CfP: Extending Play 3: Temporalities of Play

Organiser: School of Communication & Information, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Conference Dates: 30 September & 1 October 2016
Proposals Due: April 3rd

“History is indeed absent from the game, absent as something finished, as a storyline in the past tense. What replaces it is a history workshop, a model of history as the intuition of algorithms and their consequences. The gamer is a designer.”  –Mckenzie Wark, “Gamer Theory”

Extending Play is back, and this iteration will play with the concept of time. We are looking for papers and presentations that excavate the past, interpret the present, and forecast the future of play and games.

We aim to continue the mission of the previous two Extending Play conferences, to entertain all approaches to the traditions, roles, and contexts of play, extending it into far-flung and unexpected arenas. Extending Play 3 will take an inclusive and pluralistic approach to temporality and play, inviting creative applications of the concepts as they relate to all things playable – from games and moving images, to recorded sound and

Extending Play 3 asks important questions about the temporalities of play from emergent scholarly perspectives: Can media archaeology and game preservation revise the history of games and play? Do new methodologies, such as big data and network analysis force us to reconsider the predictability of play? Can queer temporalities of play produce new
activist futures? How is gamification shaping our experiences of time? How are notions of time and play constructed by social scientists, humanists, preservationists, and policy researchers?

We invite scholars, students, makers, artists, archivists, visionaries, game designers, and players to the third iteration of the Rutgers Media Studies Conference: Extending Play, to be held September 30 and October 1, 2016 on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, NJ. Submissions are welcomed from scholars working in media studies and all related fields across the humanities and social sciences.

We are excited to announce our keynote conversations:

  • Wendy Chun (Brown University) and Matthew Kirschenbaum (University of Maryland).
  • Jesper Juul (Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts), plus one more TBA.

In keeping with the tripartite division of past, present, and future, Extending Play invites three types of submissions — papers, panels, and interactive projects. The organizers invite traditional academic papers and panels of 3-4 presenters, along with any form of game, performance or display that submitters may wish to propose. In the past our conference has presented traditional research presentations alongside:

  • workshops,
  • playtests,
  • finished games,
  • technology demos,
  • performance art,
  • happenings that defy classifications

For academic papers and panels, each presenter will have a maximum of 15 minutes to offer his or her ideas as a presentation or interactive conversation, and/or may adopt a more creative approach, incorporating such elements as:

  • material accompaniment (hand out a zine, scrapbook, postcards, etc)
  • performance (spoken word, song, verse, dance, recording, etc)
  • game (create rules and incorporate audience play)

Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:
Histories of Play

  • Historical approaches to leisure, recreation and play
  • History of video game consoles, arcades, cards, board games
  • Performance, intimacy, cosplay, and LARP
  • Urban play, play and city life

Preserving Play

  • Game preservation in archives, libraries, and museums
  • Aesthetics of emulation, remediation, adaptation, and porting
  • Playable media in history: moving images and sound through time
  • Materialities of board games, game packaging, and control interfaces

The Time of Play

  • Toys and play for children and adults
  • Playing with “lag”- network problems, hanging, buffering, glitching
  • Playing with narrative and storytelling
  • Political economies of play, (electronic) sports, and professionalizing play

Playing with Time

  • Gamification and playing with learning, learning while playing
  • Activist time, queer temporalities, and time-bending play
  • Gamifying time, speedrunning, or playing with current events

Predicting Play

  • Games of divination: I Ching, Tarot, Ouija, Palm reading, dice, oracles
  • Role of prediction in game studies methodologies (modeling behavior patterns, actions, etc.)
  • Prediction in game play, development of player networks
  • Playing with health and fitness, quantified selves and wearable technology

Future of Play (Studies)

  • Affective potentials of technology and play
  • Adaptive play and dis/ability studies
  • What will be the role of scholars in the future of play and games?
  • How do cheaters change games?
  • What’s next for play and game studies?

For additional ideas on how to play with media, play with time, or play with space during your presentation, visit our website at

The deadline for proposals is Sunday, April 3, 2016. We invite individual proposals, full panel proposals, and proposals for games, workshops or other interactive presentations. Please use the submission form on our website at to submit an abstract of about 250 words. If you would like to submit supplementary materials, or have trouble with the form, email <>. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by April 30th, 2016.

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