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09:00-10:20 Session 10A

Philosophy and critique

Johanna Blom (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Mattias van Ommen (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, United States)
Fanny Barnabé (University of Liège, Belgium)
Marc Steinberg (Concordia University, Canada)
Akinori Nakamura (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
Japanese Role-Playing Games in the Ludo Mix: Paradigms, Practices, and Challenges
PRESENTER: Johanna Blom

ABSTRACT. Our panel aims to challenge the Western-centric perspectives in game studies and video game culture by critically examining the Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) “genre”. While there is a growing amount of scholarship drawing on JRPGs, there is a gap in critical work examining them as JRPGs, making this a relevant topic for Digra attendees interested in the crossroad between Japanese Studies, Game Studies, and transmediality. Our panelists therefore ask the following questions: how does the ludo mix come to matter in the way both players and game studies scholars define JRPGs? What are some of the most commonly observed elements of JRPGs, how are these used to contrast with WRPGs, and in what ways do these elements resurface in recent JRPG-inspired indie game productions? What are some of the most common misunderstandings about JRPGs and what are some ideas, including renaming the genre, to help eliminate such misunderstandings?

09:00-10:20 Session 10B

Making sense of play and players

Rhys Jones (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Jeffrey S. Bryan (University of California, Irvine, United States)
Joshua Tanenbaum (University of California, Irvine, United States)
Adapting the Empty Orchestra: the Performance of Play in Karaoke

ABSTRACT. Karaoke is a unique social game of performance play that is easily adapted into existing play forms and play communities. In this paper, we examine how karaoke is encountered by players, how the game is structured, and how play is adapted by play communities by evaluating the ludic elements of karaoke and the playful methods players use to engage with the game, ending with critical examples of playful adaptations. We argue that karaoke is so adaptable because of its ubiquitousness, its relative lack of explicit rules, the flexibility of is implicit rules, the personal nature of its goals, and the variability of its primary mode of play. This creates a loose structure that can take in other structures, be incorporated by them, or even completely consumed by them, yet remain recognizable.

Costantino Oliva (University of Malta, Malta)
Taiko no Tatsujin: Musical literacy in the Media Mix

ABSTRACT. This paper analyzes the Taiko no Tatsujin (Bandai-Namco, 2001/2018) franchise and the musical literacy it conveys. While previous accounts of game musical literacy have focused on the competence necessary to interpret references across media (van Elferen, 2016), this paper expands the concept, including forms of musical participation such as live performances and oral traditions.

The compositions included in Taiko no Tatsujin pertain to the Japanese media mix, as they have been previously popularized by anime and geemu ongaku (game music) (Yamakami & Barbosa, 2015). However, the musical participation extends its references to the practice of Japanese taiko drumming, a largely non-literate musical form, which cannot be reduced to a musical repertoire.

The conclusions show that various different forms of participation in musical performances, or musicking (Small, 1998), concur in constructing game musical literacy. The musical culture associated with digital games is therefore expressed through a large variety of musical practices.

Marigold Bartlett (Ghost Pattern, Australia)
Jey Biddulph (Meridian Adventure Co, United States)
Stephanie Boluk (University of California, Davis, United States)
Teddy Diefenbach (Independent, United States)
Leeying Foo (Kaigan Games, Malaysia)
Laura E. Hall (Timberview Productions/Meridian Adventure Co, United States)
Alexandra Lee (PlayReactive, Australia)
Clarissa Ai Ling Lee (Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, Sunway University, Malaysia)
Lee Shang Lun (PlayReactive, Australia)
Patrick LeMieux (University of California, Davis, United States)
Amani Naseem (PlayReactive, Maldives)
Chad Toprak (Freeplay Independent Games Festival, Australia)
Douglas Wilson (RMIT University, Australia)
Every Escape Room in this City: In Search of A Well-Played Game
PRESENTER: Patrick LeMieux

ABSTRACT. In July 2018, thirteen game designers, researchers, and curators met up in Malaysia for a week to try and play every escape room in Kuala Lumpur. Not a travelogue, review, survey, or typology, the project was conceived as a focused reflection on the experience of playing well together, over a concentrated period of time, in a city which features a dense network of escape rooms. Playing an escape room is at once deeply personal, historically specific, materially complex, and collaborative; there is no way to divorce how one plays from the specific time, place, people, and room one is escaping. Instead, understanding escape rooms demands a kind of group phenomenology qua metagame—one that addresses the context and actors implicated in this media mix. This talk will detail the experience of playing and thinking collectively, as well as the metagame that emerged over the course of many escape rooms.

Melissa J. Rogerson (Interaction Design Lab, School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Lucy Sparrow (Interaction Design Lab, School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Martin Gibbs (Interaction Design Lab, School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Australia)
People@Meeple: "it's a community thing"

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we examine the apparent contradiction in hobbyists’ attendance at a public boardgaming convention which fails to deliver the control and protection that they value. In doing so, we highlight the importance of participation in a community of players and hobbyists (Stebbins 2015), and identify key factors which drive that participation. Our contribution is in an understanding of why and how the experience of attending an event supersedes or aligns with players’ broader practices and enjoyment of play. This research presents a rich qualitative discussion of the behaviour of attendees at a small boardgame convention in Melbourne, Australia. It highlights the deep sense of community and commitment to the hobby that participants feel (Huizinga 1950 [1938], 12, Woods 2012, 129, Pearce and Artemesia 2011, 129), as well as the essential trust that underlies both organisation of and participation in such events.

09:00-10:20 Session 10C

Philosophy and critique

Tomasz Majkowski (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
Alexandre Paquet (University of Toronto, Canada)
Dawn of Machinic Cyclicality: Life as We Don’t Know It

ABSTRACT. This paper engages with the question of cyclical time, and more specifically, how the re-imagination of collectives introduces an essential agency in conceptualizing time by diving into the narrative of the video game Horizon: Zero Dawn (2017) to examine the ways in which entanglements of different forms of life (such as the coexistence of humans, nonhumans and technology) as planetary collectives challenge the fixed structure of time through the incorporation of agency as a decisive factor in shaping cyclical time. The first section explores the complexity of the human-nonhuman coexistence in relation to discourses of the Anthropocene, Capitalocene and Chthulucene. The second section engages more specifically with the ways in which these newly conceived entanglements challenge notions of time by allowing for productive ways to transform our understanding of endings and the potential of innovative cyclicality to arise.

Federico Alvarez Igarzabal (Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP), Germany)
Structuring Gametime. A Typology of the Temporal Constituents of Video Games

ABSTRACT. This presentation will introduce a typology of the elements that determine time in the video game medium. Taking from research from other scholars and my own observations, I divide these elements into three categories: (1) change of state, (2) space-time, and (3) conditions. "Change of state" focuses on how events give rise to time, and how they can be manipulated (e.g. paused or reversed). "Space-time" analyzes how the design of the game space directly affects a game's temporality. Finally, "conditions" describes how the rules and mechanics of a game shape its time. This typology is aimed both at scholars and designers alike. It can work as a toolkit for the analysis of time in specific games, or as a list of ingredients to design a game's temporality.

