Call: Roleplaying Game Studies Handbook – DiGRA 2013 Workshop

Call for Participation:
Roleplaying Game Studies Handbook – A Workshop @ DiGRA 2013

The study of roleplaying games has remained a small and somewhat separate tradition within game studies writ large. Yet roleplaying games arguably defined and influenced many design elements of today’s digital games, and constitute a formational experience for many influential digital game designers. More importantly, the peculiarities of non-digital roleplaying games as a socially shared effort of imagination, storytelling, simulation, and gaming have generated insights that have much to offer to the wider field of game studies.

Unfortunately, most publications in the field of roleplaying game studies remain scattered, offering no easy access to central concepts, theories, and traditions for interested scholars. We would therefore like to invite you to participate in a workshop at the DiGRA 2013 conference with the goal of collaborating and working together in outlining a handbook of RPG Studies.

What are the fundamental concepts, theory, and ideas should this handbook include? What form should this book take? Should it gather and collect the seminal and foundational work in this area – more like a reader? Perhaps would it be best if the book were a detailed survey of the state-of-the art in our understanding, with long handbook chapters? Or an encyclopedia – with medium-length entries on a variety of relevant topics? These are the kinds of questions we want to answer with you. Initial interest by publishers has been signaled, but who to publish with will also be discussed. Our goal is to ensure that, together, we can all produce a work that best answers individual needs and interests and those of the larger game studies community.

To ensure a productive and efficient workshop experience, we will limit participation to 15 people. Additionally, we will collate and distribute the submissions to all participants prior to the workshop. These submissions will serve as the basis for our discussions and workshop activities.

Find more details about the workshop here:


Deadline:   July 15, 2013
Notifications:  July 30, 2013
Workshop Date:  TBA, but sometime during DiGRA 2013 (August 26-29, 2013)


This workshop is a bit different. It’s not necessary to submit a paper or give a talk. Instead, we are asking interested participants to submit:

  1. A free-listing of topics that should be covered in the handbook.
  2. A proposed table of contents for the handbook. This table of contents should clearly describe what the key texts and topics are as well as what authors or contributors should or might pen each chapter. Feel free to self-nominate as a potential contributor! Also, you can add a rationale (short sentence) for each chapter explaining why it ought to have a place in such a handbook.
  3. A short (1-2 paragraph) bio of yours that is RPG-specific. In a nutshell, this bio should help us (the organizers) recognize why you, with your background and expertise, would make an excellent contributor to the workshop.

Please send questions and/or your submission to before July 15, 2013.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Sebastian Deterding and Jose Zagal

José P. Zagal, PhD
College of Computing and Digital Media
DePaul University


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