Call for papers: DiGRA 2023 International Conference

DiGRA 2023 will take place in Sevilla, Spain, 19th-23rd June 2023. A pre-conference will be held one day prior to the official beginning of the conference, on Monday 19, with a PhD Consortium and Workshops.

The theme of the conference will be Limits and Margins of Games, exploring games as interstitial spaces between disparate realities.

The negotiation of limits and margins is a fundamental component of play which has been discussed regularly, from foundational approaches of the study of games and play to more contemporary ones. DiGRA 2023 aims to continue expanding this discussion with debates that take into account recent developments in society, technology, and gaming industries, such as underground and countercultural game-making, the consolidation of VR as a gaming platform, the decentralisation of player communities, the interlacing between games and politics, and the changes in digital culture caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, to name a few. These events challenge the traditional theoretical framework of game studies as a discipline and call for new conversations.

Margins and limits are, by their very own nature, nebulous and hard to define. They accommodate conflicts for the social imaginary where matters of culture, race, gender, and social class are articulated. These spaces can be material or symbolic, from conceptions of the Global South, citizenship, and censorship to ideas about community, belonging, and representation.

By limits we understand the moving zone in which the materiality of play and games is manifested. This includes, but is not limited to, the ontology of games, the aesthetics of games and play, games as media, game genres, virtual reality experiences, and games and new social realities.

By margins we understand the emergent practices in light of a changing environment under continuous transformation. This includes, but is not limited to, queer practices in games, playing with sexuality, the hegemony of play, game developments in the periphery, identity/identification through play, games as texts, and flaneurism, contemplation, and archaeogaming.

We would like to encourage scholarly reflection on all those diverse ways in which games act as spaces of possibility between disparate realities. Possible themes can include:

  • ontological approaches to games;
  • the aesthetics of gaming & playing;
  • games of the future: avant-garde and digital games;
  • games as media/media as games;
  • genres and generations: the limits of the experience;
  • virtual reality experiences;
  • games and new social realities;
  • queerness in games;
  • playing with sexuality;
  • the hegemony of play;
  • game developments in the periphery;
  • identity/identification through play;
  • games and politics;
  • games as texts: playing with literature;
  • local/regional histories and game studies;
  • flaneurism, contemplation, and archaeogaming.

With the theme of Limits and Margins of Games, DiGRA 2023 makes space for an interdisciplinary critical debate around a plethora of interconnected topics, inviting a diversity of voices and perspectives. As games continue to grow and playful practices continue to shape both dominant and resisting forces in society, game studies must keep looking at the margins and limits not only of its objects of study, but of itself as a discipline. This creates potentials for interdisciplinary exchange, methodical variety, and multifaceted critique. DiGRA 2023 welcomes contributions on different game formats, expressions, and phenomena both related to digital and non-digital games.

The submissions are invited into six tracks:

  1. Philosophy and Theory of Play & Games: theoretical frameworks and investigations of games and play phenomena as well as meta-reflection on game studies methods and practices.
  1. Game Analyses, Criticism, and Interpretation: analyses, close-readings, and critical discussions of game texts.
  1. Game History and Cultural Context: explorations of game histories, contemporary game cultures and regional game studies.
  1. Play and Players: empirical research on play and playful behaviour, players, fandom, and game communities.
  1. Game Design, Production, and Distribution: reflections on making and research creation, processes of production and design, and the games market.
  1. Serious Games and Education: research on games and play for learning, education, and therapy, and other applications beyond game studies.

There will be several special events associated with the conference, including a PhD Consortium. It will beorganised on the pre-conference day, and it will allow PhD students to discuss key issues, benefit from peer support, and seek feedback from experienced scholars. It will provide opportunities for further development of research skills that will be of help to emerging scholars in achieving their academic goals.

To submit your proposal, please apply directly through EasyChair: https://easychair.org/my/conference?conf=digra2023

The organisers also accept thematic workshop proposals (see submission guidelines below).

About DiGRA

DiGRA was established by an international group of scholars in Tampere, Finland, after the Computer Games and Digital Cultures conference that took place in 2002. Since then, it has continued to grow, including the establishment of many regional chapters in different parts of the world.

Important dates

  • Submission opens: 1 November 2022.
  • Full papers, abstracts, and panels submission deadline: 30 December 2022.
  • Workshop proposals submission deadline: 30 January 2023.
  • Announcement of review results and workshop acceptance: 28 February 2023.
  • Workshop submission deadline: 30 March 2023.
  • Early bird registration & program deadlines: 1 May 2023.
  • Camera-ready papers & abstracts deadline: 15 May 2023.
  • Conference dates: 19-23 June 2023.