Ea Christina Willumsen (University of Bergen, Norway)
Milan Jaćević (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, Institute of Visual Design, Denmark)
A Typology of Rumble

ABSTRACT. Rumble is a feature of most modern games published for home consoles, yet no existing studies on rumble and haptic feedback consider its various manifestations and functions in digital games. Likewise, analytical frameworks for understanding digital games tend to overlook rumble as a significant component of the game object or experience. Building on analyses of nine games from the PlayStation family of home consoles, this paper explores rumble as a two-level semiotic structure, consisting of a feedback source and (a) level(s) of operation. The two components are suggested as the base for a typology that accounts for the specific feedback source – environment, object, interface, or body – and its specific levels of operation as ludic, dramatic, technical, or an overlap of any of these. We present examples of each type to discuss the uses, applications, and limitations of the framework in relation to both analysis and design.

Grant Tavinor (Lincoln University, New Zealand)
Towards an analysis of virtual realism

ABSTRACT. That VR media are realistic, or more realistic than other traditional forms of depictive media, has sometimes claimed to be a “common-sense” view. Exactly what comprises the realism of virtual media is not entirely clear and needs careful analysis, however. This paper offers a philosophical analysis of the concept of “virtual realism” as it applies to videogames and related media. The term turns out to have several different senses that though related, are materially distinct and of differing credibility. This paper will add depth and clarity to the growing literature on virtual reality media by providing analysis of a key concept that is currently undertheorized.

09:00-10:20 Session 10D

Making sense of play and players

Rebecca Waldie (Concordia University, Canada)
Chris Alton (York University, Canada)
Kelly Bergstrom (University of Hawai'i, United States)
Kim Khanh Tran (McMaster University, Canada)
Toeing the Gender Line: Unpacking Gendered Video Game Spaces

ABSTRACT. This panel proposes to critically engage with gender discourses in video games through a variety of lenses. Waldie and Alton’s papers unpack video games as texts to be considered for their re-enactment of societal gender norms, either critically or in an affirming way. Bergstrom explores games as spaces gendered by the players themselves through community and gamer interaction. Tran’s research unpacks the ways in which gender expectations are undermined in conventionally gendered game experiences.

09:00-10:20 Session 10E

Doing games research

Paweł Grabarczyk (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Carl Therrien (University of Montreal, Canada)
From Technological Revolution to Cultural Obsolescence. NEC’s PC Engine between American erasure and French edification

ABSTRACT. The PC Engine platform represents a prime example of the occultation process currently at play: the Japanese console, which failed commercially in North America but gained cult status in Japan and in some parts of Europe, is nearly absent and/or misrepresented in major historical accounts. How did such a cult platform, produced by one of the biggest Japanese corporations, become nearly invisible in English journalistic and academic accounts over the course of 25 years? This paper will present cultural biases that led to this erasure in US-centric historiography, and provide a counterpoint through the case study of a fan-made French documentation project.

Mahli-Ann Butt (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Cody Mejeur (Michigan State University, United States)
‘Fuck Game Studies’: (Not)coping and the affective labour of diversity workers in Game Studies

ABSTRACT. This study presents preliminary findings of qualitative semi-structured interviews. These interviews were conducted with diversity organizers who work in the discipline of game studies. In order to shed light on the often-invisible intersections between diversity work and affective labour (Hardt 1999), this research reports on the lived experiences of our interviewees (Jackson 2012) so as to add more nuance to our understanding of the cultures of games academia.

Stefano Gualeni (Institute of Digital Games - University of Malta, Malta)
Riccardo Fassone (University of Turin, Italy)
Jonas Linderoth (University of Skövde, Sweden)
How to Reference a Digital Game

ABSTRACT. The question of what constitutes a game as a social object is famously problematic. The alleged impossibility of formulating a complete analytical definition for what constitutes a game is perhaps the most evident symptom of that difficulty. One expression of this problem that has been entirely overlooked by academia is the scholarly practice of referencing games.

This paper addresses game referencing as a practice that is implicated with- and constitutive for- the ways in which we conceptualize and assign cultural value to games. Focusing on the conceptual framing of games, on game authorship, and on the historical dimensions of both, we will discuss referencing games as an act that is inevitably political. On these premises, we will provide foundational guidelines for thinking about one’s decisions concerning referencing and about the meaning and relevance of those decisions.

09:00-10:20 Session 10F

Serious games

Frederic Seraphine (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
Masakazu Furuichi (Nihon University, Japan)
Megumi Aibara (Nihon University, Japan)
A Challenge of Developing Serious Games to Raise the Awareness of Cybersecurity Issues

ABSTRACT. One of the Japanese Government Reports says about 265,000 persons in charge of cyber securities in our country, but we need to raise more 80,000. In order to solve this problem, many are providing educational programs, but lecture types of learning is not enough effective since the techniques of cyber attacks grow day by day. Therefore, our proposal is to introduce “Serious Games”, and here are three reasons. One reason is that since games are attractive to many persons in Japan, they would be good learning materials to keep their motivation. The other reason is that games are good method of simulation based learning and training for dynamically changing cyber security issues. The last reason is that computer games are the good platform to perceive the learning activities of person. In this paper, a process and lessons learned of solving this problem by Serious Game Jam is described.

Annakaisa Kultima (Aalto University, Finland)
Outi Laiti (University of Lapland, Finland)
Sami Game Jam – Learning, Exploring, Reflecting and Sharing Indigenous Culture through Game Jamming

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we explore the experiences and lessons learned from Sami Game Jam 2019. Sami Game Jam 2019 was organized in Utsjoki, in a small Sámi village next to the border of Finland and Norway. The group of 44 jammers consisted of local Sámi participants and Finnish as well as international game students and professional developers. The event had 12 Sámi themes to explore that were dived between the teams and the event resulted in six games all combining two. The jam was stressful for the participants and organizers, both Sámi and non-Sámi, but in the end created an invaluable space for rich experiences, learning and self-discoveries. Furthermore, the jam provided a platform for indigenous game development and local game education and a platform to develop Sámi pedagogy further.

Tarja Susi (University of Skövde, Sweden)
Niklas Torstensson (University of Skövde, Sweden)
Ulf Wilhelmsson (University of Skövde, Sweden)
"Can you send me a photo?" - A Game-Based Approach for Increasing Young Children’s Risk Awareness to Prevent Online Sexual Grooming

ABSTRACT. This paper presents a game-based approach for raising young children's online risk awareness, to decrease the risk of becoming the subject of sexual grooming. Hidden in the Park is an adventure game, including a classic game board and a tablet with Augmented Reality-technology. The game mechanics are based on data from true grooming processes. The game's target group is children aged 8-10 years. This paper describes the game development, from a prototype to an approved release version that will be released as a non-profit product during 2019. We describe the creation of the game mechanics, the iterative development process, and game evaluation. 25 pupils in the target group participated, but the ages 7-12 (n=70) were included to evaluate whether the game would suit the intended target group. Results show that the game is fun and engaging but that it also raise questions concerning online activities.

Kazuhiko Ota (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan)
Joost Vervoort (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
Kazutoshi Iida (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
Yukihiro Tsujita (Kyoto Seika University, Japan)
Masahiko Murakami (Skeleton Crew Studio, Japan)
Astrid Mangnus (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
Co-creating serious game for sustainability transition: Case study of the Serious Board Game Jam 2018 in Kyoto

ABSTRACT. Researchers working toward the transition of a sustainable society are expected to operate as transdisciplinary agents of social change, beyond conducting research for publication. Game jam which researchers and citizens co-create serious games is an attractive method, but the design for experts and participants to collaborate effectively is not enough considered. This presentation is a case study of serious board game jam designed based on project based learning and activity-led learning with the aim of filling in the knowledge-action gap and the imagination gap. This event was held in Kyoto city in November 2018, and 39 people participated. The results of the questionnaire and interview conducted after the event provide insight that it is important to create a mixed team of experts and participants, to make voluntary access to information and knowledge on themes on various channels, and to have enough time for idea exchange and test-play.

10:40-12:00 Session 11A

Philosophy and critique

Hanna Wirman (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Tania Marlowe (Monash University, Australia)
A TRU Proposal to the Ladies, through #selfcare, Mary Astell, and Xenofeminism

ABSTRACT. Brie Code, the Creative Director of TRU LUV, explains the main aim of the studio is to create “interactive experiences for your phone that leave you feeling calm, connected, and invigorated.” Code’s goals are to create a digital space in which people, particularly women, are encouraged to explore personal connections and develop a sense of personhood in line with positive expressions of emotion. The first app released, #selfcare, is a manifestation of Code's aim to create games that follow a 'tend-and-befriend' design framework, rather than 'fight-or-flight.' Just as this games studio proposes an alternative framework, and then presents an example of a working model, so have similar feminist philosophies over history.

This paper will juxtapose #selfcare with Mary Astell's 17th century Cartesian feminism and Xenofeminism's 21st century technofeminism.

Federico Alvarez Igarzabal (Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP), Germany)
Belief-Discordant Alief: A Common Denominator of Fiction and Non-Fictional Games

ABSTRACT. This presentation will introduce Tamar Gendler's concepts of belief and alief and argue that their relation is central to understanding play, games, and fiction. When watching a horror movie, spectators believe that they are safe in a theater but alieve that a killer is out to get a group of people. The emotional and behavioral responses of this audience are in part influenced by this belief-discordant alief. I will argue that this phenomenon is behind the appeal of fictions, play, and even non-fictional games.

Sebastian Möring (Digital Games Research Center (DIGAREC), University of Potsdam, Germany)
Expressions of care and concern in eco-critical computer game play

ABSTRACT. The research question of this paper is: How is environmental responsibility expressed as a matter of concern and care in present-day computer game play? In light of this responsibility this paper offers to investigate how ecological responsibility is expressed in eco-critical computer game play, drawing on the concepts of care and concern as laid out by Heidegger in his existential phenomenology (Heidegger 2008), and as applied to games by Möring (2013, 2016), on literature from green game studies, as well as on three game examples: Eco (Strange Loop Games 2017), Minecraft (Mojang 2011), and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Entertainment 2017). The paper aims to contribute to the discourse of green game studies.

Nele Van de Mosselaer (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
Only a Game? Player Misery Across Game Boundaries

ABSTRACT. Video games often evoke anger, frustration, sadness, and fear. Players perceive these negative emotions either as a part of the challenge or the fiction of the game, and even willingly seek them out. Indeed, the developer’s responsibility in causing player misery is rather trivial. But what if developers were responsible for events in videogames that are not perceived as fictional or a part of the game by the player, and created undesirable feelings and situations for these players because of it? In this paper, I investigate player misery that is caused by elements outside of the perceived game boundaries: misery that is a consequence of the player being tricked by the game’s design. I argue that this kind of misery is in a way more consistent and authentic than its lusory or fictionally caused counterparts.

10:40-12:00 Session 11B

Making sense of play and players

Megumi Aibara (Nihon University, Japan)
Elina Koskinen (Tampere University, Finland)
Kati Alha (Tampere University, Finland)
Janne Paavilainen (Tampere University, Finland)
Dale Leorke (Tampere University, Finland)
Middle-aged Players & Memorable Moments with Pokémon GO

ABSTRACT. Being the first location-based augmented reality game to gain mainstream popularity Pokémon GO also reached older demographic groups that have traditionally played less and whose play experiences are under-researched. We present a qualitative survey study (n=349) focusing on the middle-aged (40-65-year-old) Pokémon GO players’ memorable experiences from the time when the game’s popularity was at its peak and its player base probably most diverse. We analyzed the open-ended survey responses with thematic analysis, resulting in seven categories with and 88 thematic codes. The categories constructed were Game Play & Game Content, People & Sociability, Location, Circumstances & Context, Negative Events, Feelings and Other Codes. Through our analysis and findings, we provide insights to understand the play experiences of middle-aged players through Pokémon GO. These findings also capture memorable moments of a massive, unique social phenomenon at its peak.

Sonam Adinolf (Queensland University of Technology, United States)
Selen Turkay (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Differences in Player Experiences of Need Satisfaction Across Four Games

ABSTRACT. This paper reports findings from an online survey from four different online collectible card game players (N = 1017) on their player experiences of autonomy, competence and sense of community. The goal was to investigate how player experiences may differ across games in the same game genre and to understand which game design features may be attributed to this difference. We found significant differences between player experiences of autonomy and competence need satisfaction across the games, and no differences for sense of community. We provided examples of game mechanics from each game afforded by the digital medium and features that might be associated with these differences. This study highlights the need for careful consideration when making generalized statements about player experiences with a game genre based on studies with a single game.

Ji Soo Lim (Dokkyo University, Japan)
Different Frames of Players and the Motivation of Prosocial Behavior in Digital Games

ABSTRACT. In digital games, players may behave as they do in the real world. In-game behaviors may have multiple complex motivation like in the real world, or they may be afforded by the rules of the game. How in-game behaviors are motivated may differ between different player types. The current study focuses on the difference between players who interpret the game as a mere rule-based play and players who perceive the game as a world with its own rules and norms. Among different in-game behaviors, this study focuses specifically on players’ prosocial behavior. A survey was conducted to look at the relationships between the attitude toward prosocial behavior, its motivation, and how each player frames the gameplay. As a result, the frames of players were significantly related to the motivation of players’ prosocial behavior toward other characters.

Peter Howell (University of Portsmouth, UK)
Brett Stevens (University of Portsmouth, UK)
Epistemological Issues in Understanding Games Design, Play-Experience, and Reportage
PRESENTER: Peter Howell

ABSTRACT. This paper presents a philosophically-grounded argument for examining how second-order analysis can be approached with regard to epistemologies of game design and play-experience. Games are presented as multiple ‘units of being’ sharing relationships of dependency and transformation, which can be approached differently by different audiences. To demonstrate how such relationships can function between units of being, examples from game analyses are discussed with particular attention to the role of cognition and memory in reporting on the play-experience specifically. Implications for design practice, player studies, game analysis, and games criticism are discussed throughout the argument, working towards a theoretical foundation for enabling more deeply informed interpretation and analyses.

