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.

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

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

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

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.

Mike Bithell in Conversation + Lightning Talks

Come along to this BAFTA Scotland and Scottish Game Developers Association event with BAFTA nominated game director, Mike Bithell.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mike-bithell-in-conversation-lightning-talks-tickets-77283682575 t

About this Event

Find out more about storytelling and game direction from a true expert in his field. Mike will reflect on his experience of indie development and the trials and tribulations of bringing his most recent title, John Wick Hex, to fruition.

John Wick Hex

Mike Bithell is a British game director, best known for his breakout indie hit, Thomas Was Alone. A story-driven platform puzzle game, Thomas Was Alone won a BAFTA for its star, Danny Wallace. Next, Mike released Volume, a commercially and critically successful action stealth game. Subsurface Circular and Quarantine Circular followed, homages to old school text adventures. Mike just released his next game, John Wick Hex, a videogame instalment in the popular action franchise, to a positive response.

Mike Bithell

Mike will be in conversation with SGDA Trustee and BAFTA Scotland Committee Member, Dr Matthew Barr, following a series of short lightning talks from local game makers. The event will be close with an opportunity for informal networking.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mike-bithell-in-conversation-lightning-talks-tickets-77283682575

VR, Immersion and Narrative event at University of Glasgow

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/immaterial-vr-immersion-and-narrative-tickets-72369351679

IM/MATERIAL EVENT #3: VR, IMMERSION, AND NARRATIVE

4 October 2019, 14:00-17:00

Sir Alwyn Williams Building, University of Glasgow

Video games have long been used to tell stories, and the medium offers unique affordances for doing so. From the emergent narratives of titles such as Journey (thatgamecompany, 2012) and No Man’s Sky (Hello Games, 2016) to the meticulously crafted stories of Firewatch (Campo Santo, 2016) and What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow, 2017), games are often said to offer immersive and interactive storytelling opportunities. However, games also present unique challenges for storytellers, challenges that relate to these very same properties.

Players, fully immersed in a game world with which they may interact at will, are empowered to wrest authorial control from the game’s designers and writers. The author of a novel may assume that the reader will encounter the story in the order intended, but this is not the case in a game where the player may explore the world at will. The director of a film may frame a camera shot to ensure that key narrative beats are granted the necessary on-screen prominence, but this is not a given where the player enjoys control over the in-game camera.

PlayStation London Studio’s Blood & Truth

For VR games, many of these issues are exacerbated, and further challenges and concerns begin to emerge. How immersive an experience can a VR game offer if the player character’s movement is limited to teleporting from one spot to another? Does current-generation hardware offer sufficient fidelity when it comes to interacting with the game world? Should we be concerned about the accessibility of VR, particularly as the technology begins to be used more widely in education?

These are some of the questions we aim to tackle here.

SPEAKERS

Jon King (Sony, London Studio – Blood & Truth)

Rhoda Ellis (University of Dundee)

Chris McLaughlin (Moon Mode)

Mal Abbas (Biome Collective)

MODERATOR

Matthew Barr (University of Glasgow, British DiGRA)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/immaterial-vr-immersion-and-narrative-tickets-72369351679

Ludic Literature: The Converging Interests of Writing, Games and Play

University of Glasgow: 16th-17th July

ludicliterature.blog

It is our pleasure to invite your paper submissions to Ludic Literature: The Converging Interests of Writing, Games and Play. The two-day symposium is funded by the Scottish Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) and will be held at the University of Glasgow on the 16th-17th of July.

Ludic Literature’s purpose is to collide perspectives from contemporary literary writers and theorists; game studies theorists and video game developers to explore the essentially ludic element of constructing texts, be they games, literary productions or other works of art. By exposing the often-hidden process of textual construction, the conference seeks to present the playfulness at the heart of producing meaning-making texts. As such, we wish to bring those who create and interpret these texts together, giving equal voice to academic and industry concerns to enable cross-institutional collaborations and partnerships that blur the boundaries of writing, games and play. To begin the conversation, day one provides a selection of academic papers, finishing with a roundtable discussion between writers and game developers on the converging interests of their work. These interactions will inspire day two’s event: A ‘literature’ jam where an assetless video game – provided in collaboration with Abertay, Edinburgh and Glasgow universities – will be transformed into experimental video games by the symposium’s participants using assets provided by the organising committee. We welcome ten-minute papers that are encouraged to approach, but are not limited to, the following topics:

– Analysis of literary games or ludic literature

– Intersectionality through the converging interests of writing, games and play

– The playful nature of semiotic choices in video game and literary textual construction

– Methods for reckoning with subversive literary and video game textual choices

– Methods for analysing ‘shifting’ texts or textual practices (early access video games, public textual editing)

– The (dis)similarities between textual creation in video game and literary forms

– The (dis)similarities between indie/AAA game development and writing

– Uncovering the processes and cultures of writing and game development for qualitative analysis

– Accounts and critiques of literary and video game collaborations

– The ontological and phenomenological implications for literary and video game textual creation when figured as play

– Presentations of creative works invested in the converging interests of writing, games and play

Guide for submissions

Please submit a 100 word abstract detailing the subject of your paper and a 50 word bio to ludicliterature@gmail.com (please submit as one word document and not as a PDF).

Deadline for submissions: July 5th 2019

Attendance

If you would like to attend Ludic Literature, please confirm your interest by following the link: https://ludicliterature.eventbrite.co.uk  and downloading or printing your ticket. Attendance is free and there are provisions for SGSAH affiliated postgraduate students to reimburse their travel expenses.

For enquiries regarding the programme, please contact ludicliterature@gmail.com and visit ludicliterature.blog for more details.

Organising Committee

Alexander Tarvet (Abertay University)

Francis Butterworth-Parr (University of Glasgow)

Zack Abrams (University of Edinburgh)

We look forward to seeing you at Ludic Literature.