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Call For Papers:

Playing Utopia

Futures in Digital Games
(Games Studies Summit)

Niklas Luhmann once asked in which forms the future might present itself in the present. One answer
is that media narratives inform our ideas of the future. Games are currently making a significant
contribution to this imaginative space: On the one hand, they demonstrate a particular propensity for
fantastic and futuristic scenarios. On the other hand, they often serve as an experimental field for the
latest media technology. However, while dystopias are part of the standard gaming repertoire, games
feature utopias much less frequently. Why?

This summit seeks to examine playful utopias from two perspectives. We will investigate utopias in
digital games, and we will investigate utopias of the digital game; that is, the role of ludic elements in
scenarios of the future, as they are, for example, often found in the field of gamification. Hence, we
would like to invite contributions which might include (but are not limited to):

– research on utopian aspects in games, e.g. regarding political and social
– research on utopian aspects of games, e.g. as ludic technologies that help
to develop a ‘better world’ in the broadest sense

The Game Studies Summit is hosted by the Cologne Game Lab and the Institute for Digital Media
Culture of the University of Cologne. It will take place on November 13, 2018. Please send abstracts
(no longer than 300 words) along with a short bibliography/ludography to
Deadline for submissions is the 31st of July. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be sent by the end
of August. In special cases, we will be able to cover for travel and accommodation costs.