Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

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Call for Papers : One-day symposium Japan in the Digital Age

Here’s a cfp that may be of interest to anyone working on Japanese games.

Call for Papers : One-day symposium Japan in the Digital Age

Date: Saturday 28th October, 2017

Venue: The Shed, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Ian Condry, Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mr. Kazuhito Gen-I (源井 和仁), award-winning media practitioner, working on 2.5 Dimension project (theatre adaptation of anime, manga and videogame) read more

Book review – It’s All A Game

It’s All A Game: The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan
Tristan Donovan
New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2017
ISBN: 9781250082725

Following in the footsteps of Replay: The History of Video Games (2010), Tristan Donovan’s new book, It’s All A Game turns to the analogue world to offer an enjoyable meander through the history of board games ranging from Ancient Egypt to the contemporary moment. With chapters covering games including chess, backgammon, The Game of Life, Monopoly, Risk, Cluedo (presented by Donovan as Clue for his presumably larger American readership), Scrabble, Mouse Trap, Twister, Go, Trivial Pursuit, and Settlers of Catan (to name but the headline games), it’s a rapid journey through the world of games and gaming, and Donovan proves to be an amiable and knowledgeable guide. read more

Event: The Future of Esports

The Future of Esports: Challenging Work and Gender Issues in the UK’s Professional Computer Gaming Industry

Part of the Sociological Review Research Seminar Series

Funded by The Sociological Review Foundation

Wednesday, 16th August 2017
Ground Floor, ‘MadLab’, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN

‘Esports’ or electronic sports is the umbrella term for organised, competitive computer gaming usually played by paid professionals. It is an emerging entertainment market worth an estimated $1.5 billion and is comparable in size to many traditional sports, with audiences of tens, even hundreds, of millions of people worldwide. This one-day symposia seeks to build expertise between early career researchers, professional players, and industry experts who are interested in problematising the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of Esports. Sociological research on Esports has begun to highlight the precarious working conditions, such as temporary contracts and exploitative pay practices that characterise professional computer gaming. Similarly, early research into women and Esports suggests that these competitive gaming environments tend to reproduce ‘hegemonic masculinities’ which can leave women isolated and a structural disadvantage in terms of employment opportunities. At this moment, there is the need to launch fruitful and long-term collaborative research agendas to understand the nature of these issues, and establish the networks needed to bring about practical and sustainable social change. Papers and talks will be presented by academics, organisers, and campaigners, addressing a range of issues from exploitative labour practices, gender representation, social inclusion, as well as the challenges of studying player careers, and the complexities of different Esports ecologies. read more

CFP: Indie Interfaces Symposium on indie game dev (Sep 28-30, Montréal)

Call for Papers – Indie Interfaces Symposium
Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre
Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
Thursday, September 28 – Saturday, September 30, 2017

Indie Interfaces” is an intimate industry-academic symposium designed to facilitate knowledge exchange between academics and influential actors working in the field of indie games. Held in Montréal, a city renowned for its diverse and vibrant game development communities, this pathbreaking event will combine roundtable discussions among industry attendees and academic research presentations to foster productive, critical dialogue and collaboration. Moving beyond definitional debates about what counts as indie, this symposium is intended to stimulate innovative, interdisciplinary academic work that can feed forward into game industry practices. read more

The problem of treating play like work

BagoGames/flickr, CC BY

Tom Brock writes on ‘The problem of treating play like work – how esports can harm well-being’ in The Conversation this week.

Esports blurs the distinction between play and work by changing how players value the goals of gaming.

You can read the article on The Conversation, and listen Tom discuss the esports industry on The Anthill podcast All the world’s a game. This is a discussion that looks set to continue in academia, with Staffordshire University launching a BA (hons) eSports course in September 2018. read more

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