Digital Games Research
ECREA Section
multi.player 2

Compete – Cooperate – Communicate

International conference on the social aspects of digital gaming

 

Date: Thursday, 14. August –  Friday, 15. August 2014

Venue: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster, Germany

Jointly organized by:

  • ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) Working Group „Digital Games Research“
  • ERC (European Research Council) research group „The social fabric of virtual life“ at the University Münster

In the last decade, there has been an increase in ‘social’ multiplayer gaming activities, including rises in co-located gaming and online gaming.  This increase in multiplayer gaming has led to a range of new research evaluating the sociality of virtual worlds, massively multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs), multiplayer shooters, e-sports, and cooperation in party oriented console gaming. However, despite the growth in the field over the few years, many aspects of social gaming still remain largely unexplored.

Building from the topics of discussion generated at multi.player in 2011, proposals are now being sought for the multi.player 2 conference to be held at the University of Münster  (Germany) in August 2014. This is the follow-up conference to the 2011 multi.player conference, organized by ECREA’s temporary working group on Digital Games Research.

The aim of this conference is to take a deeper look at the various forms of human interaction in digital games. Researchers from a variety of disciplines interested in social interaction in games are welcome, including (but not limited to) the fields of communication research, media studies, sociology, psychology, education studies, and economics.

 

Topics

Potential topics of interest for multi.player 2 include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical and empirical approaches to social interaction in digital games
  • Forms of communication in digital games
  • Interaction among co-located gamers
  • Game communities and cultures, social interaction in and around games (e.g., clans and online discussions)
  • Avatars, identification, and self-representation in virtual worlds
  • Development of interaction rules and social norms, including questions of ethics, morality, economy & justice in digital games
  • Entertainment through social interaction
  • Social functionality of online gaming
  • Design and implementation of social interaction
  • Methodology of research on social interaction in games
  • Violent interactions, griefing, and sexual harassment in digital games
  • Excessive use and forms of addiction related to social aspects of gaming

 

Submission process

Individual paper and panel proposals are welcome. Authors interested in proposing a paper or panel for presentation at the conference are invited to submit an extended abstract between 1000 – 1500 words in APA 6th style to the conference organization committee before 15 March 2014. The abstracts should make clear what the status of the proposed work is, and that it will be ready for presentation at the conference. Panel proposals should include a brief synopsis of the general topic to be examined as well as an overview of the unique contribution of each participant. By sending in a paper or panel, the authors agree to personally present their research at the conference.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 April 2014.

To submit, please e-mail a PDF version of your extended abstract with title as an attachment to thorsten.quandt[at]uni-muenster[dot]de. As abstracts will be subject to a blind review process, all identifying author information should be removed from the abstract prior to submission. When submitting the abstract, please provide a separate cover page (in a separate file) including the title of your extended abstract, along with your name, title, department/organization, address, and e-mail information.

 

Student submissions

We are particularly interested in in student panels that discuss up-and-coming research within the area of digital game studies. PhD students should flag their submissions as student papers if they wish to be considered for a student panel (otherwise, they will be taking part in the general paper competition). Student submissions will follow the same rules as standard submissions, however, they will be part of a separate paper competition.

Please note that the multi.player conference takes place right before the European summer school “Identity and Interdisciplinarity in Games and Play Research“ to be held in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Utrecht can be reached by train in less than 3 hours from the venue of the conference, so this would be an exellent (and low cost) opportunity for students to visit both the conference and the summer school.

More information on the summer school can be found here:
http://www.utrechtsummerschool.nl/courses/culture/identity-and-interdisciplinarity-in-games-and-play-research

(Please note: The organizers of the conference and the summer school are not identical. However, the University Münster is one of the participating universities, and some of the conference organizers will take part as lecturers in the summer school. Still, these are two separate events, with independent submission and registration processes.)

 

FAQ

Is there a participation fee? – Yes, there will be a moderate participation fee, but we will try to keep the prices as affordable as possible (i.e. way below 100 Euros).

Will there be student prices? – There will be reduced prices for students and researchers working on a 50 % basis.

Will there be a conference publication? – Nothing is set in stone yet. The first multiplayer conference resulted in a publication. However, not all of the presentations were included, and some of the chapters in the book weren’t part of the conference. The main goal is quality, so we will only produce a book if there are enough excellent papers, and if we can get the interest of a good publishing house. The first multiplayer publication can be found here as a reference of what we have in mind:
http://routledge-ny.com/books/details/9780415828864/

What happens if there isn’t a book publication? – There’s always the option of an open source proceedings volume. Again, we think it makes sense to decide this on the basis of the submissions.

What about accomodation and all these details? – The final program will have all the details, including accomodation, a schedule, directions etc.

What about networking? I heard something about a TV tower party? – You shouldn’t believe everything you hear. While Münster does have a TV tower, there is no restaurant on top of it. However, there will be socializing events where you can meet fellow games researchers and have a drink or two.

Will there be interesting keynote speakers? – That’s the plan.

Is there a preference for a certain paradigm? Will you accept quantitative or qualitative research? And how about theory? – No preference is given to a specific paradigm or approach, as long as it is social-scientific research on digital games that fits the above call. Oh, and it has to be great. J

Is the venue worth a visit, besides the conference? – Absolutely. Münster is regarded to be one of the most lovely, mid-sized cities in Germany. It has a lively student scene – the university is one of Germany’s biggest – , and the historic city centre is quite unique. More information can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Münster

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