Call: Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer Conference

Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer Conference
Wednesday 2nd June 2010
Research Institute for Media, Art and Design
University of Bedfordshire
Luton Campus, Park Square
Bedfordshire, UK

Without the gamer, games do not exist. As Galloway reminds the reader, games are simply rules waiting to be enacted by the player. This conference aims to address the issues that surround the player of digital games as contributor, consumer and propagator of their culture, not only through presentation and discussion, but also through actively engaging with games and their users.

This year’s keynote is provided by Henry Lowood, curator for the History of Science & Technology at Stanford University.

Once more, a number of Professional Gamers will be attending the conference to demonstrate their expertise and share their experiences, whilst throughout the day competitions will be held on the various formats available, with a variety of game hardware and software prizes on offer. In creating such an environment, 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?
• How does the control interface and game content shape player behaviour?
• What consequences are there to the increasing surveillance of players within online games?
• What role does gender assume in game culture and community?
• Are there consequences of play for gamers, psychologically, socially and culturally?

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 user within their communal/cultural hierarchy?

Call for papers:

• New methodologies or adapted methodologies for studying the player;
• Case studies of gamers interacting with novel control interfaces;
• Case studies of users in social settings;
• Case studies of the relationship between gender and games;
• Case studies of gamers in competitive/professional settings;
• Methodologies relating to Psychoanalysis and Analytical Psychology;
• Genre and its relation to player performance;
• The role of professional, casual and social gaming within game culture and
• Presentations/Analyses of fan fiction and fan art.

Topics may include: sport simulations, MMOGs, first-person shooters, performance games (Dance, Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero etc), mobile games, novel interfaces, 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 5th of March 2010 to:

For further information, please go to:

Conference Organizers

Prof Luke Hockley
Steven Conway
Alison Gazzard
Gavin Stewart

Contact Details
c/o Gavin Stewart
School of Media, Art & Design
University of Bedfordshire
Park Square

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