Call: International Conference for Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2019

Call for Papers

International Conference for Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2019
November 19-23, 2019
Snowbird, Utah, USA

Conference website:

Paper & Poster submission deadline: July 12th, 2019

ICIDS is the premier conference for researchers and practitioners concerned with studying digital interactive forms of narrative from a variety of perspectives, including theoretical, technological, and applied design lenses. The annual conference is an interdisciplinary gathering that combines technology-focused approaches with humanities-inspired theoretical inquiry, empirical research and artistic expression.

With this 12th edition of the conference, ICIDS continues into its second decade. The field of interactive narrative has now coalesced into a recognizable entity. This year’s organizers take this editionyear as an opportunity to expand on previously identified topics, related to this year’s special theme:


This year’s conference features a special theme of “Design Foundations, Innovations, and Practices.” In addition to topics covered by previous iterations of ICIDS, the conference program will feature topic areas that focus on principles of design, advancements in the design lifecycle, and design process case studies for interactive storytelling.

This theme broadens prior topic areas within which we expand our design understanding.

  • We target principles of design through:
    • HUMAN FACTORS via work on understanding cognitive and affective aspects of interactive storytelling, and
    • THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS via work on the design of storyworlds writ large.
  • We target advancements in the design lifecycle through:
    • TECHNOLOGY via work on the role of digital game technologies in interactive storytelling, and
    • CULTURAL AND SOCIETAL IMPACT via work on the ethical, moral, social, and policy issues surrounding the design of interactive storytelling artifacts, including (but not limited to) issues surrounding representation, purposive interactive stories and games, and procedural rhetoric.
  • We target design process case studies through:
    • INTERACTIVE DIGITAL NARRATIVE PRACTICES AND APPLICATIONS via work on industry production practices, live-action role-playing systems, and the use of interactive storytelling for learning and as tools for teaching.

Submissions are therefore invited on the following topics, which are understood as broad and inclusive of additional topics not mentioned here explicitly.


  • Papers related to the topic of Interactive Digital Narrative Studies as a distinct discipline.
  • Cross-cutting analyses of interactive digital narrative forms that examine and possibly compare different traditions, e.g. hyperfiction and VR, IF and game narrative etc. Analysis can be of technology, design, works, education, etc.
  • Demonstration of different lenses or methods applied in analysis and/or design of interactive digital narrative works, such as performance studies, media anthropology, literary studies, etc.
  • Ideas how to move the field of Interactive Digital Narrative Studies forward.


  • Papers concerning the societal impact of interactive digital storytelling.
  • The lack of high-quality criticism of interactive narrative works (compared to that available for print literature and movies) and this shortcoming’s effect on the medium as well as its public perception, including possible solutions.
  • The influence of interactive digital narrative on contemporary culture, as well as possible future developments.
  • The influence of contemporary culture on interactive digital narrative.
  • The nature and role of interactive digital narrative literacy and how such literacy can be created.
  • Ethical, moral, social, and policy issues surrounding the design of interactive storytelling artifacts. (NEW!)
  • Representation in interactive storytelling. (NEW!)
  • Procedural rhetoric. (NEW!)
  • Purposive interactive stories and games. (NEW!)


  • Discussion of interactive digital narratives, either from the perspective of design practice and methods, analysis of applications or case studies, and/or reception and use of applications.
  • Explorations of how game technologies and techniques overlap and impact the field of interactive digital narrative, and how interactive narratives in turn influence games.
  • Explorations of how theatrical and performative practices inform interactive digital narratives, and what theatre or performance work can learn from interactive digital narratives.
  • Example areas of practice include interactive cinema and television, interactive documentaries, educational and health-related applications, interactive installations, performative uses and interactive digital narratives in museums
  • Industry production practices.  (NEW!)
  • Live-action role-playing systems and their relation to interactive storytelling. (NEW!)
  • Interactive storytelling for learning and as tools for teaching. (NEW!)


  • Papers providing historical analysis and perspectives.
  • Approaches towards a combined, critical history of the field, including suitable methods for working towards such a history.
  • Issues related to archiving and/or preserving interactive digital narrative works.
  • Critical thinking around the canon, e.g., whether current methods are suitable for expanding it, whether we are aware of gaps or erasures, particularly those related to designers who hold marginalized identities.


  • Papers discussing the role of the author/designer in interactive digital narratives.
  • Approaches towards models for interactive digital narratives inspired by cognitive science, narratology, performance studies and theatre, and related disciplines.
  • Theories and aesthetics of interactive digital narratives.
  • Storyworlds (NEW!)


  • Papers on Artificial Intelligence techniques for interactive or procedural and adaptive storytelling, e.g., drama management and virtual characters.
  • Procedural generation of narrative elements, e.g., plot, stories, narrative discourses, characters, storyworlds, story-based puzzles, etc.
  • Narrative knowledge representation, reasoning and acquisition.
  • Authoring tools.
  • Interactive cinema and iTV technologies.
  • Novel interfaces and feedback technology.
  • User modeling approaches.
  • Augmented and Mixed Reality storytelling systems.
  • Big data and interactive digital storytelling.
  • Interactive storytelling and digital game technologies (e.g. game engines) (NEW!)


  • Methods for testing the user experience or story development.
  • Normative evaluation of interactive digital storytelling applications.
  • Discussions of narrative-related affect and emotion.
  • Discussions of narrative presence and engagement in virtual environments.
  • Cognitive and affective aspects of interactive storytelling. (NEW!)



  • FULL PAPERS (9-12 pages, excluding references, in the proceedings) describing interesting, novel results or completed work in all topics of this call.
  • SHORT PAPERS (6-8 pages, excluding references, in the proceedings) presenting exciting preliminary work or novel, thought-provoking ideas in their early stages.
  • POSTERS (2-4 pages, excluding references, in the proceedings) describing working, presentable systems or brief explanations of a research project.

There will be an additional call for DEMONSTRATIONS AND WORKSHOP PROPOSALS at a later date as well as a call for the DOCTORAL CONSORTIUM

A separate call for artworks for the ICIDS 2019 ART EXHIBITION will also be announced at a later stage.


All deadlines are specified as Anywhere on Earth time unless otherwise noted.

  • Paper & Poster submission: July 12th, 2019
  • Initial Notification: August 23rd, 2019
  • Author Rebuttals: August 30th, 2019
  • Final notifications: September 6th, 2019
  • Camera-ready submission: September 13th, 2019


General Chair:
R. Michael Young, University of Utah

Program Co-Chairs:
Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera, University of Utah
Anne Sullivan, Georgia Institute of Technology

Local Arrangements Chair:
Corrinne Lewis, University of Utah

Workshops and Tutorials Chair:
Jichen Zhu, Drexel University

Doctoral Consortium Chair:
Ben Samuel, University of New Orleans

Art Exhibit Co-Chairs:
Ryan Bown, University of Utah
Brian Salisbury, University of Utah

Communication Chair:
Rushit Sanghrajka, University of Utah


Contact the Program Chairs:
General Conference Contact:
Submission Portal:
Conference Website:

We hope to see you there!


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