CfP: BEA Research Symposium “Video Games: A Medium That Demand Our Attention”

CfP: BEA Research Symposium “Video Games: A Medium That Demand Our Attention”

Paper Deadline: December 1, 2016

Research Symposium Chair: Nicholas David Bowman | Nicholas.Bowman@mail.wvu.edu
The Research Symposium takes place in Las Vegas during BEA2017 on Sunday, April 23, 2017

From the first “interactive computer demonstrations” at MIT in the 1950s to the blockbuster Grand Theft Auto V in 2013 (the highest-selling packaged media product of all-time), video games have continually captured the public’s imagination and interest. Video games are credited with improving the skills of pilots and surgeons and encouraging murder and mayhem. The gaming industry’s revenues have continually exceeded the film industry, while debates rage as to whether games are toys or more serious forms of art. Games are celebrated for their ability to spark children’s emotions, and chided for corrupting their morals. Finally, games are regarded as social media technologies that encourage interaction, while also regarded as distractions from reality that result in social isolation.

In parallel with these interests is a growing field of scholarly study around video games. The Digital Games Research Association counts nearly six dozen academic journals devoted to games research, and both the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association have formed game studies divisions. The regulation of video games has been raised at state and federal levels in the United States and abroad, and as the medium (and the industry) continues to evolve, so does the academic and general public interests in the uses and effects of the medium.

Somewhat lost in debates over video games as a “good” or “bad” technology is a more nuanced understanding of the experience of digital gaming itself. At least one way to understand video games is to focus on the unique elements of the medium that jointly and individually lead to the creation of the digital experience. Video games can place immense demand on the user’s cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social resources.

The 2017 BEA Research Symposium will sponsor:
– Paper Competitions – for faculty & students
– Student Poster Competition – undergraduate & graduate categories

The Student Paper Competition offers prizes of $300 (1st place), $200 (2nd place), $100 (3rd place). The Student Poster Competition offers certificates of participation to all presenters, as well as prizes for the top posters (posters will be invited from the submitted manuscripts, rather than accepted as a separate submission category). Select papers from the Symposium will also be invited for publication in an edited volume with Routledge, with publication expected in 2018. Additionally, chapters for this volume will also be solicited from, and chapter proposals will be accepted from, scholars not part of the BEA Symposium.

This symposium aims to encourage continued research on each of these for points, with the end goal of broadening and deepening our understanding of the experience of gaming. Scholars are invited to submit original research reports, theoretical proposals/syntheses, or research proposals/in-progress data reports (4000-word limit, inclusive) focused on one of the four conference tracks:

  •  Gaming as Cognitive Demand Chaired by C. Shawn Green, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    This track of the symposium will focus on the perceptual and cognitive abilities that underlie skilled performance on various types of video games as well as how video game play can alter basic perceptual and/or cognitive abilities. We encourage submissions that fit broadly under this theme, including those that highlight how certain game types load differentially on various perceptual/cognitive abilities, how the perceptual/cognitive abilities of skilled players of certain games differ from those of unskilled players, and how dedicated training on certain video games can be used to alter perceptual/cognitive abilities.
  • Gaming as Emotional Demand Chaired by Matthew Grizzard, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
    This track of the symposium will focus on how video games can elicit emotions and how emotions can influence game play. We encourage submissions that address these processes, including how a player’s success/failure in games can elicit achievement-related emotions (e.g., happiness, frustration, anger, pride); how the narrative structure of games as well as characters within games can elicit basic, social, and moral emotions (e.g., happiness, guilt, disgust); and how anticipatory emotions can guide a player’s decision-making in games (e.g., hopes, fears, anxiety). We also encourage submissions that examine the mediating role of video-game induced emotions on behavioral outcomes, including but not limited to goal-directed behaviors and prosocial/antisocial behaviors.
  • Gaming as Behavioral Demand Chaired by Allison Eden, Michigan State University
    This track of the symposium will focus on behavioral demands and outcomes of video games. Submissions are welcome on the following topics: The physical aspect of games, e.g. the effects of game presentation and controller type, physical motion and exertion in game effort and enjoyment, the natural mapping of behavior in games, or the physiological responses to games; the effects of specific behaviors in game, e.g. decision making, search, and interactive behaviors on attitudes, beliefs, habits, or behaviors outside of game; and the real-world behavioral effects of game play, including pro and anti-social behavioral outcomes of games, the gamification of behavior, and habitual versus automatic use of games.
  • Gaming as Social Demand Chaired by Jorge Peña, University of California – Davis
    This track of the symposium will focus on how social cues embedded in video games affect perceptual and behavioral outcomes. We encourage submissions that highlight how design features (e.g., avatars), interaction goals (e.g., cooperation, competition), and social outfits (e.g., teammates, guilds, gaming communities, etc.) affect online and offline social dynamics (e.g., trust, liking, personal relationships, etc). We also encourage submissions highlighting the role of video games to raise awareness of social processes in video games, with both prosocial and antisocial outcomes.

In the submission system, scholars will need to specify:
1. The symposium track (cognitive, emotional, behavioral, or social demand)
2. The type of submission (research report, theory proposal/synthesis, or research proposal/in-progress report)
3. The Author’s status (student or faculty)

NOTE: Authors are welcome to submit multiple submissions, although conference organizers may reject multiple submissions from a single author in the interests of ensuring greater representativeness in the Symposium proceedings.

More info here: http://www.beaweb.org/wp/?page_id=3345


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