10:40-12:00 Session 11C

Philosophy and critique

Jussi Holopainen (University of Lincoln, UK, Germany)
Aleksandra Mochocka (Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland)
Dialogue or Monologue? Intertextuality as Allegation in Child of Light and My Memory of Us

ABSTRACT. My proposal concerns utilising a literary studies notion of allegation (understood as implementing intertextual references that establish authority) in the analysis of video games. The games are Child of Light (Ubisoft Montreal 2014) and My Memory of Us (Juggler Games 2018), both densely infused with allusions to other texts (literary, visual, aural, playable). The question to be addressed here is to what extent Child of Light and My Memory of Us allow for dialogic interpretation (allegation-as-dialogue), and to what extent they direct and automatise the reading (allegation-as-monologue).

Ryan Wright (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Beyond Procedurality: Situating The Witness in the Proceduralism Debate

ABSTRACT. This paper posits a comparative analysis between two competing views of ludic meaning in game studies. The same two puzzles from Thekla, Inc.’s 2016 puzzle adventure game The Witness are interpreted first from a proceduralist perspective and then are re-interpreted from a play-centric perspective derived from a combination of practice theory and game scholar Miguel Sicart’s formulation of play. The purpose of this analysis is to demonstrate how a game otherwise well-suited to proceduralist readings might be more-completely understood from a play-centric perspective if Sicart’s past critiques of proceduralism are accepted.

Hartmut Koenitz (HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Netherlands)
Mirjam Eladhari (Södertörn University, Sweden)
A Critical Framework for Games

ABSTRACT. An essential aspect of an established mediated form of expression is well-developed critique. Literary and cinematic works are reflected by professional critics in broadsheet newspapers and other outlets. The important function of critique is well recognized for literature, the cinema, theatre, and the fine arts. In contrast, game criticism is still a rarity in the same outlets, and mostly happens in specialized magazines, blogs, YouTube channels and the trade press. This fact alone means that games are relegated to the margins of cultural production. The absence of mainstream game critique translates into a lack of recognition. Our approach in this paper is to draw attention to a more general problem with many existing approaches and to discuss what we consider to be a crucially missing part of the puzzle, the lack of a framework for games criticism. Finally, we propose steps to fill that void.

Olli Tapio Leino (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
God is a Game Designer – Accelerating ‘Existential Ludology’

ABSTRACT. This paper examines the applicability of existentialism as a framework for computer game epistemology, ontology and hermeneutics, and in doing so provides a much-needed complement to contemporary approaches making use of existentialist thought. This paper argues that there is a fundamental incompatibility between existentialist frameworks and computer games, because existentialist frameworks emphasize ‘thrownness’ and ‘formlessness’ and deny the existence of god, whereas computer games are well-formed, designed by intelligent individuals and played by volunteers. The paper explores occasionalism – a branch of theological thought that acknowledges god as the original cause for events and as existing in moments of causation – as a possible solution to the problems encountered by existential ludology, including those pertaining to the relationship between materiality and authorship.

10:40-12:00 Session 11D

Making sense of play and players

Maria Ruotsalainen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Christine Cook (Tilburg University, Netherlands)
Mahli-Ann Butt (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Marko Siitonen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Veli-Matti Karhulahti (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
You can troll your own way: Defining and discussing toxicity in online games

ABSTRACT. This panel aims to examine the phenomena of toxicity, toxic masculinity, cyber-bullying, and trolling from an interdisciplinary perspective, paying particular attention the way these concepts are used in a wide array of venues, not only in games, but in different media related to games, in “ludomix”, if you wish. Drawing from a variety of research traditions including psychology, communication studies, cultural studies, and gender studies, we ponder the differences and similarities between these phenomena as well as the ways they are discussed both in academic literature and public discourses. Simultaneously, we pay attention to what extent are these phenomena particularly related to gaming and what extent they are part of larger contemporary tendencies and flows.

10:40-12:00 Session 11E

Games business

Aleena Chia (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Brendan Keogh (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Olli Sotamaa (Tampere University, Finland)
Rebekah Cunningham (University of Birmingham, UK)
Game Production beyond the Studio: From Playbour to Gamework

ABSTRACT. Videogame players have long been understood as producing value for companies through their various playful activities. Scholars suggest that this blurring of ‘work’ and ‘play’ around videogames is indicative of deeper shifts around cultural industries more broadly. These productive practices have been conceptualised as co-creation, immaterial labour, transformative play, and playbour. This panel considers both the strengths and shortcomings of current concepts for comprehending this shifting ecology of gamework. Through qualitative, ethnographic, and survey research on amateur and professional game developers, hobbyists and larpers, and livestreamers, this panel’s members share a common interest in how their informants and respondents navigate labour, precarity, and passion. We are interested in discussions about the power-geometries in a diverse field of productive practices that range in degrees of in/formality and vary in appeals to professionalism, yet are entangled in common post-Fordist employment structures, glocal capital flows, and neoliberal affective configurations.

10:40-12:00 Session 11F

Serious games

Feng Zhu (King's College London, UK)
Ruud Jacobs (University of Twente, Netherlands)
The experience of procedurality: effects and appreciation of persuasive gameplay rhetoric

ABSTRACT. The current paper describes the results of two experimental studies performed to determine the incremental validity of procedural rhetoric as a mechanism in persuasive games. The first study compared two games on the same topic that nevertheless apply different persuasive strategies. The second study used four versions of a single game where the strength (rather than inclusion) of procedural rhetoric was manipulated. Both studies also tested a brief persuasive game experience scale meant to provide a more nuanced perspective on the appreciation players have for their experiences with these games. These studies demonstrate the value of investigating how games can provide different experiences to persuadees. We offer empirical evidence for the generalizable impact of procedural rhetoric while demonstrating that simple fun is not important for these games’ effects. We conclude with useful insights for future research on persuasive effects of games.

Manuela Ferrari (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Canada)
Sarah McIlwaine (Douglas Mental Health University Institute/McGill University, Canada)
Jennifer Reynolds (Concordia University, Canada)
Suzanne Archie (McMaster University, Canada)
Katherine Boydell (Black Dog Institute, Australia)
Shalini Lal (University of Montreal/CRCHUM/Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Canada)
Jai Shah (Douglas Mental Health University Institute/McGill University, Canada)
Joanna Henderson (Center for addiction and mental health, Canada)
Mario Alvarez (eOrygen, University of Melbourne, Australia)
Neil Andersson (McGill University, Canada)
Espen Aarseth (Centre for Computer Games Research, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen (Centre for Computer Games Research, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Srividya Iyer (Douglas Mental Health University Institute/McGill University, Canada)
Gaming my way to recovery: Understanding how to integrate serious video games into youth mental health services

ABSTRACT. Background: A growing body of literature explores the advantages of playing video games in promoting attention, cognitions, and, treatment for mental health conditions (e.g., anxiety, depression, PTSD). However, recently the WHO identified a new classification gaming disorder. This new classification leaves healthcare providers with unique challenges associated with using game technologies in treatment settings. Objective: To help address this challenge, this knowledge synthesis aims to understand where, when, how, and for what purpose serious video games can best be implemented into youth services for mental health and substance misuse. Methods: Using Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review methodology, we reviewed more than 6,000 articles to assess quality of the evidence, and gaps in current research. Conclusions: This review of serious video games helps to assess the potential and risks of these interventions, and, effectively promote its implementation in youth mental health services.

Bjoern-Ole Kamm (Kyoto University, Graduate School of Letters, Japan)
Transcultural Learning and Live-Action Role-Play in Japan

ABSTRACT. This work in progress deals with transcultural learning, an understanding for how difference is made, and investigates how live-action role-play (larp) can be employed in the Japanese educational context. The project seeks to design a larp about the perceptions and life-worlds of people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as an example for a stereotyped and socially excluded group within Japanese society but also elsewhere. The goal is to investigate how larp can be used to create sustainable learning effects, understanding of and empathy towards such marginalized groups without forcing them into the role of zoo exhibit, furthering their exclusion, but still building on their views and experiences.

Rafael Leonardo da Silva (University of Georgia, United States)
Fostering ethics and morality in adult learning through gameplay

ABSTRACT. This presentation discusses preliminary results of a design-based research study (Barab and Squire 2004; Amiel and Reeves 2008) in which the hypothesis that a digital game which presents situations that students may face in real work environments can lead to higher efficacy in the learning process, yielding more meaningful moral and empathic gains and increasing transferability of concepts. In terms of learning gains, it was expected that participants would be able to recognize the influences of their subjectivities and biases in their moral and empathic decision-making in professional environments, as well as understand the process of coming to such decisions. In addition to the contributions to participants, the design-based research techniques adopted in the study can shed light into aspects of game-based learning that have been underexamined by previous literature. Some of such characteristics are accessibility to different learner profiles and adequacy of game-based content to subject-matter.

13:00-14:00 Session KEYNOTE: Keynote 3

Tetsuya Mizuguchi

Project Professor, Keio University, Graduate School of Media Design

"The Future of Ludo-Mix"

14:20-15:40 Session 12A

Making sense of play and players

Ji Soo Lim (Dokkyo University, Japan)
Sarah Christina Ganzon (Concordia University, Canada)
Does Jumin Han Is Gay?: Cultural Hybridity, and the Intimate Economies of Otome Games in English

ABSTRACT. This paper looks into how cultural hybridization situates the forms, discourses and practices around otome games produced outside Japan. I compare two games—Mystic Messenger and Cute Demon Crashers—analyzing the various contexts of which these games are produced, and online player discussions where players navigate through culturally situated discourses such as gender, mental illness and consent presented in these games. In doing so, I demonstrate how otome games as hybrid affective systems mediate intimate economies allowing the production of global subjects.

Sarah Christina Ganzon (Concordia University, Canada)
Edmond Ernest Dit Alban (Concordia, France)
From Otome Road to #OtomeArmada: Towards a History of Otome Games and Gaming Cultures

ABSTRACT. Otome games is a bracket term coined in the early 2000s to capture a variety of games specifically made for women in Japan. Within Japan, discourses are entangled in the history of the anime media mix and its urban understanding of players as pedestrians. However, outside Japan, the term is also used more broadly to refer to games with a focus on romance or dating simulation. This ongoing project gestures towards an analysis of the evolving discourses surrounding otome games. Because these discourses tend to focus on different idealizations of how of female players’ utilize these games in and out of Japan, we intend to have a look at the production and circulation of otome games across different media ecologies.

Luca Paolo Bruno (Leipzig University, Italy)
Playing with character information - Akihabara’s bishōjo-visual novel ludo-mix

ABSTRACT. This presentation will approach ludo-mixes within Akihabara, a cultural domain whose focus revolves around bishōjo, a peculiar typology of transmedial character. Bishōjo originated within Akihabara, follow their developments and reflect the internal dynamics of the cultural domain, serving as its intersubjective communicative construct. Together with the visual novel game genre, bishōjo constitute the focus of a very peculiar ludo-mix based on conventionalized modes of reception, (re)production and (re)performance. what kind of playful activities call upon the bishōjo ludo-mix? What are the peculiarities of its media ecology? How does it affect cultural production and consumption within the Akihabara cultural domain?

Kim Khanh Tran (McMaster University, Canada)
Playing for Love in the Age of Messaging Apps: Mystic Messenger and its Online Youth Fandom

ABSTRACT. My project is a case study of the Korean mobile otome game Mystic Messenger and its online youth fandom. Otome game is a subgenre of dating simulation games in which players foster a romantic relationship with overwhelmingly male characters. Mystic Messenger's global popularity offers an innovative platform to bridge the research gap in dating sim game studies previously reserved for Chinese and Japanese contexts. My online pilot study with 848 players worldwide suggests Mystic Messenger has a significant youth fan base. My PhD project seeks to understand how dating sim games and online fandom help shape adolescents' understanding of gender, sexuality, and romance. I will take a qualitative approach that combines virtual ethnography, thematic analysis, interviews, and focus groups to answer the main research question: How do discourses of collective identity such as nationality, ethnicity, location, gender, and sexuality influence youth fans' engagement with dating sim games and with fandom?

14:20-15:40 Session 12B

Philosophy and critique

Sebastian Möring (University of Potsdam, Germany)
Shanchao Fu (Peking University, China)
The Marketing of a Controversial Identity: A Case Study on Chinese Parents

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we carry out a case study on the production and the acceptance of a Chinese indie game, Chinese Parents (2018), in which we hope to capture the moments in which the participation of the consumers and a certain kind of “mainstream value” of China’s society come into play. We interviewed both the developer and their publisher, and gathered materials suggesting their work agenda and promotion strategies. We also collected player reviews from Taptap.com which is a game review website both before and after the publish of the game. Based off these materials, we find that the marketing strategy of Chinese Parents is basically to sell the identity of being "Chinese", yet the actual acceptance of the game took an unexpected twist.

Cäcilia Sauer (Leipzig University, Germany)
Marcus Kuribayashi (Leipzig University, Switzerland)
Martin Roth (Leipzig University, Germany)
Loot boxes in Germany: political players, public perception and legislation

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we examine how loot boxes are perceived and discussed in the German public and among political actors. A loot box/crates is a virtual transaction, which postulates a financial input with a guaranteed but (controlled) random return. The term describes a mechanism often employed by online game companies as part of their business model. The concept of random rewards covers more than discernible “boxes.” In fact, Nielsen and Grabarczyk (2018) propose to speak of “RRM (random reward mechanisms)” in order to capture the pervasiveness of this mechanism. Given this pervasiveness, loot boxes or RRM have not gone unnoticed and are nowadays widely discussed amongst gamers, in the public and in politics. In our paper, we analyze the related discourse, focusing on influential actors and public media, and present an overview of common arguments, relevant events and actors, as well as prevalent discursive strategies.

