Call for papers: DiGRA 2023 International Conference


DiGRA 2023 will take place in Sevilla, Spain, 19th-23rd June 2023. A pre-conference will be held one day prior to the official beginning of the conference, on Monday 19, with a PhD Consortium and Workshops.

The theme of the conference will be Limits and Margins of Games, exploring games as interstitial spaces between disparate realities.

The negotiation of limits and margins is a fundamental component of play which has been discussed regularly, from foundational approaches of the study of games and play to more contemporary ones. DiGRA 2023 aims to continue expanding this discussion with debates that take into account recent developments in society, technology, and gaming industries, such as underground and countercultural game-making, the consolidation of VR as a gaming platform, the decentralisation of player communities, the interlacing between games and politics, and the changes in digital culture caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, to name a few. These events challenge the traditional theoretical framework of game studies as a discipline and call for new conversations.

Margins and limits are, by their very own nature, nebulous and hard to define. They accommodate conflicts for the social imaginary where matters of culture, race, gender, and social class are articulated. These spaces can be material or symbolic, from conceptions of the Global South, citizenship, and censorship to ideas about community, belonging, and representation.

By limits we understand the moving zone in which the materiality of play and games is manifested. This includes, but is not limited to, the ontology of games, the aesthetics of games and play, games as media, game genres, virtual reality experiences, and games and new social realities.

By margins we understand the emergent practices in light of a changing environment under continuous transformation. This includes, but is not limited to, queer practices in games, playing with sexuality, the hegemony of play, game developments in the periphery, identity/identification through play, games as texts, and flaneurism, contemplation, and archaeogaming.

We would like to encourage scholarly reflection on all those diverse ways in which games act as spaces of possibility between disparate realities. Possible themes can include:

  • ontological approaches to games;
  • the aesthetics of gaming & playing;
  • games of the future: avant-garde and digital games;
  • games as media/media as games;
  • genres and generations: the limits of the experience;
  • virtual reality experiences;
  • games and new social realities;
  • queerness in games;
  • playing with sexuality;
  • the hegemony of play;
  • game developments in the periphery;
  • identity/identification through play;
  • games and politics;
  • games as texts: playing with literature;
  • local/regional histories and game studies;
  • flaneurism, contemplation, and archaeogaming.

With the theme of Limits and Margins of Games, DiGRA 2023 makes space for an interdisciplinary critical debate around a plethora of interconnected topics, inviting a diversity of voices and perspectives. As games continue to grow and playful practices continue to shape both dominant and resisting forces in society, game studies must keep looking at the margins and limits not only of its objects of study, but of itself as a discipline. This creates potentials for interdisciplinary exchange, methodical variety, and multifaceted critique. DiGRA 2023 welcomes contributions on different game formats, expressions, and phenomena both related to digital and non-digital games.

The submissions are invited into six tracks:

  1. Philosophy and Theory of Play & Games: theoretical frameworks and investigations of games and play phenomena as well as meta-reflection on game studies methods and practices.
  1. Game Analyses, Criticism, and Interpretation: analyses, close-readings, and critical discussions of game texts.
  1. Game History and Cultural Context: explorations of game histories, contemporary game cultures and regional game studies.
  1. Play and Players: empirical research on play and playful behaviour, players, fandom, and game communities.
  1. Game Design, Production, and Distribution: reflections on making and research creation, processes of production and design, and the games market.
  1. Serious Games and Education: research on games and play for learning, education, and therapy, and other applications beyond game studies.

There will be several special events associated with the conference, including a PhD Consortium. It will beorganised on the pre-conference day, and it will allow PhD students to discuss key issues, benefit from peer support, and seek feedback from experienced scholars. It will provide opportunities for further development of research skills that will be of help to emerging scholars in achieving their academic goals.

To submit your proposal, please apply directly through EasyChair:

The organisers also accept thematic workshop proposals (see submission guidelines below).

About DiGRA

DiGRA was established by an international group of scholars in Tampere, Finland, after the Computer Games and Digital Cultures conference that took place in 2002. Since then, it has continued to grow, including the establishment of many regional chapters in different parts of the world.

