Call for Abstracts: Intersection in Games – Ropecon 2018 Academic Track

Call for Abstracts (published 22/2/2018)


July 27th, Helsinki, Finland

Important dates
Deadline for submissions: 8 April 2018
Notification of acceptance: April 30, 2018

According to Johan Huizinga, play “promotes the formation of social groupings, which tend to surround themselves with secrecy and to stress their difference from the common world by disguise or other means.” The traditions, genres, conventions, and norms established in play – and encoded in games through design – are multiple and varied. The diversity of play practices is something to celebrate. When these ludic traditions encounter others, cross with different forms of media culture or push against the expectations of everyday life, tension and friction is created. These intersections are sites of creativity and innovation, blends of various experiences or explore new combinations. But they are also contested sites, where conflicts emerge.

The seminar topic, intersection in games, is one interpretation and elaboration of the theme of Ropecon this year, “life and community”. However, the seminar has a broader scope, looking at Huizinga’s secret societies and the border traffic between the ludic and the quotidian, but also at intersection in games and between them. Indeed, the list of possible topics includes but is not limited to:

• Hybridization (physical/digital, game/art, leisure/work, amateur/ professional)
• Tensions between different gaming cultures
• Negotiations between the ludic and the quotidian
• Players and intersectionality
• Games as media, games and other media
• Digital culture, analog games
• Convergence culture
• Design as a bridge between traditions
• New combination in relation to form, genre, tradition or games or play
• Theoretical approaches to delimiting games, play, puzzles and toys

The emphasis of the seminar is on multiplayer games that players engage in while being physically co-located as that is also the focus of Ropecon. Ropecon is a large, independent, convention devoted to role-playing games, larps, board games, miniature wargames, collectible card games, cosplay, and the like. The convention has been running annually since 1994. The seminar is organized together with the University of Tampere Game Research Lab. Intersection in Games is the inaugural academic seminar hosted by the Ropecon.

The seminar presentations should encourage discussion. Every paper will be presented for 20 minutes and discussed for 10 minutes. The sessions will be open for all Ropecon ticket holders, but the presentations should be drafted with an academic audience in mind. We warmly welcome submissions from younger scholars and PhD candidates, as well as from more established researchers.

The papers to be presented will be chosen based on extended abstract review. The abstracts should be 500–1000 words (plus references). Abstracts should be delivered in PDF format. Please use 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, for your text. The seminar is looking into partnering with a journal so that the best papers would be invited to be further developed for publication in a special journal issue. Aside from this, full papers will not be required.

Submissions should be sent to: