Sign up for the seminar!

UPDATE [21/04/18]: We’ve now closed the pre-registration. We still have a handful of places left so feel free to drop by at the venue and see if you can fit in.

We’ve now opened the registration for the audience. This is a free public event. However, the number of chairs is limited. We also expect all the participants to read the work-in-progress papers before the event.


Pre-seminar activities, Mon 23 April

If you happen to be in Tampere already on Monday 23 April, you may be interested in joining us for a couple of events at the University of Tampere (check out the programme for details).

At noon, we have an invited speech by Christopher Paul (Seattle University). Chris will talk about his new book Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games : Why Gaming Culture Is the Worst (University of Minnesota Press).

In the afternoon, we will organize a workshop about Comparative Game Industry and Production Studies. This is an invitation-based event, primarily reserved for the seminar speakers. If you want to join us, contact workshop coordinator Olli Sotamaa.

From 6 pm onwards, we will have a casual dinner (location to be confirmed). This is a perfect opportunity to meet other seminar participants already a day before the event.

Abstract deadline extended!

Due to popular demand, we have decided to extend the deadline for our CfP with one week. The new and final deadline for submitting abstracts is Friday, 2 February 2018.

We are also excited to announce the first invited paper commentator, Annakaisa Kultima (Aalto University / University of Tampere), who’s one of the leading experts in the field of game design research.

Key dates are updated as follows:

  • Abstract deadline: 2 February, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: 9 February, 2018
  • Full Paper deadline: 2 April, 2018
  • Seminar dates: April 24-25, 2018

CFP: Making Games

24-25 April 2018, University of Tampere

If we believe that play is a cultural universal, then game making probably is as well. At the same time, while contemporary games circulate globally they are obviously not created in a vacuum. Instead, they are importantly shaped by cultural, social, and geographical contexts and historical trajectories. While major differences in game design paradigms, game studio cultures, and regional game development scenes exist, the academic study of games has only begun to address these issues.

The seminar welcomes contributions relating to all types of games and game making. Traditionally, games have been situated in the public domain – communally created and played – and even today, games are not only created by commercial game studios but also by independent developers, game jammers, students, enthusiasts, experts, and amateurs. In addition, we can identify a wide network of intermediaries ranging from commercial enterprises to non-profits and government agencies that actively shape the ecosystem of game making.

We are seeking submissions from scholars studying different aspects of game making. Prominent work is done in many fields ranging from design research and organizational ethnography to production studies and political economy. We hope that the seminar can address some of the theoretical and methodological approaches that will help us to start to bridge the hitherto disconnected fields.

The possible list of topics includes but is not limited to:

  • Global and local aspects of game development
  • Histories of game-making
  • Ethics of game-making
  • Studies on game studios or game developers
  • Indie games
  • Game creation ecosystems
  • Game jams and other game creation events
  • Game making as a hobby
  • Game creation communities, traditions, and schools
  • Design research
  • Production studies
  • Co-creating games
  • Political economy of game development
  • Game making and policy
  • Game development education
  • Game development tools

Making Games is the 14th annual spring seminar organized by University of Tampere Game Research Lab. The seminar emphasises work-in-progress submissions, and we strongly encourage submitting late breaking results, working papers, as well as submissions from graduate and PhD students. The purpose of the seminar is to have peer-to-peer discussions and thereby provide support in refining and improving research work in this area. The seminar is organized in collaboration with the Gamework Initiative.

The papers to be presented will be chosen based on extended abstract review. Full papers are distributed prior the event to all participants, in order to facilitate discussion. The seminar is looking into partnering with a journal so that the best papers would be invited to be further developed for publication in a special journal issue. In the past we have collaborated with Games & Culture, Simulation & Gaming, International Journal of Role-Playing and ToDiGRA journals.

Submission guidelines

The papers will be selected for presentation based on extended abstracts of 500-1000 words (plus references). Abstracts should be delivered in PDF format. Please use 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, for your text. Full paper guidelines will be provided with the notification of acceptance.

Our aim is that all participants can familiarise themselves with the papers in advance. Therefore, the maximum length for a full paper is 5000 words (plus references). The seminar presentations should encourage discussion, instead of repeating the information presented in the papers. Every paper will be presented for 10 minutes and discussed for 20 minutes.

Submissions should be sent to:

Important dates:

  • Abstract deadline: 26 January, 2018 2 February, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: 2 February, 2018 9 February, 2018
  • Full Paper deadline: 2 April, 2018
  • Seminar dates: April 24-25, 2018