Call: Experiencing Stories with Digital Games (Colloquium at Concordia U.)

Call for Papers and Projects by Graduate Students:
Récit(s) et jeux numériques / Experiencing Stories with Digital Games
A colloquium presented by the Concordia Research Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games at Entretiens Jacques Cartier 2011

October 1 & 2, 2011
Concordia University, Montreal

About the Colloquium

Despite recent advances in game hardware, interfaces and game mechanics, the most successful video games continue to emerge from a fundamental concern with telling and experiencing stories. This colloquium will bring together academic game researchers, industry designers and students to discuss new approaches to the analysis and creation of interactive digital narratives.

By focusing attention on specific games — Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream), Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft), Mass Effect 2 (Bioware), The Graveyard (Tale of Tales) and Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games) — our discussion will push beyond the simple dichotomies that have characterized past debates about narrative design (open vs linear storylines, aesthetics vs playability) and will highlight the ways that games reframe and challenge traditional conceptions of narrative and player experience.

The symposium will take place on Saturday October 1, with panel presentations and discussions from noted digital media scholars and game designers including Cory May, Nick Montfort, Bernard Perron, Sebastien Genvo, Jay Turner, Thomas Grip, Jim Bizzocchi, Marcel O’Gorman, Brian Greenspan and Darren Wershler. The evening will feature a keynote presentation from David Cage, CEO of Quantic Dream and lead designer for Heavy Rain. Students are welcome to attend these events in advance of the studio discussions to take place the following day.

Graduate ‘Mentoring’ Round-Tables
Sunday, October 2, 9:30am -12:00 pm

A major component of this colloquium will be a series of graduate studio discussions, held on the morning of the second day. This forum will provide graduate students with the unique opportunity to make short presentations of their work to breakout groups of video game scholars and industry professionals, and to receive direct feedback.

Graduate students working in any discipline in the area of games and digital narrative are welcome to submit a proposal to participate in this event. Proposed presentations can consist of short traditional research papers or design and research/creation projects. These studio discussions represent a unique opportunity to participate in intimate, small-scale discussions with leading academics and industry professionals as well as other students working in the field.

Interested students should submit a short (250-word) abstract detailing their desire to either make a presentation or display their work during the colloquium, and describing the work that they wish to present. Please keep in mind that the presentations will take the form of a roundtable with a strict 12-minute time limit in order to allow ample opportunity for discussion and critique. We will be able to accept a total of 15-20 proposals for these studio sessions.

Please send all abstracts to Darren Wershler
Deadline: July 31, 2011

The proposals will be vetted by the conference committee. Notices of acceptance will be issued by Aug 16, 2011. Students will be expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation, but there is no registration fee for the conference. Some travel subsidy may be available.

For more information, including a schedule and list of speakers, see the colloquium website at


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