Felix Raczkowski (Bayreuth University, Germany)
Games and Gestures - Remarks on Emotes in Digital Online Games

ABSTRACT. Emotes are an important part of several online games following the games as a service business model. Especially the success of Fortnite in this field raises several questions regarding the status of emotes in online games. The presentation proposes to regard emotes as unit operations in the sense that they are modes of meaning-making, while also considering that they are not connected to the game's systems in any proceduralist sense. Emotes can then be described as paradoxical phenomena that demonstrate the challenges that arise from service games both for game studies as well as for the economic and cultural status of the games themselves.

Dean Bowman (University of East Anglia, UK)
Emergent Threat or Residual Trace: Reassembling the Indie Sector as an Interdependent Sociotechnical Practice

ABSTRACT. This paper employs an Actor-Network Theory methodology and case studies of Alien: Isolation and Gone Home to re-interpret the indie scene as a sociotechnical assemblage deeply interdependent and bound up into networks with the larger commercial games industry. It critiques the discourses in academia and the industry that would seek to keep the spheres of indie and AAA separate, arguing that a more nuanced and embodied understanding is essential to appreciate the disruptive challenge of these games to dominant paradigms of play and production. To this end Raymond William's influential notions of dominant, emergent and residual ideological structures are drawn upon to evaluate the extent of this disruption.

14:20-15:40 Session 12C

Making sense of play and players

Jaroslav Svelch (Charles University, Czechia)
Torill Elvira Mortensen (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Kristine Jørgensen (University of Bergen, Norway)
Tomasz Majkowski (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
Kelly Boudreau (University of Montreal, Canada)
Locating transgressions: Transgressive Play and Transgressive Aesthetics

ABSTRACT. The panel aims to present the current state of research into transgressions in games and play, as well as transgressive aesthetics. It summarizes and expands on the findings of the Games and Transgressive Aesthetics project, which was running at the University of Bergen in 2015–2019. Over the five years, dozens of researchers have participated in our workshops and seminars, the first of which took place at DiGRA 2015. The panel will feature scholars who have contributed to the volume Transgression in Games and Play (MIT Press, 2019), and it will bookend the project as well as outline possibilities for further research.

14:20-15:40 Session 12D

Games business

Olli Sotamaa (University of Tampere, Finland)
Hanna Wirman (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Rhys Jones (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
On the Local Value of Game Jam Games: Beyond Learning from the Process

ABSTRACT. 'Game jams' result in thousands of games around the world annually. Typically, game jams are recognized as learning and collaboration opportunities. The games produced at the jams, if not leading to commercial success, are often left without much attention. This paper looks at the games made at the Hong Kong site of Global Game Jam over the past 7 years. The paper focuses on the local meanings expressed through nearly 300 games. The presented analysis suggests that the primarily young, student developers of the games tackle difficult and particularly negative aspects of Hong Kong culture, politics, history and everyday life in their games. The relatively safe, free context of a game jam site is explored as a special facilitator of game development among young people. Moreover, we demonstrate on the value of studying games that result from such non-commercial events instead of merely acknowledging value in the rapid development processes.

Bryan Hartzheim (Waseda University, Japan)
At Your Service: Event-Based Design in Japanese Mobile Games

ABSTRACT. This project will examine the developers in the mobile games market in order to see how their views towards their work and audiences impacts the creative nature of mobile games currently being produced in Japan. The key focus for this project is in seeing how mobile game developers view the work that they do, the games that they produce, and the audiences who they produce them for, and how this new industry resembles and differs from the larger games industry in Japan. Central to this project is in observing how developers for mobile tend to view their products as “services” rather than “games,” largely through the construction of in-game events held on a regular basis. Simultaneously, this project will also analyze select mobile games to see how this collaborative service work manifests in gameplay experiences.

Marcus Toftedahl (University of Skövde, Sweden)
Henrik Engström (University of Skövde, Sweden)
A Taxonomy of Game Engines and the Tools that Drive the Industry

ABSTRACT. Game engines are a vital part of a game production pipeline, but there is a vagueness of definitions regarding the boundaries of components in a game engine and the rest of the production tools used in a game development pipeline. The aim of this paper is to nuance the use of the term game engine and to put it into the context of a game development pipeline. Based on data from the current state of game production, a proposed taxonomy for tools in game development is presented. A distinction is made between user facing tools and product facing tools. A defining characteristic of the production pipeline and game engines is their plasticity. One of the conclusions is that a “game engine” as a single entity containing the whole game production pipeline is not desirable due to the large number of competences and needs involved in a game development project.

Eric Freedman (Columbia College Chicago, United States)
New Media Ecosystems: Amazon and the Advancing Game Economy

ABSTRACT. This paper is focused on Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine—the company’s nascent investment in game-based technologies. In a multi-million-dollar deal with game developer Crytek, Amazon licensed the CryEngine in 2015 as a codebase for its own proprietary engine and effectively expanded its web services (AWS) by consolidating a suite of products for video game developers: tools for building, hosting, and livestreaming. Amazon’s 2016 acquisition of the game-streaming platform Twitch and its integration with AWS has deepened the company’s attachment to an expansive game community, and connected developers to players. With close attention to Amazon’s acquisition and build strategy, this paper unravels the complex intersectionality of the company’s game portfolio and considers the impact of Amazon’s holdings and approach—as a media company with significant traction in e-commerce, engine-based middleware and related media and communications hardware—on broader game-based economies.

14:20-15:40 Session 12E

Doing games research

Sabine Harrer (University of Tampere, Finland)
Rebecca Goodine (Concordia University, Canada)
Dr. Rilla Khaled (Concordia University, Canada)
ctrl+R: Reflections on Prompting Reflective Game Design

ABSTRACT. In this presentation we will explore multiple levels of our research question: “What makes a reflective game?” We will first trace the lineage of our game design tool called ctrl+R that is intended to prompt new and reflective game ideas. We will secondly review the preliminary qualitative data collected from a test run of ctrl+R during Global Game Jam 2019, before reflecting on our learned insights about making contexts that we will continue to apply during further ctrl+R development.

Roger Altizer Jr (University of Utah, United States)
Teaching Industry Professional Adjuncts to Teach Videogame Development: No Tweed Allowed

ABSTRACT. There are any number of reasons why a games education program finds itself in the exciting, but not uncomplicated, position of having active game developers as part of its teaching staff (Caldwell et al. 2012) and much has been written on the value and complications of using non-teaching professionals as instructors (Kamnoun, Said 2007). In this work we look at some of the problems encountered by industry professionals teaching college game design and development courses as experienced by the students, the units, and the instructors themselves. We also offer a brief case study of a large game development program that dealt with said difficulties and provide the theoretical lens that helped them understand why they wanted instructors who were actively working in industry, as well as the teacher training tools and grading rubric used to help said instructors find success in the classroom.

