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PAX Academic Video Game Conference

Doctor TheoryDoctor Theory Registered User new member
Kinda random question. Does PAX (any site) have an academic conference for video gaming? If so, does anyone know where I can get more information on this? If, not, why not? Who could I talk to about starting something like this? I'm graduating with a PhD soon, ready to start my academic career, and most of the conferences I go to aren't as much fun (and useful) as this sounds.
Possible topics just off the top of my head:

Subjectivity in Video Gaming - Avatars and our Digital Embodiments
Posthuman Gaming - VR and our Sense of Self
Feminism in Gaming - A (re)enforcement of Gender Codes through Hyper-sexualized Forms
In-Game Economics - The Desire for Virtual Gold
Gaming in the Singularity - Prospects of our Future Battles
The Reinforcements of Grand Narratives - Postmodern Players playing Modern Games
Digital Animal Rights - Empathy of the Other-than-Humans in Video Spaces
The Anthropocene in Gaming - How Explorations of Post-Apocalyptic Landscapes Help Shape our Ideas of our own Ecology
Gender Studies in Gaming - Gender Switching Avatars and the Lack of Codes: What might playing as different than your identified gender do to concepts of gender identity IRL?
The Psychological Benefits of Table Top Murder

God, there's so many. Let's do this. How can I set this up?


  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    While I don't doubt there would be plenty of interest from academics across the country, as a graduating student without tenure your odds of setting something up are next to none. Some things you would need in order to do this:
    • Tenure and a host of publications making you a leader in the field.
    • Institutional support to host a conference (probably requiring you to be administrative faculty in a related unit, if not a dean).
    • A panel of professionals with considerable peer reviewed publications to be your keynote and plenaries.
    • A ton of money to reserve space, secure content, and market.

    You are likely looking at this the wrong way if you are thinking there aren't conferences already devoted to these topics or that field these topics, also. There are plenty of conferences on cognition, philosophy, media studies, gender dynamics, and more that have these topics come up. Making an exclusive "video game academic conference" is a great long-term goal if you get tenure in a media studies department, but I also suspect institutions that are on the cutting edge of media studies already have some conferences they are fielding here. For example, the New Media Conference:

    Something to keep in mind in creating a conference is that you have to be able to be justifiable to the host institution of your attendees that it is valid for academic advancement, that there is intrinsic value in the conference topic, and be able to take both of these concepts and articulate it to your administrators to allow for travel costs to be covered institutionally. Because of that, an interdisciplinary conference would likely not be very likely to hold all three as having merit. Sure I could publish my ecology paper at PAX Academia, but why would I take the time to do so if I wasn't already in media studies rather than going to an actual Ecology conference.

    Academic conferences generally don't serve a purpose of entertainment or using the medium as the connecting factor, rather than the academic field (unless you are specifically in media studies or philosophy). Digital media programs, humanities, philosophy, and (maybe) the social sciences if there is sufficient rigor and the right keynotes might be interested in such a thing, but unless you have an all-star cast hosted by a well known and respectable university in the field, it's probably dead in the water.

    Enc on
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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    Seems like it would be a colloquium at a psychological conference like srcd or something rather than an entire conference itself.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    PAX Dev in Seattle might be close. Also many of OP's suggestions would fit SXSW Interactive and Gaming tracks.

    Have a look at the sxsw interactive line up this weekend.

    spool32 on
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