CfP CEEGS 2017: Digital Games Markets In Post-Socialist Countries Workshop

Digital Games Markets In Post-Socialist Countries

An affiliated event of the Central and Eastern European Game Studies Conference 2017

September 28, Trnava, Slovakia

Silvester Buček, Tomasz Z. Majkowski

The transformation of the post-socialist countries which occurred after the fall of the Iron Curtain led to the era known as transition. The word tends to be used without adjectives such as “social,” “economic” or “political,” because the transition influenced many aspects of daily life. After the revolutions, when the major political change led to quick and unstable socio-economic changes, many new markets started to appear. In general, this era is considered to have lasted until the beginning of the new century, when eight post-socialist countries became part of the EU (meaning they had to accommodate to the laws and regulations of the EU), and others became more stable than in the 1990s.

It is significant that in post-socialist countries political restrictions were interchanged for economic ones. The aim of the workshop is to map the basic problems for commercial subjects in the newly found markets of digital games, and the way these problems were overcome. The era was not a simple transformation from socialist to capitalist economy, it also brought major changes in the social order, including the appropriation of the cultural norms of Western capitalist society. It is clear that there were a lot of unknown and specific challenges the games markets had to deal with.

But in the 1990s there were at least two other global issues influencing the games markets. Apart from the change in the social, economic and political arrangement of the countries, it was the fast advance of the information technologies worldwide, and related to that, the rise of videogames markets around the globe, where the situation became much better after the Atari crisis.

A pilotage study held in Slovakia has found that all these factors led to events that presumably changed the perception of digital games (and their players) from a hobby, closely connected to the computer discourse, to a medium “for the whole family.” Now we wish to expand the scope and look for tendencies in other post-socialist countries, to answer a question about how games became part of the mainstream culture in the newly created capitalist economies.
We will welcome your input and ideas about the situation in all countries that went through the post-socialist transition. The workshop will consist of individual presentations followed by a discussion. Due to the exploratory nature of the workshop, we encourage participants to submit work-in-progress papers, as well as finished research. The outcomes can bring insight in the topic of transformation/creation of this characteristic media market.

Topic suggestions

– Challenges of the digital games markets after fall of socialist regime
– Social perspectives on the gamers communities in this era
– Economical perspectives, including the studies about subjects of the digital games market of the times
– Topics about unauthorized distribution from social, economical or legal perspective
– Game journalism during transition
– Production and distribution processes of digital games in the years after political shifts
– Policies concerned by the “inappropriate” content in digital games (bans, ratings…)

We also welcome similar topics for years before and after the transition, for better contextualization of the workshop

To participate in the workshop, please submit a a 500-word (excluding bibliography) abstract of your paper to Silvester Buček (sboochek@gmail.com). Submissions will be reviewed by the workshop organizers. To take part in the workshop, one has to register for CEEGS 2017 – however, acceptance into the program of the main conference is not required for participation in the workshop.
Deadline: July 20, 2017
Acceptance notification: August 10, 2017

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