Co-op Mode: Interactivity and Narrative, May 21-22 [DEADLINE EXTENDED to FEB 15]

full name / name of organization: 
University of Ottawa English Graduate Student Association

Co-op Mode
Interactivity and Narrative
The Sixth Annual University of Ottawa English Graduate Conference
May 21-22, 2011
Call for Papers

"Games can't tell their stories through disconnected segments of gameplay strung together by cut scenes. Games need to tell their story through the gameplay. Narrative should drip from every texture and be integrated into every facet of the world. It should come through in the menus and the interface and in every loading screen."
- Daniel Floyd and James Portnow

The concept of the singular author is being transformed by a culture driven by collaborative media. Movies, graphic novels, and videogames all require a combined effort by artists from disparate fields to tell their stories and, as a result, the notion of a cohesive narrative must now extend beyond the bounds of language. Furthermore, open-content journalism and narrative frameworks, such as Twitter and fan fiction, have blurred the distinction between reader and author. Our conference invites papers that consider how interactive forms of media challenge conventional concepts of narrative and authorship. How must we adjust our conception of narrative to address the contributions of illustrators, designers and programmers? How does collaboration on a longstanding serial affect the relationship between author and work, especially in the absence of an original creator? What happens to the relationship between author and audience when electronic media allows users to contribute to a story?

We seek papers addressing these and other questions, and we welcome submissions from students in all disciplines. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

- Collaborative authorship
- User generated content
- MUDs
- Hypertext fiction
- Online editorial practices
- Reader/forum communities
- Serialization
- Copyright
- Historical partnerships/conflicts
- Joining text and image
- Narrative in roleplaying
- Transmedia storytelling
- Immersion
- Groupthink (e.g. Zombies)

While this is a graduate-oriented conference, the organizers would like to put together an undergraduate panel. If you know a promising undergraduate who might be interested in such an opportunity, please pass this along.

Proposals for 20-minute presentations should be no more than 300 words in length and must be submitted, along with a brief (100-word) biographical sketch, to no later than February 15th, 2011.

At this point we are especially interested in papers that discuss the challenge of providing meaningful player decisions in videogames (preferably games not made by Bioware), the creation of narratives through fandom and other communities, and the intersection of disparate canons in comics or graphic novels.