Of interest to the game research community:

Power Up: computer games, ideology and play

You are invited to participate in a two day seminar on Computer Games
Ideology and Play on July 14th ? 15th 2003 in Bristol UK.

Please see our call for papers below. There will be approx 20 papers or
presentations (of a 20 minute duration) over the two days. We anticipate an
audience of 40 delegates, the event will be single strand ?round table? with
plenty of room for exchange and interaction.

Abstracts and RSVPs should be submitted by Fri 16 May ? notification will be
at the start of June. Please also send expressions of interest if you wish
to participate but not to formally present.

The cost of the symposium will be £100.00 , to include lunches and one
evening meal, but excluding accommodation. Accommodation will be booked
separately by delegates ? notification of locations will follow
confirmation of your place.

Please reply by email to Helen Kennedy

Power-Up: call for papers

New theoretical frameworks and approaches are needed to study computer
games. These games are at once new media, new technological forms, and new
activities with distinct positions within everyday life. Yet, computer games
circulate within existing economic, cultural, technological and social
networks and forces that underpin the contemporary world. As such their
study offers unique insights into emerging relationships of consumption,
play, new media technologies and structures of social and economic power.

The Play Research Group within the School of Cultural Studies at the
University of the West of England in Bristol invites you to explore the
implications and possibilities for studying games and play as part of a
changing world and its power structures. The symposium will be organised to
maximise the possibilities for debate ? there will be a limited number of
papers, workshops on specific issues and debates, and the space (and
provisions) for the convivial and informal exchange of ideas. We encourage
submissions of abstracts for papers, proposals for panels, workshops,
suggestions for posters or online / interactive presentations of ideas and
research. The symposium will be of interest to those concerned with playful
popular culture or new media in general and not only with computer games.

The symposium will address and explore ?ideology? as a contentious and
contested term, and will use it to focus on key issues in the study of
computer games and play:

? How might we rethink relationships of production: for example, the
production of computer games through modding networks or differences to a
similarities with other forms of a global cultural production?

? How do we understand the consumption of computer games? As everyday lived
and embodied practices of play? Do they invite us into cyberspace ? Are we
participating in a commercial ?liminoid? cultural economy? offering an
illusion of escape or transgression from everyday life ? Or are we
participants in a psychological or cultural ?third space? – at once part of
and separate from the real world?

? What are the politics of gameplay? How do we theorise its interactive
dynamics? For example: is the relationship between player and game rules
analogous to the relationship between subject and cultural order? Are we
playing with the rules?

? How are power relationships encoded within games, and how are they
challenged, or played with? Is the player ever more fully interpellated by
dominant social forces, or can games and gameplay offer any ideology
critique ? any knowledge, or mapping, of the power structures and dynamics
of the world today?

The list below indicates some possible headings for contributions ? these
are suggestions only:
– subversive pleasures
– playing by the rules
– rethinking ?effects?, effecting thinking.
– cheating
– the politics of simulation
– neoliberalism and interactivity
– allegories of information
– cybernetic play: control or communication?
– commodified play: theorising the liminoid
– technological imaginaries
– games as critical discourse, games as art
– talking power: the status of ideological critique in Cultural and Media
Studies today

Abstracts (200 words) or expressions of interest by May 16 to


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