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Video Games as Text; Text as Play
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University of Wyoming Department of English
Video Games as Text; Texts as Play
The University of Wyoming is accepting abstracts for its upcoming graduate student conference: Video Games as Text; Texts as Play. The conference will be held the second weekend of April, Thursday the 12th to Saturday the 14th. Abstracts will be due by January 15th. Our keynote speaker will be Judd Ruggill, Assistant Professor, Arizona State.
When the average person looks at the genre of video games, they see the graphic violence depicted on the news, the laziness of sitting on one’s couch for hours in front of a television, and the adolescent appeal of throwing yourself into another world via a joystick. But, as many of the growing number of gamers and game scholars could tell you, video games are so much more. The texts that games present are an emerging field of study and an emerging field of narrative. Video games are growing in terms of size, story, and maturity, and are an important part of modern day popular culture. This is why we must examine them more carefully in an academic setting. And those tools used to critique and appreciate video games can also be used on more traditional texts in the context of play, allowing for fresh looks at classic texts.
Just as video games can be analyzed as forms of narrative or rhetoric, texts can be analyzed via the idea of play. Play presents itself in a variety of forms, like the outright leisure aspect of novels, comics, and film, as well as the more serious "play" presented in a variety of theoretical approaches, or any other method of examining how texts and the idea of play could interact. We would welcome any papers that look at this idea in creative ways.
Video games also offer the academic community new opportunities as educational tools, allowing educators to reach their students in more hands-on ways. For example, students can examine historical conflicts and controversies from the perspective of those directly involved, choose how they would act in those situations, and see what their actions lead to. We invite you to submit your conference papers on a variety of topics that will allow us to better understand what, as a culture, we appear to be moving towards as the narrative form of choice.
You are of course not limited to these. Also feel free to submit a proposal for a panel at the conference, on any related topic.
However, we discourage any papers about whether violent video games lead to violent behaviors in children.
Both merit-based and need-based scholarships going toward conference attendance may be available to interested parties. If you would like to apply for a need-based scholarship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please submit your 200-300 words abstracts before January 15 via www.uwplayology.com. We will let you know no later than February 15. Please include contact information, your institutional affiliation, and any audio/visual requirements. Any questions can be answered by contacting the conference organizers using the website or emailing the conference organizers at email@example.com.