CfP: Sport, Play and Game (Utrecht, the Netherlands, 7-10 July 2014)

“All play means something” (Johan Huizinga, 1938)

In recent decades, sport as a social practice has become relevant in many different spheres: in health, economy, politics, education, work and leisure. The importance of sport transcends beyond the confines of the sport field. Sport, in essence, is about organization and organizing.

SCOS 2014 focuses on the symbolic and cultural meanings of sport from the perspective of the tension between play and game. Play refers to the free, the associative, the spontaneous and to (re)creative aspects. Game refers to the serious, the regulated and the competitive aspects. Hence, the conference theme Sport, play and games concentrates on the interplay between the formal and the entertaining; between the serious and the fun. It does so by focusing in on the intricate connections and tensions between work and leisure; system world and life world; rules and creativity; standardization and innovation; the categorical and the personal; the centres of hegemonic power and the margins of everyday organizational life. Because of these tensions and contradictions, the theme of Sport, play and game provides vantage points for exploring beyond taken-for-granted assumptions of social life in organizations.
The conference is concerned with the question how sport is organized both as an active, participative, and a passive, consumed, form of engagement. In both senses, it is interesting to consider how sport functions as a spectacle, as performance and as an aspect of community. In line with this, issues of play and playfulness and of games and gaming in organizations come to the fore. Furthermore, sport features particularities that resonate with organizational life. Organizations are replete with sporting metaphors that give meaning to their practices, such as competition, arena, excellence, talent, team work. We might also think about games like chess as a metaphor for organizing and strategy. Meanwhile, in sport, we find organizational aspects of regulation and control. In this way, the interweaving of sport and organization opens up possibilities for management.
The organization of events such as the Olympic Games, the World Cup Football and the Tour de France has an immense economic, social and political impact. Sport is entangled with issues of bribery and corruption, regulation and politics, and with the role of the State. As such, sport is a nexus between serious fun and serious business.

Please see website for complete call: http://www.scos.org/iframe-5/index.html
We also welcome suggestions for workshops, performances or events. Outlines of proposed workshops should be no more than 500 words and should clearly indicate the resources needed, the number of participants, the time required, the approach to be taken and the session’s objectives.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted as e-mail attachments (all common formats accepted) by 1 February 2014 to the organizers: scos2014@gmail.com

Become a DiGRA Member

Join the premier international association for professionals, academics, developers and other individuals interested in the evolving fields of digital gaming and game studies.