UPDATE: Video Games and the Alien / Other (3/1/06; 4/7/06-4/8/06)

full name / name of organization: 
zach whalen
contact email: 

[UPDATED: extended deadline, additional submissions track, new website]

*CFP : Videogames and the Alien / Other*
Second Annual University of Florida Game Studies Conference
Gainesville, FL
April 7-8, 2006


The University of Florida's Game Studies Group and the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the 2006 UF Game
StudiesConference: "Video Games and the Alien/Other," which will be held
in Gainesville,Florida, on April 7-8 2006.

*Guest Speaker*
Lee Sheldon, author of Character Development and Storytelling for Games
whose writing credits include Agatha Christie: And then there were none
[The Adventure Company], Uru: Ages beyond Myst [Cyan], The Riddle of
Master Lu, and Dark Side of the Moon.

This conference explores the figure of the Alien and the Other and the
various functions it serves within video games. Since the original Space
Invaders, video games have incorporated representations of difference in
a variety of ways--specifically, the figure of the Alien features
prominently as an enemy or source of conflict. This interdisciplinary
conference invites both critical and practical works that engage the
implications of this theme of alterity in video games and related
electronic media.

We invite presentations that explore the theme of difference in video
games either through theoretical examinations of particular works or new
media creations which represent the Alien artistically, programmatically
and/or digitally.

Accordingly, we offer two tracks for submissions:

Theory: Academic papers critically analyzing a specific function of
video games or new media in the context of the Alien.

Praxis: Performances, installations, or demonstrations which communicate
an idea related to the topic through the creation of digital media
artifacts. These presentations should also be accompanied by a short
oral explication of the central ideas and intellectual context.
Submissions should include a sample of the work (e.g. a screenshot) if

Presenters should focus their submissions on one of several key themes:

    * Player-Characters and the function of the outsider
    * Gaming cultures and subcultures
    * Portraying gender, race, religion and the avatar
    * Monstrosity, bodies and avatars
    * Otherness and online societies (e.g. MMORPG's)
    * Xenophobia and alterity in representations of "enemies."
    * Designing the Alien/Other through AI and NPCs
    * Video game villains and anti-heroes

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

    * The Other and the industry -- the role of independent game developers.
    * Localization and the alleged erasure of cultural difference
through video games.
    * Marketing and approaching new demographics.
    * Becoming the Other in online role-playing communities.
    * Colonialism and Orientalism within historical simulations.
    * The representation (or lack) of religious pluralism in video games.
    * Representations of race, gender, and/or sexual preference in games.
    * The Evolution of the Alien/Other in games.
    * Becoming Other -- choosing a moral path in KOTOR or Black and White.
    * Subversive game play.
    * Psychoanalysis, video games and the other/Other.
    * Becoming Alien/Other in online games.
    * Alien/Other and the differences inherent in console or interface
    * Close studies of specific Alien/Others and tropes of Alien/Otherness.

Abstract submissions should be approximately 250-500 words in length.
Presentations will be 15 minutes with 5 minutes of question and answer.
The deadline for abstract submissions is Wednesday, March 1, 2006. We
accept abstracts in electronic form (preferred) or print.

If possible, please submit proposals through our online system:

Alternatively, send hard copies to:
Zach Whalen
Department of English
Univ. of Florida
4008 Turlington Hall
P.O. Box 117310
Gainesville, FL 32611-7310


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Received on Thu Feb 02 2006 - 14:30:33 EST