Ludic Cartography. Mapping GameSpaces (04/25/2009-06/01/2009)

full name / name of organization: 
Stanford University

The How They Got Game Project at Stanford University is currently seeking for papers that explore the connections between mapping, cartographic practices, electronic gaming and virtual worlds for an illustrated book that will be published in 2010. Specifically, we are interested in essays that address the notion of representing spaces in video games and virtual worlds through the aid of maps and mapping tools. Video games and virtual worlds establish new topographies and geographies that - while often making references to preexisting models - create a new understanding of the fictional worlds that we explore. Our goal is to show and explain how digital spaces are being mapped by a new generation of cartographers.

Topics might include:

- History and evolution of mapping in games and virtual worlds
- Origins and evolution of strategy guides
- Uses of modern cartographic tools (e.g. Google Earth) for video games/virtual worlds
- Uses of innovative displays for mapping/visualizing data in games/virtual worlds
- Case studies of key games/virtual worlds that use innovative cartographic solutions
- Legal issues related to gaming and virtual world cartography
- Visual display of game-related information on-screen and off-screen
- The relationship between traditional (analog) and digital cartography
- Cartographies of game development around the world (think Franco Moretti's research in literary studies)
- Mapping social patterns and activities in games/virtual worlds
- Travelogues

Please send a one to two page proposal by April 25th to Matteo Bittanti at bittanti at Stanford dot edu and/or Henry Lowood at lowood Stanford dot edu and/or Bonnie De Varco at devarco at cruzio dot com.

Interdisciplarity will be a key feature of this project. Authors are encouraged to include high-resolution images in their essays and to use pictorial material in creative ways in their essay. Authors of papers accepted be notified by June 1, 2009. In addition to the book, we are currently considering the possibility of organizing an exhibition.