Game Studies


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The study of games and the game experience offers opportunities for the study of human communication that involve multidisciplinary approaches that merge the disciplines of conventional communication studies and research, arts and visual design, cognitive studies, computer sciences, cultural studies, engineering social sciences, health sciences, and information design.

Although the common ground for the division is digital and video games, the group encompasses a broad range of inquiry topics and methods. It serves as fertile meeting ground for the exchange of ideas among a very broad spectrum of disciplines.


G.A.M.E. Issue n. 4 Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce that the Call for Papers for the 4th issue of G.A.M.E. - Games as Art, Media, Entertainment is now available (

Once again, we would like to thank you for the support of this project and to invite you to help  circulate the CFP.

The 4th issue of G.A.M.E. Journal, titled Re-framing video games in the light of cinema, wants to investigate the complex relations between video games and cinema, revising and reflecting on a topic controversially debated over the past 10 years. G.A.M.E. asks, once more, what is cinematic in video games and what is ludic at the cinema.

Following, you can find the extended version of the CFP:


As audiovisual entertainment whose content is largely representational, video games have a lot more in common with film and television than merely characters and plotlines.

Mark J. P. Wolf

('Inventing Space: Toward a Taxonomy of On- and Off- Screen Space in Video Games', in Film Quarterly, vol. 51, n. 1, 1997, p. 11)

With its 4th issue G.A.M.E. wants to investigate the complex relations between video games and cinema, revising and reflecting on a topic controversially debated over the past 10 years. The relationship between these two media is layered and they are interconnected in their practices as much as in their theories. Not only are cinema and video games linked by their audiovisual nature, but they are also connected by similar production paradigms. Not only does the cross-circulation of storylines, characters and brands play a primary role in the rise of convergence culture, but also, on a production level, they are grounded in common artistic and technical competences to the point of developing similar industrial systems.

During the past two decades, cinema became the key to access video games as cultural, artistic and social phenomenon. Consequently, scholars and researchers in Games Studies developed a strong awareness of the problems intrinsic to this comparative approach, leading to its problematisation within academic contexts. Torn between the need to develop an independent field of studies and the clear intermedial vocation of the discipline, Game Studies developed a suspicion towards this relationship, often debated at the margins of one or the other field. With its new issue, G.A.M.E. wants to offer a renewed reflection on the "interaction" between video games and films.

Firstly, Game Studies call for an updated reflection on what Wolf and Perron call (referencing Francesco Casetti's work on film theory) the "methodological theory". After half a century, Film Studies developed a constellation of "theories" that cover the ontological and phenomenological nature of the medium, its practices, its representative strategies, its history and historiographical value, and the politics connected to it, finally leading to question its methodological premises. At the same time video game theory lacks a conceptual history of the medium capable of abstracting the specificity of case studies in order to account for a larger diachronic perspective. Can the cinematic theoretical corpus offer a contribution to the development of Game Studies? If so, what are the possible interceptions between these fields? What more can we learn about video games through the lenses of Film Studies?

On a second level, we want to investigate the characteristics of these two media, their similarities and differences in terms of aesthetics, practices and production. The majority of the studies on this topic assume the narrative quality of the cinematic medium, focusing on the narrative continuity between these media: genres, tropes and iconography. Nevertheless, this assumption is debatable and in need of renegotiation. If, on the one hand, it is true that the cinematic character of video games is mostly codified through its narrative and spectacular acceptations, on the other hand it is possible to rethink the interplay between these two media in different ways. For example, by positioning video games within the larger history of spectacular media and attractions to which also cinema belongs, it is then possible to frame this medium within the tradition that connects shadow play theatre to the magic lantern and, subsequently, to early cinema and devices for amplified vision (widescreen, stereoscopy).

Moreover, the rise of the indie market, the proliferation of tools and commercialised engines, allowed the emergence of experimental work that challenges the mainstream identification with narrative models, opening new horizons of research. Titles such as Garry's Mod provide points of intersection with avant-gardes, problematizing the acquired definition of the medium, its strategies and internal structure.

Finally, with its 4th issue G.A.M.E. intends to discuss the place of video games in cinema. Video games' cinematic incarnations have often been overlooked, mostly referenced with regards to their aesthetic and iconographic influence. Nevertheless, more than 20 years after the release of Tron (1982), video games still influence cinema on iconographic, thematic and linguistic levels. What role do video games "play" in cinema? Are video games contributing to the development of a new cinematic aesthetics? Is this process connected to the commercialisation of new technologies? What are the reasons behind unsuccessful cinematic adaptations of video games? Video games provide source material for TV shows and web series, becoming protagonists of transmedial serialisation. At the same time, they are made cinematic subject of both nostalgic (Wreck-It Ralph, 2012) and apocalyptic (Gamer, 2009) discourses. For these reasons, G.A.M.E. wants to ask, once more, what is cinematic in video games and what is ludic at the cinema.

Scholars are invited to submit 500 words abstracts by 3 May 2014 at the address:
Abstract deadline: 3 May 2014
Notification of acceptance: 12 May 2014

All accepted authors will be expected to submit a full paper by the 3rd of August. We expect to release this special issue in Autumn 2014.


SGaMePlay'2014 -- Call for Papers


This workshop intends to be a forum where researchers, practitioners and industry representatives have the opportunity to present and discuss ongoing work and latest research results of meaningful play and serious games. The workshop intends to cover several dimensions of the original research as regarding to theoretical, methodological and technological developments and also new applications.

We invite authors to submit unpublished work to the Fourth Iberian Workshop in Serious Games and Meaningful Play - SGaMePlay’2014. Authors are invited to contribute with research papers, case studies and demonstrations that present original scientific results, methodological aspects, concepts and approaches in the multidisciplinary field of serious games.


Topics of interest include any area related to Serious Games and Meaningful Play. In particular, topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

- serious game design

- characters, story and storytelling

- content creation

- serious game development  (systems and frameworks)

- game engines

- enabling technologies

- multiplayer serious games (massive mode, collaboration, competition)

- virtual, augmented and alternate realities.

- AI for serious gaming

- natural user interfaces

- usability analysis

- pervasive and mobile games

- evaluation and user studies

- social & psychological impact of digital games

- case studies and applications


Submission and Paper Format:

Submissions must be of one of two types: Full Paper (up to 6 pages) or Short Paper (up to 4 pages). Papers must be written in one of the official conference languages (english, spanish or portuguese) and follow the formatting rules (

All papers should be submitted using the EasyChair system, available in the following link:


Publication and Indexing:

The Workshop full papers will be published on the conference proceedings on paper and on CD, with ISBN. The Workshop short papers will be published on the conference CD proceedings. All papers will be sent to EBSCO, EI, IEEE XPlore, INSPEC and SCOPUS. Full papers will be also sent to ISI.

Important Dates:

• (Extended) Deadline for paper submission: 8 March 2014 • Notification of paper acceptance: 29 March 2014 • Deadline for final versions and conference registration: 12 April 2014 • Conference dates:  18-21 June2014


Organizing Committee Lluís Solano Albajes – UPC, ES Jose Luis Eguia-Gomez - UPC, ES Pedro Miguel Moreira – IPVC, PT Rui Rodrigues – FEUP, PT


Grupo Português de Computação Gráfica Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências dos Videojogos



  • Nicholas David Bowman, Chair
  • Rachel Kowert, Secretary
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