<12 hours to go!

For anyone considering coming tomorrow (even if you didn’t get round to registering), do make it if you can – we’re looking forward to a great day with some fascinating papers. Rounded off perfectly, of course, with a keynote from Martin Creed.

Full programme, including venue details and timings.


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Full programme announced

We’re delighted to confirm the programme of speakers for the conference, and very grateful to everyone who submitted a proposal – thanks to you, we’ve been able to put together a programme that is even wider ranging than we could have hoped. View the full programme here.

The conference begins between 9.15 and 9.45 on Friday 24 May, with registration in room 242 in the Foster Court building. Remember, registration for the day is free – all you need to do is  sign up.

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Registration now open

After a week of deciding between some fascinating and varied proposals, the conference schedule is nearly complete, and will be announced very shortly – but here’s a hint of what you can expect…

The Wire…  Spring Breakers |  Balzac… Beckett | Performance art… Community theatre | Online videogames… Speech acts and language games | Renaissance drama… Victorian education | Stéphane Mallarmé… Leonard Cohen

…and of course, our keynote from Martin Creed.

Playing Games will take place on Friday 24 May 2013 in the Department of English at UCL.

Registration is now open for the conference itself – if you would like to attend (for free) – please send a brief email to playinggamesucl@gmail.com with your name and affiliation, or complete the form below…

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Deadline passed (brief grace period aside…)

The CFP deadline has now passed, and the submissions we’ve received have been even more varied and fascinating than we hoped, and should make for a very interesting conference.

(Although any desperate stragglers who submit a proposal to playinggamesucl@gmail.com by Sunday evening will still be considered…)

Thanks to everyone who has sent us an abstract. Now the next stage of planning the programme begins – more news to follow very soon…

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Submissions deadline – four days to go…

The deadline for submissions is this Friday, 26 April at 12pm (BST), so don’t forget to send your abstract to playinggamesucl@gmail.com. The call for papers will hopefully provide some inspiration if needed.

The range of topics for proposals already submitted has been fascinating and we’re increasingly excited about the fast-approaching conference itself.

Reife des Mannes: das heisst den Ernst wiedergefunden haben, den man als Kind hatte, beim Spiel.

Mature manhood: that means to have rediscovered the seriousness one had as a child at play.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Book IV §94

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Keynote speaker Martin Creed confirmed

We’re very excited to confirm that Martin Creed (Winner, Turner Prize 2001) will be keynote speaker at the conference on 24 May.

Here’s a great shot of his his Work No. 850 (2008) at Tate Britain


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Call for papers – deadline midday, Friday 26 April 2013

Play, writes Roger Caillois (Man, Play and Games, 1961), is an activity that is free and non-productive, unfolds in a circumscribed time and place with an uncertain conclusion, is rule-governed and ‘accompanied by a special awareness of a second reality’.This conference will explore diverse expressions of game/play in literature, film, the visual arts, performance, architecture and design. It is concerned with games that serve as allegories, as narrative devices or as structuring metaphors; from playful conceits through to the esoterica of avant-garde experimentation.We invite proposals for 20 minute papers from students at MA and PhD level, both from literature departments and across other disciplines. Extracts from work in progress are welcome.Submissions might consider game/play as…

…a confrontation with chance and uncertainty
…a questioning of identity
…a sublimation of conflict
…an envisaging of ulterior space
…a reaction against utility
…a challenge to systemisation
…an engagement with structure and restraint

The following list of fluid, non-restrictive categories, exemplary practitioners and works demonstrates the range of approaches and topics that applicants might like to consider…

Game/play as content
Thomas Middleton’s A Game at Chess | Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Gambler | Michael Haneke’s Funny Games | Raymond Chandler’s The High Window

Game/play as form
Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy | Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style | Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves | Philip Sydney’s Lady of May

Game/play as practice

  • Unconventional, non-linear and emergent videogame narratives – Christine Love, Fumito Ueda, thatgamecompany
  • Immersive, confrontational and experimental theatre practitioners – Punchdrunk, Forced Entertainment, The Factory 
  • Improvisatory, collaborative and performance-based art – Marina Abramović, Spartacus Chetwynd, Jeremy Deller

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, along with a very brief biographical statement, to PlayingGamesUCL@gmail.com.

Deadline for submissions: midday, Friday 26 April 2013.

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