Important dates

  • Submission opens: 1 November 2022.
  • Full papers, abstracts, and panels submission deadline: 30 December 2022.
  • Workshop proposals submission deadline: 30 January 2023.
  • Announcement of review results and workshop acceptance: 28 February 2023.
  • Workshop submission deadline: 30 March 2023.
  • Early bird registration & program deadlines: 1 May 2023.
  • Camera-ready papers & abstracts deadline: 15 May 2023.
  • Conference dates: 19-23 June 2023.

To submit your proposal, please apply directly through EasyChair:

Proposals other than workshop proposals sent to the DiGRA email address will not be considered.

We are looking forward to welcoming the game studies community to Sevilla in June 2023!

Submission Guidelines

We welcome a range of contributions to DiGRA 2023: full papers, extended abstracts, panel and doctoral consortium participation, and workshop proposals.

Full papers and extended abstracts will be peer-reviewed, published on the conference website, and published in the conference proceedings available via open-access through the DiGRA Digital Library: Panel proposals will be peer-reviewed and published on the conference website but will not be included in the conference proceedings published through the DiGRA Digital Library. Workshop proposals will be selected by the conference organisers based on non-anonymous submissions.

All except workshop submissions should be made via EasyChair. Workshop proposals should be sent directly to the conference email:

Authors are asked to direct questions to the program chairs: Marcelo Simão de Vasconcellos (, Tanja Sihvonen (, and Víctor Navarro-Remesal (

Full Paper

Full papers are expected to be 5000-7000 words plus references, submitted as an anonymized PDF on DiGRA 2023 Submission Template. Submissions must be original, which means that they have not been published or are not under peer review elsewhere.

Full papers are peer-reviewed publications of original game studies research, presenting mature, complete research. Authors must present accepted full papers at the DiGRA conference. Accepted manuscripts will appear in the Proceedings of the 2023 DiGRA International Conference, which is published in the open access DiGRA Digital Library.

Extended Abstract

The suggested length for an extended abstract is 500-800 words, with a maximum of 1000 words, excluding references (only key references should be included), submitted as an anonymised PDF using the DiGRA 2023 Submission Template. Give a short description in the abstract field of the conference management system, but there is no need for extended abstracts to contain an abstract.

The purpose of an extended abstract is to demonstrate a contribution interesting to DiGRA audiences. An extended abstract might describe a study or research program that is underway but might also describe a pending program of research. It might outline findings, or it might establish and discuss a research question. It might describe the study’s method or methodology, or it might focus on outcomes and results. It might describe work that is planned, work that is in progress, or work that has been completed.

Accepted extended abstracts will appear in open access DiGRA Digital Library.

PhD Consortium Submission

Selection for the PhD consortium will be based on an extended abstract based on an ongoing PhD research project, with a maximum of 1000 words, excluding references (see Extended Abstract guidelines, above). They should be submitted to PhD Consortium track, as NON-anonymised PDF, with a short description in the abstract field of the conference management system (there is no need for a doctoral consortium application to have an abstract).

Submissions must use the DiGRA 2023 Submission Template.


A panel session will typically occupy a single conference session and have a duration of 80 to 90 minutes. Panel proposals should have a maximum length of 1000 words, excluding references, plus a 100-word biography of each participant. They should include: the focus or topic of the panel, a description of why the topic will be of interest or relevant to DiGRA attendees, a list of confirmed participants, and a description of their background and expertise.

Panel proposals will be peer-reviewed.Panels should be submitted as PDFs on DiGRA 2023 Submission Template


The conference workshops are three to six hours long sessions focused on a particular game-related topic. Workshops provide an opportunity for new ideas, theories, and trends to be presented and discussed. Workshops can also be practical tutorials.

Concise workshop proposals of no more than 1000 words (excluding bibliography) should include major objectives and expected outcomes of the workshop, the justification for the workshop informed by current trends and research, the format and activities planned for the workshop, the organisers’ background, the anticipated number of participants, and the way they will be selected.

