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conference summary: #gscpp@pcaaca

book announcement

Area chair Judd Ruggill and LGI Co-Director Ken McAllister, have a new book out from the University of Alabama Press: Gaming Matters: Art, Science, Magic, and the Computer Game Medium. Buy it at amazon.com.

publication opportunities

Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture is soliciting manuscripts as well as reviewers. Issue 4.2 published work by several of our own conference participants. Check out more at: http://eludamos.org.

A new journal, technoculture: an online journal of technology in society is also soliciting manuscripts. Learn more at http://tcjournal.org.

Keep your eyes open for a CFP for a special issue of Reconstructions: Studies in Contemporary Culture on Games as Resistance, edited by our own Marc Ouellette and Jason Thompson. For more information, head to http://reconstruction.eserver.org.

Finally, the Popular Culture Association of Canada has announced its organization, conference, and journal. Support our Canadian brothers and sisters at the clever url http://www.canpop.ca.

conference summary

At the final Game Studies, Culture, Play and Practice (#gscpp) panel, we ran a "big ideas" roundtable discussion on the various topics that arose throughout the conference. Below is a summary of those big ideas. While all are open for future thought and development, I would encourage those of you interested in taking up a topic for future research to collaborate with another #gscpp-er because that's what we do.

  • Mediation of player motivations and game objectives/design and the desire to succeed/fail/innovate. When and where does this mediation take place in games? What happens after WINNING?
  • How do multiple lives affect how we view our own lives and the afterli(fe/ves)?
  • How might we encourage presentations of research through collaborative gameplay at the conference?
  • Surveillance in games and via data collected through play. Who is collecting data? For what purpose(s)? Concerns about anonymity and identity. Implications for play and play communities. Lurking. Viewing. Watching games. Subscribing to gamers. The database. Statistics collected by games, producers, players and observers.
  • Play as performance. The notion of the gaze. Kinect games: what do they tell us about ourselves? While in front of others? The role of the spectator in computer games. Why do we think differently about spectators of computer games than we do spectators of other activities (e.g. sports)?
  • Rules and procedurality (fetishized or not). What falls outside of the rules in games? What are the customs and mores evolving in and around games? Rules that are not written/embodied(?) by/in the code.
  • Deviant behavior with/in games. Surrounding arcade culture?
  • Taylorism, labor, rules, play. Does play as the antithesis of labor provide an explanation for deviant behavior? Gaming as a post-modern, post-human activity by definition? Leisure/labor division.
  • Games as training and judgment. Questioning gamifukation. Epic Win! Serious games industrial complex. Technological innovation via serious games production.
  • Implicative rhetoric located in technological pauses, silences, moments when player agency seems suspended: Heavy Rain, Fallout3, others?
  • Commodity fetishism embodied by games, systems, computers. How do games mediate our (game)worlds as tools a la McLuhan? Nostalgia, use value, games and game technologies as extension of ourselves.
  • Collections and archives: the problems and opportunities inherent in archiving games and their attendant media.
  • Professional gamers and gaming. Ergonomics of controllers.
  • Gamers as objects in space. Objectified by the hardware and observers. What assumptions is the game I’m playing making about me? Gamers . . . In. . . Space! Objects. . . In. . . Space! Games and the breakdown of domestic space rather than public spaces. That’s a bad characterization of the conversation. What does design have to say about the assumptions we have about play? Using mobile games to create private spaces. Documenting networks of play.
  • Broadening game studies to include/apply complex systems, and players interactions within those complexe systems.

Thanks, everyone, for making this such a great conference each year for the last seven years!

links from here
From here, you can read about my research, my teaching, or view my curriculum vitae in PDF format. To view my cv, you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. Other links include my frequently asked questions page, my contact information, or my description at Utah State University.

Please feel free to email me at rylish[dot]moeller[at]usu[dot]edu.

©copyright 2008 Ryan M. Moeller