CfP: Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice Area (SWPACA)

35th Annual Southwest Popular / American Culture Association Conference
February 19-22, 2014
Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center
Albuquerque, NM, USA

The Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice Area welcomes papers,
panels, and other proposals on games (digital and otherwise) and their
study and development. The Area is also offering a three hour workshop
titled “Alternative Reality Games: Building and Playing” on the first
day of the conference.

Possible topics include (but are in no way limited to):

Advertising (both in-game and out)
Alternative reality games
Archiving and artifactual preservation
Competitive/clan gaming
Design and development
Economic and industrial histories and studies
Educational games and their pedagogies
Foreign language games and culture
Game art/game-based art (including game sound)
Haptics and interface studies
Histories of games
MOGs, MMOGs, and other forms of online/networked gaming
Pornographic games
Religion and games
Representations of race and gender
Representations of space and place
The rhetoric of games and game systems
Serious games
Strategy games
Table-top games and gaming
Technological, aesthetic, economic, and ideological convergence
Theories of play
Wireless and mobile gaming

For paper proposals: Please submit a 250 word abstract and brief
biographical sketch to the conference event management site:
http://conference2014.southwestpca.org. Make sure to select the Game
Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice topic area. The submission
deadline is 11/1/2013.

For panel and other proposals: Feel free to query the Area Chair first
(Judd Ruggill, Arizona State University, jruggill@asu.edu). Panel and
other proposals should also be submitted to the conference event
management site and include the information requested for individual
paper proposals, as well as a 100-word statement of the panel’s raison
d’etre and any noteworthy organizational features.

As always, proposals are welcome from any and all scholars (including
graduate students, independent scholars, and tenured, tenure-track,
and emeritus faculty) and practitioners (developers, artists,
archivists, and so forth). Also, unusual formats, technologies, and
the like are encouraged.

Graduate students accepted to present in this area may apply for the
conference’s monetary Computer Culture and Game Studies Award. The
full paper is due to the judges on 1/1/2014. For details on this award
and the conference’s other awards for graduate students, see

The Area Research Coordinator is pleased to announce this year’s Game
Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice workshop, “Alternative Reality
Games: Building and Playing.” Alternative Reality Games (ARGs) are, in
effect, multi-mediated treasure hunts constructed in a cohesive
storyline. They ask participants to solve clues, look for connections,
collaborate with physical and virtual teams, and successfully employ
multiple literacies. They are used in educational settings to teach
communication, history, and even physical education. They are used in
the public sphere for fun, community building and management, and
brand development. This workshop will introduce ARGs, how to build
them, and how to play or use them for either educational or community

The workshop is limited to 10 participants, and the goal is for
participants to leave with a framework for implementation or to refine
previous game-based pedagogies. The limited number of participants
will ensure that everyone involved will get the time and attention
they need. Those interested in participating in the workshop should
email a 100-250 word statement of interest to the Area Research
Coordinator (Jennifer deWinter at jdewinter@wpi.edu) outlining what
they are thinking about doing, so that the organizers can best prepare
to meet the specific needs of the participants. Nota bene: There is no
charge for the workshop (for registered conference

The submission deadline is 1/15/14.

The Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice Area is international in
scope and emphasizes diversity, an openness to innovative approaches
and presentations, and the energetic practice of post-conference
collaboration and publication.

The Area Research Coordinator would like to note the following
publication opportunities for this year’s participants:

1) “Computer Game Policy and the Shaping of Play” (tentative title):
This is a collection of essays that arose out of the 2012 SW/TX
PCA/ACA conference. The editors are soliciting submissions that
critically engage with national, corporate, and educational policy on
computer games. The editors are attending the conference. If you are
interested in the CFP, please contact Steven Conway (Swinburne
University of Technology, sconway@swin.edu.au) or Jennifer deWinter
(Worcester Polytechnic Institute, jdewinter@wpi.edu).

2) Carly Kocurek (Illinois Institute of Technology, ckocurek@iit.edu)
and Sam Tobin (Fitchburg State University, stobin2@fitchburgstate.edu)
are also soliciting for the following topic (due before the conference
date). This special issue of Reconstruction seeks explorations of the
world, practices, histories and possibilities of the Video Arcade and
associated spaces in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Video Arcade has
recently been described, in both popular and scholarly works, as
“dead” and yet it retains a curious vitality and visibility. From
Wreck it Ralph and TRON: Legacy to Dave & Buster’s and Barcade, the
video arcade is at once both dead and alive, a topic both for
misty-eyed backward glances and innovative entrepreneurial revival.
This paradoxical state of affairs makes the arcade both a difficult
and important object for scholarly inquiry, one that demands a
diversity of approaches, methods and perspectives. We invite you to
participate in the process of critically assessing the Video Arcade’s
unique cultural position through this special issue. Please see the
full CFP at http://sparklebliss.com/blog/?p=292.

For more information about these opportunities, or to discuss others,
please email the Area Research Coordinator (Jennifer deWinter,

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