Call for Papers 2008

Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer Conference

Research Institute for Media Art and Design
University of Bedfordshire
June 7th 2008

Which ever title you select, ‘Consumer’, ‘Audience’,‘Receiver’, Player’, ‘Operator’, or ‘Gamer’, the fundamental issues remain the same in videogames: who and what is the Operator? What role do Gamers play within their communities or within their cultures? How do Players situate themselves in a competitive or casual environment and make sense of the game in light of genre, reception and history? How is the game used, culturally, socially and psychologically?

This conference aims to address the issues that surround the Player of videogames as contributor and consumer of specific cultures, not only through presentation and discussion, but also through actively engaging with games and Gamers. The organizers have invited a number of Professional Gamers to the conference to demonstrate their expertise and share their experiences. In doing so, the organizers hope that the participants will able to explore the sociological, psychological, and ludological issues in a game-playing context. These include:

• What takes place between Player and screen?
• Do original control interfaces (Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, Nintendo Wii, mobile games et cetera) adjust social behaviour?
• Does genre affect social participation and reception and in particular the positioning of the Operator?
• What role, if any, does gender take in multiplayer gaming?
• Are there consequences of play for Gamers, psychologically and socially?

Also of interest is the notion of the ‘fan’ in games: fiction, art, walkthroughs, and game interpretations - what do these communities have to say on the place of
the Player within their communal/cultural hierarchy?

Call for papers:

• New methodologies or adapted methodologies for studying the Gamer;
• Case studies of Players interacting with novel control interfaces;
• Case studies of Players in social settings;
• Case studies of the relationship between gender and
• Case studies of Players in competitive/professional
• Approaches to gamers and gamers in the light of
Psychoanalysis and Analytical Psychology;
• Studies on Methodologies for genre;
• The role of competition and casual and or social
gaming within game culture; and
• Fan fiction and Fan Art.

Topics may include: sport simulations, racing games, first-person shooters, performance games (Dance, Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero etc), mobile games, original control hardware, sociological methodologies (adapted and new), audience reception, gender studies, psychoanalysis/analytical psychology, behavioural case
studies, professional gaming, competitive gaming, social gaming, ‘girl’ games, game art, fan fiction, fan art, and so on.

Abstracts of 250 words, accompanied by contact details and a brief biography to be received by the 30th of March to:||remag