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Googlegänger

With Halloween coming up soon (or at least it seems to be with store shelves are already stocked with Halloween candy), are there any interesting ARGs related to Googlegängers? Most of the information I've found on Googlegängers (by using Google no less) seems to deal with people's confusion, frustration, or amusement at finding their same-name virtual doppelgänger. I know I'm always hoping to overtake the real Laurie Taylor on Google rankings. To me, the real one is the one who's more often higher on a Google Search--in my case, the one who works for the BBC. I'm also always hoping the bad one--who wanted books banned--will drop out of Google listings (latest news on that one is from 2005, but it's still on the first page of results). A great ARG could focus on finding one's Googlegänger, maybe just trying to beat them in Google rankings, or something else.

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PCA/ACA National Conference, Digital Games Area

Submission Deadline: 
11/08/2007

The combined Digital Games areas of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association invite proposals for papers and panels on digital games (video games, computer games, arcade games, etc.) and digital game studies for the Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association National Conference to be held March 19-22, 2008, at the San Francisco Marriott, San Francisco

The organizers seek proposals covering all aspects of digital gaming, gaming culture and game studies, within or across disciplinary conversations, and all theoretical and methodological approaches are welcome.

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SW/TX PCA/ACA: MMORPGs: Science Fiction and Fantasy Area

Submission Deadline: 
11/14/2007

Call for Papers: MMORPGs: Science Fiction and Fantasy Area, SW/TX PCA/ACA

The 2008 Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Association
29th Annual Conference, The Hyatt Regency Conference Hotel, Albuquerque, NM, February 13-16, 2008.

The Area Chairs of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Area would like to
invite paper and panel proposals on Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games and narrative. Possible topics might include:

• MMOs as narratives.
• MMOs and gender construction through role-play.
• Embodiment.
• MMOs as myth-building structures.
• The Epic and MMOs

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Texts and Paratexts in and Around Videogames

The group of grad students at UF that originally gave rise to this blog, the Game Studies Group, has been rebranded as the Digital Assembly (DA), and we had our monthly meeting on Friday. Our readings were the introduction to Gerard Genette's Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation and Georg Stanitzek's "Texts and Paratexts in Media" (Critical Inquiry 32.1). What we discussed, in a somewhat circuitous way, was how our various projects can or cannot be described in Genette's terminology, and ultimately whether or not paratext is a useful concept for studying media other than books. It was an interesting conversation, and I've had a few more thoughts. I'd like to keep the conversation going, so feel free to jump in.

Genette's defines "paratext" as the text's threshold, vestibule, or edge. Not part of the text, but necessary to it, assuring authorial control of the text by providing readers a sanctioned entry point. In general, paratexts include things like a book's title, typography, preface, pagination, etc. Moreover, paratexts can be further divided into "epitexts" and "peritexts", distinguished by their spatial relationship with the book (and Genette makes it clear that he is writing of books) such that epitexts are materials published elsewhere (e.g., James Joyce's road map for Ulysses), and peritexts are materially part of the same substance as the text (e.g., chapter titles).

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In Media Res

Media Commons has an excellent ongoing project called In Media Res wherein media scholars post short videos with introductory statements meant to engage the community in conversation.

It is not only a really interesting twist on academic discussion, but a great way to gain exposure to the various projects people are working, as well as potentially get some preliminary feedback on your own project.

I have a machinima video and short write-up there this week that I am using in a current paper and would love to get some feedback and thoughts on it from the Gameology staff and readers.

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Screenshots and video

The DIGRA mailing list recently hosted a very interesting discussion on the use (and relevant laws in various countries) of images from videogames in academic work - a good suggestion was that DIGRA should lobby the industry to allow reproductions of visuals. Given that a number of Gameology contributors and visitors are writing theses or articles, and given that videogames are such a highly visual form, I was wondering just how people are using screenshots or video footage in their written work? Is anyone submitting a video component, perhaps a CD with footage taken from a gameplay session? Maybe some links to Quake Done Quick or Garry's Mod on YouTube? How appropriate is that for a formal piece of academic output such as a thesis? Do you include things like level or stage where appropriate in citing such things?

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SW/Texas PCA/ACA: Video and Computer Game Studies

Submission Deadline: 
11/14/2007

CALL FOR PAPERS: Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 13-16, 2008

Video and Computer Game Studies Computer Culture Area The 29th Annual Meeting of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association http://www.h-net.org/~swpca/.

The Computer Culture Area of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association welcomes paper, panel, and other proposals in video and computer game studies. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

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INTETAIN 2008 Workshop on Integrating Technologies for Interactive Stories

Submission Deadline: 
10/20/2007

Interactive Story has the potential to revolutionise entertainment. As a research area, however, it is becoming increasingly disparate; although groundbreaking work is being done, there has thus far been only minimal consideration of integration. To effectively further the field, the exchange of ideas and the consideration of their integration have become necessary. Without such an effort, there may be no way to create a single interactive story system of sufficiently high quality. The ITIS workshop aims to encourage the integration of techniques for interactive stories and further collaboration between research groups. It will bring together researchers from different aspects of interactive stories, and should aid in ultimately leading to interactive story systems which are more complete and entertaining.

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ICFA: Gaming Theory and Culture

Submission Deadline: 
10/30/2007

Participants are being sought for paper sessions on Video Game Theory and Culture for the 29th Annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

The focus of ICFA 29 is on the sublime in the fantastic, and while papers relating to this theme are welcome, proposals on any topics related to this call will be considered. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, from March 19 - 23, 2008 at the Marriott Orlando Marriott Hotel. For more information and updates about the conference, please visit www.iafa.org.

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Presentations Should be Online

Google just announced that they've added presentations to Google Docs. While there are already other places that allow for shared presentations, this is a bonus because it's easy to use (after all, it's Google so most folks have logins and the interface design is simple and elegant, and consistent so it'll be extra easy). Presentations, of all documents, should be online and shared since that's intrinsic to their use and was only prevented before as a technical limitation (needing online access or file size) or a ease-of-use limitation.

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