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.

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.

Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling

9:00-18:00 9th May 2018 – Abertay University, Dundee, UK.

The relationship between narrative and games has been contentious across popular, academic and developer discussions. If we shift the critical question to the closely related term ‘storytelling’, what new perspectives arise? This symposium brings together scholars specialising in literature, museology, comics, videogames, cinema, history, artificial intelligence, fine arts and other fields to examine contemporary storytelling through the lens of gaming.

Keynote: Professor Espen Aarseth (ITU Copenhagen).

Full CFP (deadline passed): https://www.academia.edu/35805174/Gaming_and_Storytelling

Thanks to Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics for generous support of this symposium.

Call for papers : AI, Games & VR Symposium

Submission deadline: 14th January 2018

At: AISB Conference, Liverpool, UK, 4-6 April 2018

The longest running convention on Artificial Intelligence, AISB 2018 will be held in 2018 at the University of Liverpool.
As in the past years, AISB 2018 provides a unique forum for presenting cutting edge research and burning issues around all areas of AI.
The theme for this year is “AI for the Digital Society”.

The AI, Games & VR Symposium, acts as a meeting place for researchers and practitioners from academia, education and industry who are involved with the design, development and evaluation of AI in the context of games or virtual reality and any other form of immersive experience (e.g. 360 videos)

It focuses on the application of artificial intelligence or intelligent-like techniques, frameworks and theories to the creation of interactive engaging intelligent games. It will address the following areas of research and practice:

  • The use of AI techniques (planning, learning, evolution etc.) in games, VR and the game/VR design process.
  • The design and engineering of AI components in commercial games, virtual environments, VR technology, Immersive experiences
  • AI for serious games, gamification, virtual environments
    Automatic or semi-automatic procedural content generation
    Intelligent or adaptive player interaction
  • AI for player/user analytics and modelling player/user behaviour or experience.
  • Agent pathfinding and decision-making in games and virtual reality applications
  • Using games or simulations as a platform for building intelligent agents
    Environmental simulations for games/VR/immersive experiences
    Interactive narrative generation
  • Intelligent Narrative Technologies
  • Player perceptions of game AI, VR AI, Immersive experience AI
  • Experimental AI & Games, AI & VR, AI & immersive experience

Papers connecting games to all areas of computational intelligence and traditional AI are considered.

Authors could be specialised in: AI, machine learning, planning, narrative, education and training, media, multimedia, game design and development, game interaction design, characters design, interaction design and evaluation for children and/or adults , virtual reality technology, virtual reality, and any other relevant area.

Submissions invited :-

  • Extended Abstracts (2-4 pages)
  • Short papers (4-6 pages)
  • Posters (one slide, and one page for the proceedings)
  • Demonstrations (2 pages description of what is going to be demonstrated)
  • Tutorials (max 2 pages description of planned tutorial content)

Submissions will be via the Easychair website at :-

https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=aigames18

Deadline (extended) for all submissions: 14th January 2018

Literature and Video Games: Beyond Stereotypes

An interdisciplinary Leverhulme International Network event hosted by University of St Andrews
20-21st June 2018

Organised by Prof. Margaret-Anne Hutton (Univ. of St Andrews Modern Languages; Leverhulme Network P.I.); Prof. Gregor White, Dr Robin Sloan and Dr Dayna Galloway (Abertay Univ., Dundee), Dr Matthew Barr (Univ. of Glasgow)

Literature specialists and games scholars: learn something new; do something different; challenge the stereotypes.

Full programme now available: download programme.

Register via Eventbrite

Confirmed participants:

Rhianna Pratchett
http://www.rhiannapratchett.com/

Christopher Brookmyre
https://www.brookmyre.co.uk/

Judy Tyrer
http://www.everjane.com/

Simon Meek
http://www.thesecretexperiment.co.uk/

Imre Jele
http://animalfarmgame.com/

Don Paterson
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/don-paterson

Registration

The event is free but places are limited. Please register via Eventbrite

British DiGRA conference 2018 – call for hosts

Following the successful first British DiGRA conference, hosted by Salford University in May this year, the British DiGRA Board are pleased to invite parties interested in hosting the next conference to apply via the form below:

https://goo.gl/forms/dcvHD16e9HNZcoy52

Applications should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 15th December, 5pm on Sunday 14th January with the conference expected to run sometime between late-April and June 2018. As soon as possible following the closing date, the Board will select a host from the submitted applications.

Queries may be addressed to Esther (neveah@gmail.com) or Matt (Matthew.Barr@glasgow.ac.uk). Applicants are encouraged to review the Inclusivity Policy: http://bdigra.org.uk/inclusivity-policy