Media Mutations 7. Space Invaders. The impact of digital games in contemporary media ecosystems.
Bologna, Dipartimento delle Arti, Salone Marescotti, May 26th and 27th 2015
Confirmed keynote speaker: Tanya Krzywinska (Falmouth University) and Geoffrey Long (Annenberg Innovation Lab – University of Southern California).
Final remarks by Peppino Ortoleva (Università di Torino)
Organized by: Paolo Noto (Università di Bologna), Riccardo Fassone (Università di Torino), Claudio Pires Franco (University of Bedfordshire)
In the past years digital games have progressively become more visible in the media ecosystem, and now occupy a prominent position, economically and culturally, in the mediascape.
As a consequence, scholars in TV and Film Studies have been incorporating the study of video games into their field of interests, working in particular on the aesthetic and narrative relationship between digital games and other media. Scholarly production has extensively focused, on the one hand, on issues such as intermediality, narrative aspects in digital games as well as on modes of representation and enunciation and, on the other hand, on playful aspects of the cinematic and televisual narration.
What seems to be nearly absent in this field of analysis is a more structured reflection on the impact of digital games in the contemporary media ecosystem. In particular, we would like to foster a further exploration of the spaces traditionally occupied by cinema and television that have been significantly modified, both by the pervasiveness of digital games and by the design of gameful products. Moreover, we encourage an exploration of current and potential technological developments that determine interactions and convergences in the different aspects of production between video games and other media.
Coherently with its previous editions, Media Mutations 7 encourages ecosystemic analyses, encompassing games and play and their role within the wider space of media, of the aspects listed below. We accept proposals for 20 minute papers on:
- Space of creation and production: What kind of unprecedented products emerge from the coexistence between games and other creative objects? What types of products have been subject to mutations triggered by the increasing presence of digital games in the media ecosystem? How might models of production and creative work migrate between games and other media? How does the increasing importance of games affect the organization of contemporary media franchises? To what extent the need to engage viewers through playful elements influences the styles of writing and filmmaking? How has this changed the professional routines as well as the geography of workplaces? What are the potential educational applications of video games and how do they relate to the use of other media in the same context?
- Space of delivery and consumption: How are games showcased and sold in physical as well as digital stores, in competition (or in collaboration) with other items, such as films and TV series? What are the forms of monetization and the marketing strategies they adopt in the competition for the limited resources of users’ money and time? How are promotional practices and discourses of games affected by other media, and vice versa? How are forms of interactive technology and distribution contributing to the development of new cross-media experiences, such as second screens, mobile media , augmented reality and the like?
- Space of discussion: How have games achieved a culturally legitimate status? How are games brought into traditional spaces of exhibition? What is the meaning of buzzwords, such as interactive, immersive, gamification and transmedia according to the contexts in which they are employed (in academia, marketing, industry, etc.)?
We will also consider proposals on the following subjects:
serious games, advergames, interactive Web-docs, educational games, amusement parks, gamification of blockbuster movies and TV, Alternate Reality Games (ARG), casual games.
The official languages of the conference are English and Italian. Abstracts (250-1000 words for 20-minute talks) should be sent to mediamutations.org [at] gmail.com by March 5th 2015. Please attach a brief biography (maximum 150 words) and an optional selected bibliography (up to ten titles) relevant to the conference theme. Notification of paper acceptance will be sent to proponents between 15-30 March.
A registration fee will be requested after notification of paper acceptance (€40 for speakers; admission to the conference is free for students). Papers will be published in the online repository of the University of Bologna and a selection will be included in an edited collection to be submitted to an international publisher (a volume based on the proceedings of Media Mutations 5, The Politics of Ephemeral Digital Media is forthcoming by Routledge). For more information on the previous editions of Media Mutations, please check the conference’s website, www.mediamutations.org.