Call: The Future of Location-based Gaming Research – DiGRA 2019 Workshop

Call for Participation

The Future of Location-based Gaming Research
A Workshop at DiGRA 2019: Digital Games Research Association Conference (
6 August, 09.00-15.50
Ritsumeikan University Kinugasa Campus
Kyoto, Japan

Submission deadline: 4th June 2019

We are seeking participants for a one-day workshop to be held during the pre-conference program of DiGRA 2019 in Kyoto, focusing on the future of location-based games research. Interested participants should send an approx. 400 word bio, including a description of their previous or current research on location-based games and their specific interest in attending the workshop. Participants will be selected on the basis of their contribution to the field of location-based gaming research, with an emphasis on those with diverse backgrounds and cultures, gender diversity, and a mix of established and early career/emerging scholars. We are particularly looking forward to including a diverse and mixed group of researchers from east and west.

To apply, please send your bio with requested information to Dale Leorke ( by 4th June 2019. Below, please find a more detailed outline of the workshop:

Location-based games have been the subject of academic scholarship since the early 2000s. In the years since, they have attracted interest from researchers from a wide array of disciplines – game studies, media studies, computer science, education, urban studies, psychology, and other health-related disciplines. Given these recent shifts and ongoing developments in location-based game development and players’ experiences with them, there is a growing need to bring together researchers on location-based games to evaluate current and possible future trends in research. This workshop aims to accomplish this by gathering both leading and emerging researchers on location-based games to discuss methods, approaches, and theoretical frameworks for studying them as they continue to evolve.

Each participant will each briefly outline their research interests before working in small groups to discuss four core themes:

  • Games: focusing on the technology and gameplay design of location-based games
  • Play: focusing on studying location-based game players and player experiences
  • Making: focusing on the production process and funding models for location-based games (commercial and public)
  • Cultures: focusing on location-based games’ impact across local and global cultures, comparing and contrasting different national and cultural contexts

The workshop findings and discussion will be entered into a website and publicly distributed after the workshop’s conclusion to spur further discussion around research on location-based games and to help forge potential future research partnerships. We expect the workshop and post-workshop discussions will lead to cross-institutional and international co-authored publications, knowledge exchange, and research collaboration. We also intend to pursue the possibility for a journal special issue on location-based gaming research (e.g. ToDiGRA). Lastly, there will also be a Discord hub to connect interested researchers and practitioners in the field.


Kati Alha, Tampere University
Nobushige Kobayashi, Tohoku Gakuin University
Yuhsuke Koyama, Shibaura Institute of Technology
Dale Leorke, Tampere University
Frans Mäyrä, Tampere University
Janne Paavilainen, Tampere University
Ema Tanaka, Meiji University

Organised by the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, Finland.


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