On the Edge of Ubiquity, from Mobile to Augmented Reality Games and Beyond

ICA Game Studies 2018 pre-conference
Prague, 24 May 2018


The ICA Game Studies Division invites both game scholars and game developers to a one-day conference on gaming that takes place aside from desktop and TV settings. Building upon a wide distribution of high-performing gaming devices and a flourishing market for gaming and gamification apps, multi-platform gaming enjoyed a renaissance in recent years with booming numbers of gamers and ever-increasing revenues. As a consequence of this revival, video gaming today not only predominates many households as one of the favorite pastime activities but also breaks into locations in both private (e.g. bedroom) and public sphere (e.g., public transportation services, train stations, or bus stops, sidewalks, work/classrooms) that were, thus far, not associated with gaming. Game streaming allows us to take our favorite games with us, wherever we go as long as there is an internet connection. These days, games have become an almost ubiquitous part of everyday life, where we can watch live streams of other people playing games, giving game advice, or discussing games 24 hours a day.

The emergence of these non-traditional gaming contexts questions extant knowledge on video gaming as new audiences with needs and motivations different from long-standing gamers find their way to video games. Novel and idiosyncratic gaming practices and experiences have arisen, which bring into question the relationships between games and their players. On the producer side, gaming outside traditional desktop and TV settings also opens up opportunities for game designers to create innovative play concepts as well as for the incorporation of technological innovation that layer real-world settings with gamified content. In addition to these new developments, we also see a revival of retrogaming and a re-emergence of public arcades (e.g. VR gaming arcades). Acting in concert, these developments offer a fertile ground for game-related scholarship to broaden its scope towards new phenomena and to question well-established principles.

To meet these new circumstances, our conference theme puts strong emphasis on gaming beyond the prototypical desktop and TV setting. Thus, the goal of this one-day event is to examine the past, present, and future of ubiquitous gaming. We aim to transcend division boundaries to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange and multi-perspective discussion on these issues as well as establish a fruitful dialogue between academia and industry. Consequently, the conference welcomes submissions from different theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Due to this thematic focus, potential submission may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Gaming practices outside traditional gaming settings
  • Modes of play/ types of play
  • Game streaming and Let’s Plays
  • Retrogaming
  • Gaming arcades
  • (positive and negative) effects of gaming aside traditional settings
  • Perceptions of gaming outside traditional settings
  • Motivations for gaming outside desktop/TV settings
  • Public gaming and audience reactions towards gaming in public places
  • Gamification approaches
  • Technological features for gaming outside traditional settings (e.g. Virtual Boardgames, Virtual Tabletops)
  • Demos or prototypes of mobile games or gaming platforms
  • Novel gaming technologies (Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality …,)
This list is far from exhaustive. We encourage submissions using a wide array of theoretical and methodological approaches (including but not limited to critical/ rhetorical, qualitative, and quantitative research methods). We also encourage not only academic, but also industry submissions (including market/player analyses, potentials, game design concepts, showcases, prototypes that challenge the status quo).


The event provides participants a platform to present their current research and to enter into dialogue with both multidisciplinary academic audiences and industry practitioners. The conference will consist of (submission-based) paper sessions where recent work is presented, each followed by a discussion led by two invited respondents, one from academia and industry. Additionally, invited keynote speakers will provide an opening and a closing address for the event.


The conference invites several types of submissions:
  • Research Reports (all forms of empirical work)
  • Theoretical Papers (all forms of theoretical work, e.g. brainstorming of ideas, position papers)
  • Demonstrations (game or tech prototypes/products)

Research Reports & Theoretical Papers

For Research Reports and Theoretical Papers, submitted proposals should provide (1) a brief description of the theoretical background, (2) research questions, and (3) a summary of the methodological approach. Submissions are not required to provide full results in case of ongoing data collection, but presenters are expected to to present their results at the conference.

Game Demonstrations

We encourage all forms of game-related Demonstrations (e.g., tech/game demos, prototypes, etc.). Proposals should provide (1) a brief description of the basic functionality, purpose, and mechanics of the demonstration and (2) how it relates to the main focus of the pre-conference.
Please email all submissions and questions to Kevin Koban:
Submissions should consist of two separate files: a first file with a version of the paper blinded for peer review and a second file with all author information (name(s), institution(s), title). Submissions will be blind reviewed by a panel of international scholars. Please note that authors may not submit work that has been accepted at the main ICA conference.
  • Word Limit:
    500–1200 word extended abstracts, excluding references (6th ed. APA style).
  • Deadline for submissions:
    January 31, 2018 at 11:59pm EST
  • Notification of acceptance:
    February 15, 2018
© 2017 ICA Game Studies Division