DiGRA Call for Conference Hosts

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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 (w.huber@abertay.ac.uk).

Deadlines:

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.