Please note that the submission should NOT be anonymous as the organisers’ background is very important in the decision-making process for workshops.

Submit workshop proposals directly by email to by 30 January 2023.

Number of submissions per author

Authors cannot submit more than two papers and/or extended abstracts to DiGRA 2023, including PhD Consortium submissions. An individual can be co-authors on as many full papers and extended abstracts as they like but cannot submit more than two as main author/presenter. If the limit is exceeded, only the two first submissions will be reviewed.The limit does not include participation in panels or workshops.

DiGRA 2023 Website

For more details about the conference, visit the website:

DiGRA Code of Conduct and Ombuds Team Official Launch!

The Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) is pleased to announce the official launch of its Ombuds Team, an organizational ombuds program linked here, and its Code of Conduct, linked here.

Both of these efforts are intended to support DiGRA’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the organization and conference are welcoming, supportive, and safe space for scholars from many disciplines, countries, and communities. The Code of Conduct is a guide for professional behavior in DiGRA, and members are expected to conduct themselves according to its standards. The Ombuds is a service that will be available to all DiGRA members at any time before, during, and after the international conference each year, in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

The Ombuds Team is a confidential, informal, neutral, and independent resource for DiGRA community members, as well as conference and listserv participants (referred to as visitors), to safely discuss any concerns they may have related to the behaviors, activities, and events of DiGRA. The only (unlikely) exception to Ombuds confidentiality is if a visitor presents a risk of imminent harm to themselves or someone else, in which case the Ombuds must report it to law enforcement and the DiGRA Executive Board.

Conversations with the Ombuds Team are considered confidential, offering a safe place for people to discuss their concerns, understand all sides of an issue, and explore their options.  They are independent of the Executive Board, and will not share any identifiable information unless given explicit permission to do so by the visitor. The Ombuds Team does not serve in any formal or official reporting function. Likewise, the ombuds will not have the responsibility nor authority to investigate any issues raised or take any punitive actions.

The Ombuds can bring issues to leadership’s attention without any attribution, thereby serving as an independent voice. Ombuds do not advocate for any particular individual or group, instead, they advocate for fair processes and provide feedback on systemic trends. Instead, The Ombuds Team uses anonymous, aggregated data, so as to not breach the confidentiality of people using its services and to provide DiGRA with feedback, insights, and recommendations on systemic issues relating to the conference or DiGRA. The Ombuds follow the generally accepted standards of ombuds practice as espoused by the International Ombudsman Association (Found here: ). These standards define and guide all of their work, and also differentiate them from other functions.

For further information about the DiGRA Ombuds Team and the role of ombuds, please consult the FAQ.

To contact the DiGRA Ombuds Team, you can e-mail All e-mails are sent to a confidential inbox that is only accessible to the Ombuds. Please allow one (1) business day for them to respond.

If you have questions or concerns, you can also contact the DiGRA Executive Board at, or the Diversity Working Group at The current DiGRA Diversity Officer is Cody Mejeur, they can be reached at

DiGRA Call for Conference Hosts


Digital Games Research Conference

The Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) has as a central goal the support of an international conference on digital gaming. Eleven conferences have taken place, with two more already planned for 2023 and 2024.  This document is a call for proposals for a committee and location to host the 2025 and 2026 DiGRA international games research conferences. Proposals for conference hosting in 2027 beyond are also welcome.

We particularly encourage hosts from countries which have historically been under-represented in games research, and from regions which have not yet hosted a DiGRA international conference (including the “global south”). Institutions wishing to put themselves forward should consider the following aims of DiGRA when putting their proposal together and highlight how the event they would organize would achieve these:

  • To support games research as an interdisciplinary field
  • To encourage dialogue between researchers, practitioners, commercial organizations and policy makers
  • To support students and curriculum development
  • To disseminate work produced by the association’s community

DiGRA is keen to receive proposals that tackle these issues in an innovative manner and build upon established conference practices. It is envisaged that DiGRA conferences will each have a central theme but that this will in no way compromise the inclusiveness of research into games from a wide range of researchers, disciplines and empirical domains. The official language of the conference will be English.

