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
- Parody and disinformation
- Promoting engagement with voters
- Knowledge and awareness of politics
- 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maximum of 15 papers and 2 workshop proposals will be accepted to the conference.
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
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.