Emma Westecott (OCAD University, Canada)
Suzanne Stein (OCAD University, Canada)
Cheryl Hsu (OCAD University, Canada)
Kashfia Rahman (OCAD University, Canada)
In Situ: Researching corporate diversity initiatives with game developers
PRESENTER: Emma Westecott

ABSTRACT. This paper explicates the design and development of a feminist action research pilot that studied and supported the launch of a diversity initiative within a major game development studio. Drawing on methods from design research including rapid ethnography and model making, we describe the stages our pilot study followed, including key models and high-level findings, as well as outline the ways in which we collaborated with our research partner in this initial stage. Use of these methods helped us build an integrated model that can be used as a strategic tool to direct the focus of ongoing work by our partner and other developers. By sharing our process, we hope to illustrate one way that researchers might engage design research methods in service of equity work of this nature in partnership with the game industry.

Gina Haraszti (TAG Lab, Canada)
GAMERella, Community Outreach and Inclusive Design

ABSTRACT. The purpose of this talk is to highlight obstacles faced by marginalized folks getting into game development and community organizations like GAMERella, as well as our solutions and strategies for dealing with these challenges, developed over half a decade.

14:20-15:40 Session 12F

Games spectatorship / Serious games

Masakazu Furuichi (Nihon University, Japan)
Will Partin (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States)
Esports of Empire: The Platformization of ‘StarCraft’

ABSTRACT. This paper examines the technical, legal, and organizational shifts that accompanied the transition from professional StarCraft: Brood War (1999) competition to that of StarCraft II (2010) against the background of the "platformization of cultural production", defined as culture industries' adaptations to digital platforms as a dominant technology for the production, distribution, and monetization of cultural commodities. It makes contributions to theoretical understandings of platformization, as well as esports' empirical record. In the case of the former, I demonstrate how platformization operates along multiple sociotechnical and political economic trajectories, challenging a common binary in which products are either platform dependent or independent. On the later, I perform a longitudinal content analysis of materials related to StarCraft II esports to demonstrate how Activision-Blizzard used Battle Net 2.0 to consolidate control over the game’s nascent professional scene, cutting out the companies who had the last decade developing StarCraft: Brood War competition.

Mayara Caetano (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
The Awakening of the Goddess in Competitive League of Legends

ABSTRACT. This paper presents some of the exploratory results of a research project under construction focusing on the presence of and the ascension of women’s in the competitive scenario of League of Legends in Brazil. The team Athena’s e-sport was idealized is as a response to the sexist scenario of games in general, as well as, to become a professional sustainable and inclusive environment for women’s (cis or trans) that want to be professional players. There were two main events observed, which were the announcement of the winners of the selection, followed by the announcement of the competitive line-up for 2019. The data is constituted by publications, comments of the public and the press coverage. Further steps include, for example, the development of more in-depth analysis with the material already collected; semi-structured interviews with the winners and the official line up.

Mateusz Felczak (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
No Rivalry Without Commentary: Misja Esport Case Study

ABSTRACT. This paper is aimed at assessing a specific type of professional eSports coverage and commentary broadcast designed for multi-platform purposes. The analysis is based on a case study of a Polish program Misja Esport (“Mission eSport”) launched in October 2018 simultaneously on multiple platforms.The methodological scaffolding of the research will be based on the British Cultural Studies, especially Paul du Gay’s model of the circuit of culture. The contribution to the area of game studies that this paper seeks is twofold. First, the aim of this research is to expand upon the media theories pertaining the live coverage of the sports events, taking into consideration a case study of a program oscillating between traditional sports and eSports broadcast aesthetics. Second, this paper wishes to reflect upon the ongoing process of commercialization of eSports, based on the example of Misja Esport from the perspective of its content and implemented visual rhetoric.

Jiaqin Chen (The Communication University of Zhejiang, China)
The interaction of discourse and acts: Games spectating as communication rituals in China

ABSTRACT. The popularization of e-sports makes game-related contents thrive on Internet these two years in China. Game live-streaming is one of the most popular kind, which attract millions of viewers. The streamer in China is much more like a ‘star’ or ‘idol’ than a‘skillful game player’. They have their own fans, who are not just looking up to them and sharing the same discourse system with them and even building a particular ‘ritual’ by different kinds of interactions.This paper methodologically use ‘cyber ethnographic observation’ to follow the famous streamer ‘Zhangdaxian’, to make clear how the interact with each other in daily streaming under the perspective of ‘Communication Rituals’theory.

16:00-17:20 Session 13A

Making sense of play and players

Akinori Nakamura (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
Christine Tomlinson (University of California, Irvine, United States)
Building a Gamer: Player Preferences and Motivations Across Gender and Genre

ABSTRACT. Most aspects of life involve gender gaps in terms of entrance, experience, and outcome. Video games have largely not been an exception to this, but more recent studies are finding that factors other than gender may be more powerful as predictors for similarity or difference among players. This study uses interviews with 54 current adult video game players and analyses of online forum discussions to better understand player experiences, motivations, and preferences. Ultimately, players are much more similar than older studies would lead one to believe. The majority of players enter gaming at the same time through similar paths and they identify the same motivating factors consistently in terms of why they play. However, while players note that they are motivated by opportunities to relax, participate in a compelling story, and overcome challenges, female players do diverge from male players in that their idea of relaxation is much less social.

Akiko Shibuya (Soka University, Faculty of Letters, Japan)
Hibiki Okura (Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan)
Akiyo Shoun (Ochanomizu University, Japan)
Naoko Asou (Ochanomizu University, Japan)
Male and Female Game Players’ Preferences for Game Characters and Real-world Personalities in Japan

ABSTRACT. Game characters are important for game players. Based on in-depth interviews with 20 young game players in Japan, this study explores why male and female players prefer some game characters. This study revealed that some male and female players love to find hidden the aspects of characters, called gap-moe in Japan. Both male and female players find both stereotypical and non-stereotypical aspects of game characters of the opposite sexes, but male players focus on masculine aspects of male game characters. Some players recognized the influences of game character preferences on their attitudes toward persons in the real world, others denied such influence.

Brandon Rogers (North Carolina State University, United States)
Ready to Rumble: Hypermasculine Touch and Nintendo’s HD Rumble

ABSTRACT. This project attempts to conceptualize how touch-based (or haptic) feedback in home console controllers aids in the creation of certain subjects—particularly those who dominate through touching at a distance and others who transfer authority and agency to the touch of another body. In other words, I aim to investigate how haptic feedback design and player’s interaction with those designs embody, reinforce, or resist hypermasculine practices of touch. I argue that popular game controllers typically encourage players to overcome or manage external forces , but I also posit that recent developments like the Nintendo Switch’s HD rumble perhaps subvert this logic by requiring players to direct attention to their bodies and allow themselves to be touched. This privileging of sensitivity over domination alludes to a possible paradigm shift in which players not only uncover information about the game via haptic feedback but knowledge about their bodies as well.

Kenton Howard (University of Central Florida, United States)
Romance Never Changes…Or Does It?: Fallout, Queerness, and Mods

ABSTRACT. Romance options are common in mainstream games, but since games have been criticized for their heteronormativity, such options are worth examining for their contribution to problematic elements within gaming culture. The Fallout series suffers from many of these issues; however, recent games in the can be modded, offering fans a way to address these problems. In this paper, I examine heteronormative elements of the Fallout series’ portrayal of queerness to demonstrate how these issues impacted the series over time. I also look more specifically at heteronormative mechanics and visuals from Fallout 4, the most recent single-player game in the series. Finally, I present three fan-created mods for Fallout 4 that represent diverse approaches to adding queer elements to the game. I argue that one effective response to problematic portrayals of queerness in games is providing modding tools to the fans so that they can address issues in the games directly.

