CfP: FDG 2017 – Deadline extension March 13 11:59 PM PST

Please note that the FDG17 organization decided to extend the paper deadline until March 13 11:59 PM PST.


The 12th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), August 14-17, 2017, Cape Cod, MA (hosted by Northeastern University)

Conference theme: Celebrating the Player

The International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) is a major international event that seeks to promote the exchange of information concerning the foundations of digital games, technology used to develop digital games, and the study of digital games and their design, broadly construed. The goal of the conference is the advancement of the study of digital games, including but not limited to new game technologies, critical analysis, innovative designs, theories on play, empirical studies, and data analysis.

This year’s conference theme focuses on Celebrating the Player. The field of digital game research has made significant advances in the past decade, from attempting to define what games are to developing techniques to create content automatically. As such, the academic community has contributed to the increasing growth, understanding, and diversity of digital games. This year we want to challenge and expand research that improves theories and methodologies around: the interaction between players and games, how games are designed with the player in mind, how games are perceived by players, how novel technologies enhance the player experience, and how games affect players on a cognitive, behavioral and affective level. The aim of this year’s conference is to bring together game researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds and research interests to increase our understanding of players. We welcome high quality conceptual, empirical, theoretical, and methodological contributions.

FDG 2017 will include presentations of peer-reviewed papers (with rebuttal process), invited talks by high-profile industry and academic leaders, panels, workshops, and posters. The conference will also host a game competition, tech demo session, and a doctoral consortium. Papers from past FDG conferences have been included in the ACM Digital Library and we anticipate that long papers, short papers, and posters from this year’s conference will appear there as well. This year’s FDG conference will nominate two papers with honorable mention and one best paper from each track


  • Workshop and Special Events proposal submissions: Monday January 30, 2017
  • Full and Short Paper submissions: Monday March 6, 2017
  • Poster submissions: Monday April 17, 2017
  • Games, Demos, and Panel submissions: Monday May 1, 2017
  • Doctoral Consortium submissions: Monday March 27, 2017


When designing games, the cardinal question is often referred to as “what does the player do”? This question is not restricted to game design but pertains to all game research. For user researchers and data analysts this question is about analyzing, modeling, and predicting player behavior; for AI researchers this is about anticipating player responses to interacting with Non-Player Characters and generated content or modeling human-like responses; for game studies scholars this is about understanding play and its meaning for players, culture and society; for scholars investigating games for a purpose this is about exploring how more impact can be achieved by considering the role of players more fundamentally.  In fact, “what does the player do?” is the central question of this year’s conference theme of “Celebrating the Player” with the following modification: “what does the player do, why, and how do we know?” The “why” suggests a theoretical explanation for understanding players. The “how do we know” refers to a methodological underpinning for understanding players. For FDG 2017 we seek efforts within and across domains and disciplines that propose theoretical frameworks and methods to accomplish this, and thereby advance the field of digital games at large. We especially welcome interdisciplinary efforts where scholars collaborate across disciplines to address this year’s theme.


  • Full Papers with a maximum length of 10 pages
  • Short Papers with a maximum length of 6 pages
  • Workshop proposals as extended abstract with a maximum length of 4 pages
  • Panel proposals as extended abstract with a maximum length of 4 pages
  • Poster as extended abstract with a maximum length of 4 pages
  • Game with unedited video of a playthrough and an extended abstract with a maximum length of 4 pages
  • Tech Demo with unedited video illustrating the technology and an extended abstract with a maximum length of 4 pages
  • Doctoral Consortium as extended abstract with a maximum length of 4 pages

All submission lengths include references and appendices.


We invite research contributions in the form of a full paper of up to 10 pages in length or as short paper of up to 6 pages in length. We invite contributions from any discipline, from computer science, communication studies, learning sciences, and psychology to the visual arts, humanities, public policy, and architecture. When submitting authors are requested to select one the following tracks that fits most closely with their submission (further details on the website):

  • Game Analytics and Visualization
  • Game Artificial Intelligence
  • Game Criticism and Analysis
  • Game Design and Development
  • Games for a Purpose
  • Game Technology
  • Player Experience

All papers must describe a completed unit of work and show rigorous and compelling evaluation of the ideas they present. FDG 2017 will not accept any paper that, at the time of submission, is under review for or has already been published or accepted for publication in a journal or another conference. Each track will nominate two papers for honorable mention and one best paper. All best paper award winners will present their paper in the “best paper” single track session. Honorable mention papers will receive recognition during their session.


