CFP: Games Research Methods Symposium, July 10-11, 2017, Sydney

Call for Papers: Games Research Methods Symposium

Digital Cultures @ The University of Sydney
July 10-11, 2017, Sydney
(the week after DiGRA 2017 in Melbourne)



Where is play, in games research methods? Where is location? time? money? expertise? literacy? story? ethics? What are videogame research methods? Board game research methods? Are they different? What does the fall of the MMO mean for games ethnography? Can the increasingly diasporic field of game studies share a critical discourse around research methods?

The goal of this symposium is to challenge and extend the existing academic scholarship of games research methods. As noted by Petri Lankowski and Staffan Björk in the Games Research Methods Textbook, games research methods is a research field in its own right. Yet discussions about methods alone, as in any area, are difficult to fit into game studies journals and conferences. They become wrapped in reports of ‘results’ contributions to ‘theory’, and methods can almost never be the sole contribution. This precludes the rich contribution of mistakes and failures; surprises and flukes; and the focused critique of existing games research methods. Methods are not simply tradition, but must be continually re-examined in the context of the rapidly changing landscape of contemporary games research.

We invite two forms of submissions; case studies and critical methods.

Case Study submissions should refer to original research projects and describe the methodological approach, and highlight the challenges of the research site. What makes this case unique and interesting to others? The focus of the submission should not be on the research findings, but the methodological lessons. Case studies which describe and acknowledge failures will be positively reviewed, as will works-in-progress (such as by PhD students) who are seeking feedback and advice on their methods going forward.

Critical Method submissions do not need to refer to specific projects, and instead should primarily engage critically with existing scholarly work on games research methods. These should not just describe methods, but present an argument for or against approaches. Alternatively, a submission could also contribute to critical discourse about methods, integrated with a clearly defined epistemology and theoretical perspective.

This Symposium is organised by The University of Sydney’s Digital Cultures Research Group. We welcome any and all scholarly work on the intersection of research methods and games.

Our aim is to assemble an edited collection or journal special issue based on the papers presented at the symposium, potentially with a subsequent public call.

Submissions are due April 10. Authors will be notified by April 19.

Submissions should be no more than 1,200 words, excluding references. Submissions can be made via EasyChair (TBC).

The symposium will be free, but all attendees must register.

Registration is currently NOT OPEN.

International delegates planning their trip to Australia around DiGRA 2017 are invited to apply for early registration to confirm their travel plans prior to booking flights.


Digital Cultures @ Sydney
The University of Sydney
Learn More

DiGRA 2017, Melbourne
July 4-6, 2017

If you have any queries, please contact marcus.carter@sydney.edu.au


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