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: