DIGRA conference summary
Last week DiGRA, the Digital Games Researchers Association, hit Vancouver for its second bi-annual gathering. (...) Games Researchers are predominantly academics with the odd hybrid professional /journalist/something-or-other who engage in Games Studies. Now, the exact definition of Games Studies is still a hotly debated topic (cf. bar talk above; or for a more sober discussion Espen Aarseth's Computer Game Studies, Year One) but at its core, games studies is the analysis of video games, gamers, and game culture from the perspective of social sciences such as psychology, sociology, communications studies, as well as my own field, philosophy. At the fringes, Games Studies embraces issues such as the process of game design but is very unlikely to be concerned with path-finding algorithms or triangle meshing techniques. Having said this, in my experience, most Games Researchers are fairly hardcore gamers and a few got tech. (...) To close, I want to make sure that I have not left any non-academic with the wrong impression of DiGRA. There is a lot of content that is applicable to the business of computer games, but the conference has not turned into an academic/industry lovefest. Industry participation is very low, lower that I think it should be, and seemingly esoteric content is high.
Why do I blog this? I think DIGRA events are interesting steps into game research. What strikes me is that it's a very large community with unbalanced representation of disciplines.