Virtualizing Material Games (SCMS Virtual Conference Panel 2021)

deadline for submissions: 
September 7, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Society of Cinema and Media Studies
contact email: 

Virtualizing Material Games (SCMS Virtual Conference Panel 2021)

Even before worldwide quarantines added impetus, material gaming had already become increasingly enacted in virtual spaces.  Rather than virtual play replacing the material, as some speculated in the early days of videogames, material play has become increasingly entangled with virtuality.  These increasingly complementary modes of play offer a rich space for exploring the multifaceted embodied and conceptual activity of play, the blending of material and virtual that in many ways defines games.   

This panel aims to explore the paradoxical yet generative spaces where materiality and virtuality intersect in gaming.  Preference will be given to interdisciplinary papers that explore the tensions and complementarity between analog game studies and videogame studies. 

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Remote play of board games via video conferencing or online arenas (e.g. Tabletopia, Board Game Arena, Vassal).
  • Digital implementations of board games (e.g. Steam, Android, Apple).
  • App-assisted or Augmented Reality board games (e.g. World of Yo-Ho, Chronicles of Crime, Mansions of Madness 2nd ed., Mask of Anubis).
  • Physics simulators (e.g. Tabletop Simulator) and Virtual Reality (e.g. Catan VR, Tilt Five) board games.
  • Board game live streaming (e.g. Twitch and YouTube).
  • Online communities for board gaming (e.g., Reddit).
  • Theoretical explorations of virtuality and materiality in gameplay.

Appropriately, this panel will be proposed for inclusion in the SCMS 2021 Virtual Conference (  As this will be a somewhat unprecedented event, please be prepared to navigate the necessary adaption of conference proceedings to the virtual environment and to think creatively about what this might entail. 

Abstracts of up to 500 words should be emailed to by Monday, September 7th.