The conference workshops are full-day and half-day sessions focused on emerging game-related topics. These workshops provide an informal setting for new developments to be presented, discussed, and demonstrated. Workshops can also be hands-on or studio-based, and we especially encourage the submission of proposals for workshops that involve participants working together to explore and define new areas of game-related scholarship. We are particularly interested in topics that bridge different communities and disciplines. Concise workshop proposals (4 pages) should include: the objectives and expected outcome of the workshop, the rationale for the workshop informed by the literature and current trends, the planned activities, the background of the organizer(s), the anticipated number of participants, and the means for soliciting and selecting participants, and publication strategy.


The conference invites proposals for special events, including but not limited to thematic exhibitions, board game evenings, LARPs, entertainment (e.g., live music). The conference venue includes at least two large spaces that are available and that can be used for ongoing installations or exhibitions. Submissions should not overlap with other events in the program, in particular the Game Competition and Tech Demo. No specific format is requested for this submission. Organizers will coordinate with the Special Events chair.


Panel submissions should be in the form of a 4-page extended abstract describing the focus of the panel (informed by the literature and current trends), providing a list of confirmed speakers, and indicating their areas of expertise relative to the topic. Panel submissions must choose a track. We encourage both debate-style panels that include representatives advocating several positions on a topic of disagreement, and emerging-area style panels that consolidate and explain recent work on a subject of interest to the FDG community.


Posters are aimed at capturing work in progress and ongoing promising research. In addition, in light of the latest developments on research in general, we welcome proposals for studies and experiments designs that have not run yet. We encourage the FDG community to look into the work by the Center for Open Science and the suggestion to consider pre-registration, an open research practice where researchers have the option or are required to submit their research rationale, hypotheses, design, and analytic strategy before beginning the study. Submissions should be in the form of a 4-page extended abstract. Extended abstracts will be published and exposed during a dedicated poster session.


The demo exhibition provides a forum for demonstrations of work best suited to interaction rather than a paper or a formal presentation. This track encourages submissions of technical demos showcasing the latest tools, techniques, and systems created for games by academic or industrial research groups, or other early-stage or late-breaking research not yet ready for formal presentation. Submissions should include a 4-page extended abstract and an unedited video illustrating the technology. Tech demos will be presented at a dedicated tech demo session.


This competition is a showcase of games and playable media. We encourage submissions that are aligned to one or more of these themes:

  • Expressive PCG: Playable experiences that include content generation as the main driver. Encouraged are submissions that think deeply about a meaningful role of Procedural Content Generation (PCG) and not apply it for the sake of increasing replayability.
  • Narrative Experiences: Playable experiences where story and narrative are central elements to the experience. Submissions are encouraged that experiment with innovative ways of how gameplay and narrative are integrated. Also encouraged are submissions that perform environmental storytelling.
  • Games as Research Tools: Playable experiences where the environment is used to study behavior of humans or systems (think of the bullwhip effect in the Beergame), collect data (e.g., gamified surveys), let players contribute to research (e.g., human computation or crowdsourcing games), or train AI agents.

Submissions should include a 4-page extended abstract and an unedited video of a playthrough. Initial selection is juried. Attendees will vote for the best game.


We invite PhD students to apply to the Doctoral Consortium, a forum to provide PhD students with early feedback on their research directions, from fellow students, researchers, and experienced faculty in the area. The consortium is primarily for PhD students who intend to pursue a career in academia and who will soon propose, or have recently proposed, their dissertation research. To apply, doctoral students should submit a CV, a 4-page extended abstract describing their proposed research, and a short letter explaining how you would benefit from the consortium and what questions you want to discuss (general and/or specific to your research). The abstract should address the goals of your research, the proposed approach and how it differs from prior work, any results you may have, and your plans for completing the work. Accepted Doctoral Consortium students will give a presentation and are invited to present a poster on their abstracts during the general conference poster session.


We expect high quality submissions. All submissions will be rigorously reviewed for their technical merit, significance, clarity and relevance to the advancement of digital game research. All submissions must be in PDF format, and comply with the ACM SIG format:

Paper and poster submissions should be anonymized for double-blind review. Paper submissions will also include a rebuttal process where authors will have the opportunity to address the reviewer comments and explain how they will improve their contribution. All other submissions will involve a juried selection process and should not be anonymized.

We welcome videos, binary files, or other materials accompanying submissions to demonstrate the contribution when necessary. For videos, we require that all videos be in MPEG 4 encoding using the H.264 codec, 50 MB or less in size, and 5 or less minutes in length. Other uploads should be less than 50 MB in size or linked to your own distribution repository in your submission.

All submissions should be submitted via EasyChair:

Workshop submissions should be submitted directly to the workshop, in accordance with each workshop’s submission instructions.

At least one presenter of each paper must register for the conference in order for the paper or extended abstract to be included in the proceedings.


The goal of the Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games is to promote and advance the science, technology, design, and study of digital games (also known as computer games, or video games). This is accomplished by operating a yearly conference, the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG).


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