DiGRA 2022 Call for papers

DiGRA 2022 will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico from April 25th – 29th 2022. A pre-conference will be held one day prior to the official beginning of the conference.

The theme of the upcoming DiGRA 2022 is “Bringing Worlds Together”, exploring games as spaces of speculative possibility, ambiguity and liminality.

Game studies have always considered games – especially digital ones – hybrid forms, able to combine various cultural phenomena to create limned spaces of uncertain ontology. The tradition to perceive games through interferences, uneasy alliances, disturbing dissonances or outright conflicts is rich. Diverse worlds, literally and metaphorically, collide at play: technological infrastructures, cultural practices, political, ethical, aesthetic and ontological dimensions. These can manifest in a variety of research focus points, including: i the way physical body of the player is merged with the electronic components of the machine and the digital space; the collision of the fictive narrative and real ruleset, governing the way fiction can unfold; the tension between global production regimes and vernacular resistance practices; or the circulation of camaraderie and oppression in player communities. But above all, games are always embedded within broader existing value systems. They can reflect those or challenge their status quo, paving new ways of becoming in the world.

The past months of the worldwide pandemic have also shown the capacity of games and play to literally bring remote worlds together, whether as practices of intimate socialization otherwise hindered by lock-downs and physical isolation, spaces of political resistance or products of increased consumption able to distract from long hours of boredom.

We would like to encourage scholarly reflection on all those diverse ways in which games bring different worlds together.

Possible themes can include:

  • Speculative approaches to games
  • Entanglements between gaming and sociopolitical issues
  • Global and local aspects of play
  • The realistic and the fantastic as aesthetic principles and design guidelines
  • The centre-periphery dynamics (e.g. “real games” and “not games”, games and hegemonial powers, games as globalized products, games as means of artistic expression)
  • The game and the story
  • Verisimilitude and realism
  • Reality capture and customization
  • Games and money (e.g. monetization and blockchain)
  • Realities at play (e.g. augmented reality, virtual reality, alternate reality, LARPs)
  • Questions of inclusion and representation
  • Questions of sustainability and responsibility

With the theme of “Bringing Worlds Together”, DiGRA 2022 makes space for an interdisciplinary critical debate around related questions, inviting a diversity of voices. As mainstream phenomena around games and play grow, so do approaches and tactics at the margin of games culture. This creates potentials for interdisciplinary exchange, methodical variety, and multifaceted critique. DiGRA 2022 welcomes contributions on different game formats, expressions, and phenomena both related to digital and non-digital games.

There will be several special events associated with the conference, including PhD Consortium. It will be organized on the pre-conference conference day, this event will allow PhD students to discuss key issues and seek feedback from experienced scholars. It will provide opportunities for further development of research skills that will be of help to emerging scholars in achieving their academic goals. More thematic workshops can be proposed to the organisers (see submission guidelines below).

The local organisers intend to have some form of remote participation for those unable to travel (more details to be announced).

Important dates:

Submission opens: August 1st 2021
Full papers, abstracts and panels submission deadline: 15 October 2021
Workshop proposals submission deadline: 15 November 2021
Announcement of review results and workshop acceptance: 15 December 2021
Workshop submissions deadline: 15 January 2022
Workshop submissions results: 15 February 2022
Early bird registration & program deadlines: 15 March 2022
Camera-ready papers & abstracts deadline: 30 March 2022
Conference dates: 25 – 29 April 2022

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