DiGRA establishes a program chair (separate from the local hosting committee), who will ensure rigorous and appropriate peer review for abstracts submitted to the conference and the support of ethical practice. The successful hosting institution will be provided with key guidelines for the management of the planning and preparation of a medium-sized conference: hosts should be prepared for as many as 500 attendees (usually the conference has between 300 and 400 attendees.)  There is no compulsory format for conference hosting proposals, but we recommend that they deal with the following:

1. Venue

  • Location: Institution, town/city, country.
  • Background: What is the host city like? Attractions for visitors?
  • Entertainment options: Location for visiting other areas before/after conference? Proximity to local game industries or other relevant sites?
  • Venue: Description, facilities, access, lecture theatres, meeting rooms, exhibition space, technical resources, translation services etc.

2. Conference

  • Potential theme ideas *
  • Potential keynote/plenary speakers*
  • Special events: any special thematic days and/or collaborative events organized in connection to the conference?
  • Social events: What? When? Where? Are they particularly digital gaming relevant or locally typical?  Commissioning a conference game or suitably ‘playful’ activities would lend specificity to the event.
  • Delegate packs: Contents. Proceedings
  • The DiGRA executive committee has a responsibility for ensuring the quality of the delegates’ conference experience and the academic credibility and reputation of the conference. As such it will be involved, and have the right of veto, in the final decisions about programming and other aspects of content.  Once hosts are decided a programming committee will be formed with representatives from the hosts and nominated members acting on behalf of the DiGRA executive board.

3. Travel and Accommodation

  • Distance from international airport/s
  • Access by bus, cab, coach, train, etc
  • Travel between conference venue and accommodation
  • Estimated travel costs from a range of major cities
  • Costs & Finance (in €, US$ as well as in local currency)
  • Conference registration: full and day rates, student rates, DiGRA member rates (DiGRA membership is included in the DiGRA conference registration fee, with those membership monies directed afterwards to the association by the organizer, thereby guaranteeing its basic funding and continuity.) Registration fees should be tiered to reflect varying levels of affordability for different countries of origin: the board will work with the local organizing committee to determine the appropriate rates.
  • Accommodation: Description, university/hotel options, location in relation to conference venue, facilities, capacity, etc. Per person, room share options? Discount for DiGRA delegates?
  • Meals/Conference Dinner
  • How will booking be handled?
  • What bursaries or discounts will be offered to graduate students in the field?

4. Organization

  • Conference committee: Details of organizers, responsibilities, administrative support, etc. If working with a PCO, they should be named. It is expected than key individuals in the proposal and proposed conference committee will hold current DiGRA membership, Identify one member of the host team who is the main contact with DIGRA.
  • Outline means of keeping in regular, consistent communication with the DIGRA board.
  • Short research biographies. Plan for coordination of duties within committees as well as with DiGRA executive board; estimate of deadlines for conference planning schedule.
  • Institutional support: Level and nature of department/institution involvement and funding.
  • Additional support: Details of finance, facilities, sponsorship or other involvement from additional organizations at a regional, national or international level.
  • Dates: Proposed conference dates, deadline for abstracts, etc. (It is strongly recommended that proposers avoid dates conflicting with events such as AoIR, DAC, Future Play, FDG , etc.)

5. Publicity & Dissemination

  • Conference proceedings: How will they be made available – in book format and/or electronically? When will they be available to delegates? (Note that all DiGRA conference papers need to be archived in the online DiGRA Digital Library, and conference organizers are expected to collaborate in this. Likewise, the ToDiGRA journal editors will be collaborating with the Program Chair to publish a subset of best papers from the conference.)
  • Publications: Are special editions of journals planned for after the conference? Are publishing contracts for edited collections planned? Who will edit these? What is the planned timescale?
  • How will conference publicity be planned?

6. Other Considerations

It is recommended that proposers produce a basic business plan to estimate incoming and outgoing monies for the conference depending on different levels of attendance and financial support. Issues such as how any loss will be accounted for should be dealt with, as DiGRA cannot currently offer any financial guarantee. Procedures should be in place so that in the event that the conference makes a profit DiGRA will receive 30% of this. The association will use this towards developing funds to support conference costs for some students or researchers coming from economically unstable countries.

