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June 06, 2006




While players of video games have always been waiting for the next generation of technology, less fuss is made about next-generation experiences. If such experiences are already there, what are they like? What would be the 21st-century-equivalent to the experiences of Andy Capp's Tavern's customers who rushed into the bar to play Pong until the machine got jammed with coins? Ask a script writer, a political mod artist, a middleware developer, a computer game researcher, and someone who has traded off his social contacts in real life for a high-level character in a MMOG – and you will be overwhelmed by the diversity of what makes an experience worth striving for.

Department of Media at the Faculty of Art & Design of the University of Lapland and Mediapolis Innomedia project will publish a multidisciplinary book on player experiences in early 2007. The book will be a compilation of peer-reviewed articles. Respecting the department of Media's tradition of combining research with design, the book aims to piece together contemplations from researchers, designers, and those in-between, within or outside the academia.

On one hand, the extending might mean creating games that allow new kinds of experiences or are more emotional, maybe by implementing innovations regarding for example gameplay, graphics, sound or the interface. Also the players are creative. Their use of games in a way designers did not intend alters their experiences. On the other hand, the extending takes place concept-wise. In the wake of new forms of games and playing new types of players get introduced to digital games. Thus, the concept of player experience has to assimilate very different takes on how, where, when and why games are played and experienced. No matter from which viewpoint one looks at the player's experience, it seems that it poses challenges for those trying to observe or analyse it, not to mention those who are trying to understand it in order to be able to design something new.

Topics that the authors are invited to be address from the viewpoint of the players experience include, but are not limited to the following, and case-studies with an artistic or an industrial perspective are also welcomed.


- Game genres and gameplay concepts, abstract games, story-based games
- Game design "trends", e.g. movie-like games with no HUDs
- Graphics and sound; audiovisual styles, cel-shading, photorealism, sound-based games
- Different player setups; one or many, local or online, one-vs-one, team-vs-team, etc.
- Avatars and other player representations
- Innovations; new gameplay concepts, platforms, input devices, interfaces, AI
- Different types of games; online multiplaying (both hc & casual), mobile and portable games, pervasive and VR games
- Content; games not only for entertaining, i.e. "seriousness" of games, in-game advertising


- Different player groups and motivations; e.g. newbie, casual, hc, professional, senior, grrl, and mom gamers
- The role of "fun" in players' experiences
- Player identities
- Games as media for human relations
- Players' goals, emotions, motivations, expectations
- Consequences of playing
- Borderline activities; guild/clan webfora, mods, machinima, real-money trade of in-game assets

Methodological challenges for research and design

- Games as form of art, propaganda or education
- Design research from all viewpoints
- Philosophy of the experience
- Game-related experiences vs. other experiences
- Player's experience compared to user's/reader's/viewer's experience
- The applications of cognitive psychology, affective computing, HCI, Media Studies, etc. on understanding the players' experiences


All papers will be reviewed by an independent review committee, which will provide written feedback on each paper. NB: Due to popular demand, the abstract submission deadline has been extended from the original.

June, 19. 2006 Abstract submission (was: June 5th)
June, 26. 2006 Notification of acceptance (was: June 12th)
Sept, 5. 2006 Submission of full papers
Jan, 10. 2006 Submission of final papers



The abstract will summarise the contents of the paper and should contain from 150 to 200 words.

Please submit the abstract along with the additional information in plain text format using the electronic submission form on the website.

For more details, please visit the book's web page.


The line-up of the review board will be announced later on the book's web page.


Please visit the book's web page to view the editors' bios.

Posted by jo at June 6, 2006 09:55 AM