16:00-17:20 Session 13B

Philosophy and critique

Sebastian Möring (University of Potsdam, Germany)
Rachael Hutchinson (University of Delaware, United States)
Observant play: colonial readings in Breath of the Wild

ABSTRACT. The open world of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, 2017) offers players an exciting, explorable environment for absorbing gameplay, complementing the main missions of the central narrative. This paper examines the NPC monster behaviors of the game in terms of player agency, observation and learning. The paper analyzes the game’s ideology through narrative and gameplay options, many of which are dualistic in nature to reflect ideas of violence versus pacifism. The central ideology of the game poses thought-provoking questions about violence, colonialism, and the nature of history. The particular case of colonialism in the Japanese context is assessed, as is the history of self-censorship in Japan encouraging hidden or allegorical critique.

Daniel Vella (University of Malta, Malta)
Stefano Gualeni (University of Malta, Malta)
Jonne Arjoranta (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Processes of Roling: Mechanisms for Adopting Subjectivities in the Gameworld

ABSTRACT. This presentation proposes a taxonomy for what we term "processes of roling," that is, the processes by which the player is led to form an understanding of, and to internalize, a particular subjectivity or role in relation to the virtual world of a game. We argue that this addresses a lack in the present game studies literature, which, while it speaks extensively of embodiment or ludic subjectivity, does not address the ways in which the player is able to take on these in-game bodies and subjectivities.

Feng Zhu (King's College London, UK)
Consciously working on one’s game: the mutual constitution of habitus and identity

ABSTRACT. This paper aims to extend existing work on ‘gamer habitus’ (Kirkpatrick 2012, Crawford 2012) through questioning the conceptual adequacy of the Bourdieusian (1993) understanding of habitus in its being able to account for how players refine their practices in the process of learning to play computer games competently and how they come to acquire certain dispositions towards the games that they play.

Chris Kerich (University of California, Santa Cruz, United States)
Polygonal Modeling: The Aestheticization of Identity

ABSTRACT. If we accept that the skin is a complex organ that carries with it a depth and cultural history that cannot be easily understood, we must also come to reckon with the technologies that we use to represent skin in digital formats. By far, the dominant computational paradigm for representing 3D objects of any kind is “polygonal modeling”, a paradigm which represents 3D objects as the combination of two things: a mesh and a texture, also known as a “skin”. This seemingly innocuous technological paradigm carries with it important ideological, political messages about identity and visual representation. While it’s unlikely that this technology will radically transform in the near future, it’s important to identify, and reflect on, the assumptions that underlie it and the ideological effects it has.

16:00-17:20 Session 13C

Games business

Rayna Denison (University of East Anglia, UK)
Dean Bowman (University of East Anglia, UK)
James McLean (University of East Anglia, UK)
Tarnia Mears (University of East Anglia, UK)
Into the Meta Mix: Kingdom Hearts and the transnational remediation and adaptation of Japanese and American IP

ABSTRACT. A panel exploring the phenomena of Kingdom Hearts as a unique hybrid text that gathers together and recontextualises characters from their wider transmedia ecologies. The series is analysed through a variety of lenses, employing fan studies, production studies, audience reception studies and Actor-Network theory methodologies, and is used to critically reflect on the nature of the media meix and transmedia storytelling.

16:00-17:20 Session 13D

Games spectatorship

Christopher Paul (Seattle University, United States)
Ashley Ml Brown (EAE, University of Utah, United States)
The Unintended Consequences of Using Twitch as a University Professor

ABSTRACT. This extended abstract presents research-in-progress on Twitch and videogame streaming by examining the unintended consequences of using the platform as a university professor. The research details my experiences as a Twitch Affiliate and university professor through the use of reflective journaling methods. Addressing the DiGRA 2019 conference theme, this extended abstract is about the side-effects of ludo-mixing multimedia, extra-curricular material into higher education. Audiences will learn more about the effects of Twitch on university classrooms, as well as what to consider should they wish to start their own stream or advertise their current stream to students.

Paul Martin (University of Nottingham, China)
Wei Song (University of Nottingham, China)
Framing Esports in Chinese University Campuses

ABSTRACT. This presentation will discuss the way game developers frame esports as a healthy and normal activity in their promotion of esports competitions on Chinese campuses. It involves textual analysis of promotional material by Tencent and NetEase and adopts a framing analysis approach.

Emma Witkowski (School of Design, RMIT University, Australia)
Yong Ming Kow (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Schoolyard Riot: League of Legends and High School Esports
PRESENTER: Emma Witkowski

ABSTRACT. In this twin-set case study, we examine the state of esports in the high school setting by exploring Australian and Hong Kong's League of Legends high school teams and team practices, and organisations. On the one hand, recent success of Riot, the developer of League, in employing pedagogical representative to “legitimize” existing Riot content to educators in Australia is causing unease among parents and teachers. On the other hand, Hong Kong students' unrelenting attempts to organise student-led esports activities were met with limited, even hostile, reception from teachers and parents. These two cases, with themes of youth and parental agency, creativity and resistance by actors with or without direct school involvement, commercialisation, and the promotion of self-directed learning, jointly reveal some of the tensions involved as esports manoeuvre sector into the broader high school curriculum.

16:00-17:20 Session 13E

Computer games and artistic expression

Olli Leino (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
René Glas (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
Jasper van Vught (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
The politics of game canonization: Tales from the frontlines of creating a national history of games

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we provide insight into the politics of forming a national games canon by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, one of the biggest audiovisual cultural heritage institutions in the Netherlands. From a historiographical perspective, the paper investigates how different stakes and commitments of the different actors involved (the authors included) during the different stages of admission and selection are inherently connected. From a unique insider's perspective, we recognize that more pragmatic concerns around preservation and archival efforts of the Institute collapse with the socioculturally-driven aims of the canon as a history of Dutch games, a process we call the politics of acquisition.

Yue-Jin Ho (The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
The materiality on the hermeneutics of Chinese character-based playable media

ABSTRACT. This paper suggests the materiality of Chinese characters (including Kanji and Hanja in Japanese and Korean) in playable media (e.g. Chinese text-based interactive artworks and games) not only affects but is an essential factor on how the players interpret the meanings of the texts in a work and the work as a whole.

Rémy Sohier (Paris 8 University, France)
Game jockey as an intermediary between DJ practice and video games

ABSTRACT. The game jockey is a new practice between DJing and video gaming. This study underlines the difficulty to hybridize these two creative cultures. Game jockey implies a person, who will mix games during a live performance, by adapting to the players’ feelings. We will present key concepts of the DJ practice and the similarities to the game universe. Based a Jockey – Game – Players triangle, we offer a creation research that tries to evaluate the possible figure of the jockey and the use of game samples. Our triangle model opens on cultural practices that are to invent.