Call: Experiencing Digital Games: Use, Effects & Culture of Gaming (ECC 2012 Pre-Conference)



Pre-Conference to ECREA’s fourth European Communication Conference, ECC 2012 (Istanbul, Turkey)

23 – 24 October 2011

In the past decades, digital games have diversified into a broad range of forms each with their specific interactions and experiences: from rapid button mashing in shooter games to group chat in role-playing games, to wild dancing in party games and to actual running around in a city and engaging with the environment in location-based mobile games. Thus digital games have increasingly come to be seen as generators of experiences rather than just sources of mediated content. You do not just receive games, you live them!

Understanding digital game experience presents an important challenge for present-day communication research. Not just is there a plethora of different types of games, the very fact that an experience occurs between the player and the mediated content implies that characteristics of the user, device, (social) context and culture at large need to be taken into account. In this regard, traditional use and effects models from communication studies and media psychology have proven useful but still fall short in describing and mapping the specificities of digital gaming. Digital game-specific theories and analytical frameworks on the other hand have often had a hard time linking up with mainstream communication and media research as they are often perceived as too idiosyncratic for use beyond digital gaming.

The pre-conference “Experiencing Digital Games” aims to bridge this gap and open a vital discussion on the use, effects and culture of digital gaming. To enable a broad discussion on the gaming experience, different disciplinary approaches, methods and perspectives are welcomed, including production research, content analyses, effects and use research, cultural analysis, design-oriented approaches etc.

Conference topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Everyday experience & culture of digital games
  • Use aspects of digital games
  • Effects of digital game experiences
  • Gamer characteristics and experiences
  • Designing specific forms of game experience
  • Comparisons of different forms of gaming
  • Immersion & presence
  • Game experience and motivations for playing
  • Game content analysis and experience
  • Methodologies for game experience research
  • Avatars, identification and self-representation in virtual worlds
  • Social interaction in digital games as a specific form of game experience
  • General theoretical and empirical approaches regarding game experience


Anyone wishing to propose a paper for presentation at the conference is invited to submit an anonymized extended abstract of no more than four pages (10000 characters including spaces) in APA style to the organizing committee at the email address before 28 February 2012.

The abstracts will be subject to a peer review process. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 31 March 2012.

When submitting the abstract, please include a separate cover page including the following contact details:

  • title
  • name
  • department/organization
  • address
  • e-mail

Abstracts should make it absolutely clear what the current status of the proposed work is. A preference is given to finished work ready for presentation (note: this includes theoretical/ conceptual papers, if the concept itself is the main object of presentation and not some related, yet unfinished empirical work). By sending in an abstract, the authors agree to personally present their research at the conference.

Location & Main Conference

ECC 2012 will take place at Bilgi University (Istanbul, Turkey) from 24-27 October 2012. Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city, and with more than 13 million inhabitants, it is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe. Located on the Bosphorus strait and stretching along the Golden Horn, the city is situated both in Europe and Asia. It offers a rich Roman, Christian and Ottoman heritage in its historic districts, as well as the pulsating street life of a modern city. Bilgi University, founded in 1994, has three centrally located campuses that are interconnected via Shuttle Buses. More information on the university can be found via Bilgi’s website:

The main ECC conference will provide a broad platform to meet and discuss the profound transformations that are taking place globally in the mass mediated societies. The proposed theme “Social Media And Global Voices” opens a space for a vibrant discussion in the European academic scene. The main conference will offer a large variety of scientific panels, podium discussions and meetings. ECREA’s Sections, Networks, Temporary Working Groups will organize thematic sessions and or panels, covering a wider range of topics related to (mediated) communication.

More information on the ECC 2012 and the respective Calls for Proposals can be found here:

During the main conference, the Temporary Working Group will organize a Business Meeting and a Panel with invited speakers, presenting selected research findings to the main ECREA audience.

About the TWG “Digital Games Research”

The Temporary Working Group “Digital Games Research” was founded in 2011, giving European communication scholars interested in computer and video games research a dedicated home in ECREA.

Additional Information

The language of the pre-conference is English. Full papers should be ready at least two weeks before the conference (19 October 2012), so that conference participants have the opportunity to read them. Depending on the number, quality and coherence of the submissions, a publication of a proceedings volume will be considered.

Further information about the pre-conference can be found at the TWG’s website:

We will update the website with the final programme and additional information in the coming months.


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