Public Common Discussion Forum

Program committee and topic for 2015 edition

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    Sebastian Möring

    Hello everyone,

    I am very excited and honored to be the progam committee chair of the Philosophy of Computer Games conference 2015 in Berlin, particularly for three reasons:
    1. My own career in games research is closely connected to this conference series (I have helped organize the conference in 2008, I have presented twice (2011 and 2014), and I have revieweed for the conference (2012 and 2014)).
    2. The conference takes place in my hometown.
    3. This is the 10th anniversary of the conference series.

    My first task will be to form the program committee (I have already opened a private group). Am I correct if I assume that the conference chair/organizer usually has a seat on the program committee? I would be happy if some of you would like to volunteer. Please let me know if you are interested.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to put my two cents in for the topic of the conference. I see from the discussion so far that we have different options:

    • fragmented approach (different topics for different days, design angle as a topic on one day)
    • perhaps some themes have a unified body of literature and conferences (The ethical evaluation of in-game actions? Rules and Computer Games? The character of simulation in games?)
    • fragmented approach with special emphasis on open category in the call
    • overarching/common theme allowing for design angle on a subtopic for one day
    • a philosophical theme relevant to design

    Topics of the previous conferences were

    • Computer games and our conceptions of the real (Copenhagen 2005)
    • Computer Game Entities, Player Experience, The Ethics of Computer Games (Reggio Emilia 2007)
    • Ethics/Politics, Action|Space, The Magic Circle (Potsdam 2008)
    • Fictionality and Interaction, Defining Computer Games, Ethical and Political Issues (Oslo 2009)
    • Player-Avatar Identity, Identity and Conceptions of the Self, Identity and Immersion, Identity, Artifacts and Memory (Athens 2011)
    • The Nature of Player Experience (Madrid 2012)
    • Computer Game Space: Concept, Form and Experience (Bergen 2013)
    • Freedom in Play (Istanbul 2014)

    Some topics were more prominent than others so far: ethics, experience, space, the real/the fictional. My take is: one could look into the topics and contributions of previous conferences and see if they distill into something which might allow to reflect the 10th anniversary in the program of the conference, either in a track or in terms of a keynote reflecting the history of the conference or something like this.

    As for an overarching topic a brief discussion with Olli resulted in the idea that an interesting topic could be (perhaps due to our own background and research interests):

    • meaning in/of games

    This topic is prominent in game studies and allows for many different philosophical takes as well.

    • game rhetoric
    • game hermeneutics
    • structuralist perspectives on (meaning in) games
    • poststructuralist perspectives on (meaning in) games
    • phenomenological perspectives on (meaning in) games
    • linguistic perspectives on (meaning in) games
    • meaning structures in games
    • meaningful action in games
    • performing meaning in games

    To accommodate a design perspective one could ask for

    • meaningful game design
    • the meaning of game design
    • designing meaning into games
    • the philosophy of meaning and game design

    Let me know what you think about this. I am looking forward to “design” the upcoming conference together with you.


    John R. Sageng

    Good idea to use the common forum for this discussion and thank you for initiating the work on the next conference. Keep in mind that this forum is open to the Internet. I volunteer for the PC. It is customary to have (at least) one representative from the organizing committee in the program committee. I assume that will be Stephan.

    As for the proposal of meaning in games: I am a fan. While I am prepared to return to the “fragmented” approach (more than one theme in the call), I think having an overarching theme have worked out well. The theme fits perfectly with my own research interests as well. If we go this way we might have to say something about the concept of meaning in the call, since it is so term is so broad. One take is that meaning=representation with a propositional or pictorial content. (I personally think that there exist a form of “agential” meaning in games which is non-representational).

    Apologies for double posting.


    Many thanks for your stirring call for participation in the organization team (OK from my side) and the thematic selection game Sebastian.

    I agree with JR and Stephan that the “games and meaning” theme is a good one.

    As for the fragmentation discussion I think it would be profitable to continue with our prior practice that also “off theme” but clearly relevant thematic paper/presentation and eventual workshop proposals can also be solicited and reviewed for inclusion in the wider conference framework


    Sebastian Möring

    Thanks for your replies. I suggest we take the discussion right over to the Program Committee 2015 group and continue the search for a topic there. So, I will add you, John and Patrick, to the group.

    Everybody else who is willing to participate please press “request membership” next to the group in the group directory or drop me an email and I am happy to add you.

    John R. Sageng

    Juste a small note. There is a minor problem with the new PCG2015 forum, so we will make a new one and you can sign up for that one instead. (the forum does not work properly). I’m slowly identifying and getting the bugs out of the system. Sorry for that.

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