingdom of God conclusions to history, epochal accounts of cosmic dissolution and regeneration, messiahs, antichrists and their cognates.

Academics working within these themes are invited to propose papers as the basis for discussion within the symposium. We encourage presentation of early-stage and speculative discussion points as well as more developed material. The symposium will take place virtually/online.

The symposium will take place online on Thursday 19 November 2020.

Paper proposals with a 300-word abstract and details of academic affiliation should be submitted to the organizers, Prof. James Crossley (St Mary’s University, Twickenham) and Dr. Alastair Lockhart (University of Cambridge), at conference@censamm.org by Friday 30 October 2020.

There is no charge for participation.

The symposium website is here: https://censamm.org/conferences/video-games-and-religion

The CfP in .pdf format is available at https://censamm.org/assets/files/Video-games-cfp.pdf

Play a free RPG for science!

PhD students at the University of Glasgow have made a mobile game and are looking for more players. The game is called RPGLite and is available on iOS and Android. More information and links to the store pages are available at rpglite.github.io.

RPGLite

Download it, play against your friends, climb the leaderboard, earn medals, all that nonsense, whilst aiding a PhD student’s research. If you have any questions feel free to email w.kavanagh.1@research.gla.ac.uk.

SPELUNKING 2020: GAMES, CULTURES, SOCIETIES

https://www.york.ac.uk/sociology/about/department/2019/spelunking-2020/

Moving into a new decade, this symposium aims to consider the variety of forms in which games impact on both culture and society, and the diverse narratives which they create, develop and propagate. Abstracts are welcome from members of any discipline which look to engage in critical enquiry of games, gamers and their culture, based on themes including:

  • Games industries
  • Value of gaming in society
  • Gaming as labour
  • Critical readings of games
  • Histories of gaming
  • Studies of gamers
  • Theoretical approaches
  • Pedagogy and gaming
  • Economies of play/games
  • Social stratification and games
  • Women, trans and non-binary identities
  • LGBTQ identities in gaming
  • Mobile gaming
  • Analog gaming
  • Live Action Roleplay Gaming

Date of conference: Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Time of conference: From 12:00

Conference venue: ENV/005, Environment Building, Campus West, University of York, UK

Abstracts of no longer than 200 words, accompanied by a 50-word biography, should be submitted to matt.coward@york.ac.uk by no later than 31 March 2020. Accepted papers will be 20 minutes in length, with an additional ten minutes allotted for Q&A.

GameSYM – CFP

Call For Papers

The School of Media, Communication and Sociology and LIAS at the University of Leicester, funded by Enurture, and in partnership with The Diana Award, Staffordshire University Digital Institute LondonESL UK and Esports Insider will host a two-day symposium – GAMESYM – on the 14th and 15th of May 2020 at the Digital Institute in London.

This two-day event is aimed at showcasing research and promoting discussion which explores how digital environments, specifically live-streaming video games and esports, are changing the nature of the risks that children and young people face in their everyday digital lives.

The symposium, which brings together leading academic researchers, young gamers, specialised practitioners, and industry leaders, invites research papers from a range of disciplines such as sociology, education, media and communication, internet studies, feminist theory, human geography, psychology. While all papers should concern gaming, streaming, esports, and young people, topics of interest will include, but will not be limited to:

• How gaming, livestreaming and esports supports or hinders children and young people in the fabric of their daily life;

• Young people’s experiences of intimacy, belonging, exclusion, or hate in online gaming spaces;

• The mental health risks, challenges, or opportunities involved with gaming, live-streaming and esports;

• How live-streaming and esports create or shape employment opportunities for young people;

• Public discourses concerning young people, gaming, live-streaming and/or esports;

• Industry perspectives on young gamers and streamers (such as talent exploitation, ethical practice, pathways to employment, etc.). These submissions will form the basis of industry round-table sessions to be held across the symposium.

Call for papers has been extended until 21st of February. Abstracts of 200 words should be sent to gamesym2019@gmail.com. Successful applicants will be notified by email by March 6th 2020.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Sonia Livingstone is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics (LSE). She has a particular interest in the opportunities and risks of digital media use in the everyday lives of children and young people. Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Europe and other national and international organisations on children’s rights, risks and safety in the digital age. Sonia is currently leading the project Global Kids Online (with UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti and EU Kids Online), and Children’s Data and Privacy Online (funded by the Information Commissioner’s Office) and co-directing The Nurture Network.

Sonia’s Profile

Dr Emma Witkowski is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Design and the co-director of the Playable Media Lab at RMIT University, in Melbourne, Australia. Emma’s research explores esports cultures as networked media sports, networked careers in digital games, research methods for networked play, livestreaming & LAN tournaments from grassroots to mega-LANs, and high performance networked team practices.

Emma’s Profile