A Conference License Agreement will need to be signed by the representatives of the conference organizer and the DiGRA. This will detail all the arrangements and specifications of the planning and execution of the Conference. The Agreement must be signed before the actual conference arrangements are set in motion.

The DIGRA executive board are accepting letters of interest on an ongoing basis.

Letters of intent, completed proposals or general enquires about the conference hosting call, and details of the License Agreement etc. should be directed to William Huber (


This an open call (we will continue to take proposals if a suitable one has yet to be identified), but for full consideration please submit a letter of interest by the following dates:

For the 2025 conference, please submit by September 1, 2022.

For the 2026 conference, please submit by January 1, 2023.

2018 DiGRA Distinguished Scholars

The 2018 DiGRA Distinguished Scholars: Helen Kennedy and Petri Lankoski

In 2016 DiGRA established the Distinguished Scholars program to recognize senior scholars in the field of game studies who have been at the forefront of the development of rigorous scholarship, the establishment of game studies and game development programs, and who have made significant contributions to DiGRA itself as an organization. Below are biographies for Kennedy and Lankoski. You can find the complete list of scholars at:

Helen Kennedy: Helen is currently Head of the School of Media at the University of Brighton overseeing the leadership and management of undergraduate and postgraduate courses currently delivered across four sites throughout the city . Helen’s career has been characterised by her passion for the integration of research, innovative curriculum development and collaborative and creative partnerships. She has an international reputation for her research and advocacy work in Game Studies and for her leadership in the development of the field.

Her current research interests are feminist interventions into games culture, experience design and cultural evaluation. She is Principal Investigator on an international project aimed at the transformation of games ( Over the past 3 years she has been researching experiential cinema as an aspect of the ludification of contemporary culture with Dr Sarah Atkinson at King’s College London with whom she has written a number of field defining publications. Recently she has been awarded further significant UK Research Council funding to investigate new technologies and new creative practices in immersive experience design.

Petri Lankoski: (D.Arts) is an associate professor at Södertörn University where he teaches game development and game research. He has been working with game research since early 2000. His research has looked at various aspects of game design research, as well as emotions, embodiment, and fictionality in games. Lankoski also develops games as part of the research. He has published three books: Character-Driven Game Design (Aalto University, 2010) and Game Research Methods: An Overview (co-edited with Staffan Björk, ETC Press, 2015) and Game Design Research: An Introduction to Theory and Practice (co-edited with Jussi Holopainen, ETC Press, 2017).

CfP: The 5th Annual Chinese DiGRA Conference

Chinese DiGRA is excited to announce the fifth annual conference to be held at the CityU Shenzhen Research Institute from the 7th to the 9th of September 2018. 

Conference themes

We invite submissions on any aspect of Chinese games, game industries, game design and gaming cultures. We also invite submissions from people located in the Chinese-speaking region who are researching any aspect of games. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Analyses of game design and development traditions and practices in the region
  • Representation, diversity and inclusiveness in ‘Chinese’ games and game (development/play) cultures
  • The Chinese game industries and their future possibilities/weaknesses
  • Critical analysis of the Chinese game industries
  • Gaming and production cultures in specific ‘Chinese’ regions
  • China as the biggest videogame market in the world
  • Critical analyses of ‘Chinese’ games and games popular in China
  • Critical considerations of future game development in the Chinese-speaking region
  • Local ‘game design issues’
  • Specificities regarding computer games within Chinese cross-media environments
  • Computer games and playability in the context of interactive art and creative media
  • Government policy on production and consumption of games
  • Esports in the Chinese speaking region and beyond
  • The history of Chinese games and gaming
  • Comparative analyses of Chinese and other games, game industries and game cultures

*The Chinese DiGRA conference facilitates networking amongst game scholars working in the Chinese-speaking region. Therefore, apart from the above topics we also encourage submissions from scholars located in the Chinese-speaking region working on any aspect of game research. Continue reading