CfP: Beyond Sports vs Games – Workshop @ ITU Copenhagen

Beyond Sports vs. Games – Workshop @ ITU Copenhagen
Friday, February 17, 2012

T.L. Taylor, Emma Witkowski, Miguel Sicart, and Douglas Wilson of the IT University of Copenhagen.


More details after the jump

Ten years of game studies have passed with little exploration of sports as a key link in the study of computer gaming. Despite the huge popularity of sports titles, the growth of e-sports, or the general adoption of “sporting attitudes” and practices, not much work has been done to unpack the nature of computer game play as sport. Conversely, forty years of sports studies have produced only limited consideration of the practices and research taking place on digital playing fields. The time is long overdue for these research fields to mingle. With computer games as a central focus point, this one-day workshop looks to embrace interdisciplinary perspectives on sports and computer games, prompting a richer conversation about the nature of digital play by bringing to the foreground a sports orientation.

This workshop will be of particular interest to researchers working in sports and/or game studies. We welcome an interdisciplinary mix. Drawing from a variety of perspectives including (but not limited to) game studies, game design research, game history, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, leisure studies, and sports studies, workshop participants will present original research on the subject. Topics can range from empirical studies to theoretical or conceptual work that uses sports as a new interpretive frame for digital play. Examples include (but are not limited to):

Sports video games and athletic simulation
Sportspersonship and digital games
Designing for digital sports
Play as sporting performance, expertise, and virtuoso play
Sporting outsiders, alternatives, and rebels
Fantasy sports & gameplay
Amateurism & professionalism
Computer games as lifestyle sports
Coaching, leading, and mentoring teams
Spectatorship, audience, and digital sports
Sporting fields of play: stadiums, servers, and desktops
Digital sporting equipment and gaming technologies
Physicality and embodiment in games
Rules and regulations of play
Computation and sports
Sports ethics and digital games
Relationship between digital games and traditional athleticism/sports

The workshop will consist of presentation of participant research, feedback on it, and themed discussion sessions. Each participant will also be assigned two participant’s abstracts to give focused feedback on. This format offers rigorous consideration of each participants ideas and works to set-up some central issues to be followed as a group in the discussion. The organizers will also provide a few texts for everyone to read in advance (in addition to the abstracts) to provide some shared overview/context.

Deadline and Participation:
There are places for approximately 12 participants. They will be selected by the organizing committee on the basis of the submitted extended abstracts, with an eye toward the overall workshop mix and thematic focus. Extended abstracts of 500 words are due by 15 November 2011 to ewitkowski@itu.dk. You will receive a notification of acceptance within about a week. You must submit via the format provided here [application format here]. The form includes the extended abstract describing how your work relates to the workshop topic and briefly outlines the core issues you are facing or developed points for discussion at the workshop. As the workshop is interdisciplinary, please include in the abstract basic information about your disciplinary context in order to help the organizers theme the discussion sessions.

Participation in the workshop is free. However, participants are responsible for covering their own meals, transportation, and accommodation.

For more information, see the workshop website:

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