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

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.

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.

Ludocapitalism: structure, culture, agents

A one-day symposium with international scholars discussing their research on the intersection of games and capitalism.

About this Event

A one-day symposium, hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University, on Friday morning, February 28, that brings together scholars from across the UK and Europe to present their current research on the topic of “ludocapitalism” and the relationship between structure, culture and the agents that move within it.

Inspired by the Alison Harvey and Seth Giddings’ 2018 special issue in Games and Culture on ludic economies, this symposium will be a place to see hear about cutting edge research into the ways in games and play are increasingly entangled with capitalism and how governments, corporations, and workers navigate this “playful” regime of accumulation.

This is the first of what we hope will be an ongoing series of events that look deeper into the ways digital technology is changing production, consumption, and society in general.

Confirmed speakers as follows:

  • Seth Giddings (University of Southampton)
  • Karen Gregory (University of Edinburgh)
  • Alison Harvey (University of Leicester)
  • Joshua Jarrett (Staffordshire University)
  • Matti Karhulahti (University of Jyvaskyla)
  • Maria O’Brian (Dublin City University)
  • Anna Ozimek (Tallinn University)
  • Paolo Ruffino (University of Liverpool)
  • Jamie Woodcock (Open University)
  • Oli Sotamaa (University of Tampere)

This event was organized by Dr. Tom Brock and Dr. Daniel Joseph in the department of Sociology, and funded by RCASS.

Link to Tickets here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ludocapitalism-structure-culture-agents-tickets-91823633961?ref=estw

We are sorry to announce that we will be cancelling this year’s DiGRA UK

Dear all,

We are sorry to announce that we will be cancelling this year’s DiGRA UK.

The organising team thought hard about this decision, but we simply did not receive enough submissions to make the conference viable. We suspect that this is due to a number of reasons, including the extremely high level of excellent conferences also available around this time (which we very much encourage you to attend and enjoy). Should we host this event again, we may consider a different time of year as a viable option.

If you have bought a ticket, we will be refunding these via EventBrite. Please contact Alan O’Dea at alan.odea@staffs.ac.uk with any queries.

 

With regret, the DiGRA UK team.

 

Esther MacCallum-Stewart. Chair, British DiGRA.

British DiGRA conference 2019 – call for hosts

Following last year’s highly successful British DiGRA conference, hosted by Staffordshire University, the Board are pleased to invite interested institutions to apply to host the 2019 conference, which is expected to run sometime between late-April and June 2019.

Applicants should download and complete this form, providing all the information indicated.

  • Applications should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 14th December.
  • As soon as possible following the closing date, the Board will select a host from the submitted applications.
  • Applications should be no longer than 3500 words, including the prescribed headings, and may include images (for example, maps or photographs of the proposed venue).
  • Applicants are encouraged to review the Inclusivity Policy.
  • Please submit your completed form to Matt at Matthew.Barr@glasgow.ac.uk by the closing date. Queries may be addressed to Esther (neveah@gmail.com) or Matt.