To submit your proposal, please apply directly through EasyChair: https://easychair.org/my/conference?conf=digra2023

Proposals other than workshop proposals sent to the DiGRA email address will not be considered.

We are looking forward to welcoming the game studies community to Sevilla in June 2023!

Submission Guidelines

We welcome a range of contributions to DiGRA 2023: full papers, extended abstracts, panel and doctoral consortium participation, and workshop proposals.

Full papers and extended abstracts will be peer-reviewed, published on the conference website, and published in the conference proceedings available via open-access through the DiGRA Digital Library: http://www.digra-old-site.local/digital-library. Panel proposals will be peer-reviewed and published on the conference website but will not be included in the conference proceedings published through the DiGRA Digital Library. Workshop proposals will be selected by the conference organisers based on non-anonymous submissions.

All except workshop submissions should be made via EasyChair. Workshop proposals should be sent directly to the conference email: heylisten@digra2023.org.

Authors are asked to direct questions to the program chairs: Marcelo Simão de Vasconcellos (marcelodevasconcellos@gmail.com), Tanja Sihvonen (tanja.sihvonen@uwasa.fi), and Víctor Navarro-Remesal (vnavarro@tecnocampus.cat).

Full Paper

Full papers are expected to be 5000-7000 words plus references, submitted as an anonymized PDF on DiGRA 2023 Submission Template. Submissions must be original, which means that they have not been published or are not under peer review elsewhere.

Full papers are peer-reviewed publications of original game studies research, presenting mature, complete research. Authors must present accepted full papers at the DiGRA conference. Accepted manuscripts will appear in the Proceedings of the 2023 DiGRA International Conference, which is published in the open access DiGRA Digital Library.

Extended Abstract

The suggested length for an extended abstract is 500-800 words, with a maximum of 1000 words, excluding references (only key references should be included), submitted as an anonymised PDF using the DiGRA 2023 Submission Template. Give a short description in the abstract field of the conference management system, but there is no need for extended abstracts to contain an abstract.

The purpose of an extended abstract is to demonstrate a contribution interesting to DiGRA audiences. An extended abstract might describe a study or research program that is underway but might also describe a pending program of research. It might outline findings, or it might establish and discuss a research question. It might describe the study’s method or methodology, or it might focus on outcomes and results. It might describe work that is planned, work that is in progress, or work that has been completed.

Accepted extended abstracts will appear in open access DiGRA Digital Library.

PhD Consortium Submission

Selection for the PhD consortium will be based on an extended abstract based on an ongoing PhD research project, with a maximum of 1000 words, excluding references (see Extended Abstract guidelines, above). They should be submitted to PhD Consortium track, as NON-anonymised PDF, with a short description in the abstract field of the conference management system (there is no need for a doctoral consortium application to have an abstract).

Submissions must use the DiGRA 2023 Submission Template.


A panel session will typically occupy a single conference session and have a duration of 80 to 90 minutes. Panel proposals should have a maximum length of 1000 words, excluding references, plus a 100-word biography of each participant. They should include: the focus or topic of the panel, a description of why the topic will be of interest or relevant to DiGRA attendees, a list of confirmed participants, and a description of their background and expertise.

Panel proposals will be peer-reviewed.Panels should be submitted as PDFs on DiGRA 2023 Submission Template


The conference workshops are three to six hours long sessions focused on a particular game-related topic. Workshops provide an opportunity for new ideas, theories, and trends to be presented and discussed. Workshops can also be practical tutorials.

Concise workshop proposals of no more than 1000 words (excluding bibliography) should include major objectives and expected outcomes of the workshop, the justification for the workshop informed by current trends and research, the format and activities planned for the workshop, the organisers’ background, the anticipated number of participants, and the way they will be selected.

Please note that the submission should NOT be anonymous as the organisers’ background is very important in the decision-making process for workshops.

Submit workshop proposals directly by email to heylisten@digra2023.org by 30 January 2023.

Number of submissions per author

Authors cannot submit more than two papers and/or extended abstracts to DiGRA 2023, including PhD Consortium submissions. An individual can be co-authors on as many full papers and extended abstracts as they like but cannot submit more than two as main author/presenter. If the limit is exceeded, only the two first submissions will be reviewed.The limit does not include participation in panels or workshops.

DiGRA 2023 Website

For more details about the conference, visit the website: https://digra2023.org/

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