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Utah Summit on Games 2024 Call for Participation

Call for Participation: 1st Utah Winter Summit on Games

Theme: Defining the Discipline


The 1st Utah Winter Summit on Games is delighted to invite you to share your insights, experiences, and perspectives that contribute to a deeper understanding of games writ large.

Theme: Defining the Discipline

The landscape of “games research” is difficult to navigate. It is mired in a discourse of what it actually is, what are its practices, and what is its purpose. Problematically, the discourse has not converged on the necessary shared language to articulate what is to be studied, how we should situate work with respect to our diverse ways of knowing, and why our questions should be asked. 

As a result, despite several decades of games scholarship, what our progress is and how we measure it is still unclear. This problem is compounded by our constituent communities talking past each other and critiquing each other from different philosophical traditions, which ontologically may not share the same values. Extant work has been dichotomized as being scientific or not; of being relevant to the industry or not. Being unable to articulate the broader disciplinary connections of our work to each other puts us at risk of having critical omissions in our body of knowledge. While one may argue “only forward progress matters,” these “merely” epistemic problems reverberate as material consequences, expressed below as questions:

  • What is games scholarship and how do we evaluate it?
  • How can we work toward integrative and inclusive games scholarship?
  • What are the relevant standards of rigor for games scholarship?
  • Where do we publish games research?
  • What does tenure and evaluation look like for games scholars?
  • How do we educate students in this area and to what end?
  • What lessons learned can we bring to bear in defining games as a discipline?
  • Who are our constituents and what is our responsibility to them?

We propose to take one step toward addressing the above issues: the articulation of a coherent and consistent disciplinary identity, with possibly unique ontological, epistemic, and teleological foundations. 

To that end, we invite summit attendees to submit contributions that critically engage with the above ideas and questions that surround the articulation of games as a scholarly discipline.


We invite summit attendees to submit responses to the following calls:

  • Extended Abstracts: We invite the submission of extended abstracts of 500 to 1000 words (plus references) presenting interesting ideas or perspectives related to our conference theme. Authors of select abstracts may be invited to present on a panel, and all accepted abstracts will be distributed in advance of the summit.
  • Position Papers: We invite the submission of position papers anywhere between 2500 to 4000 words (plus references) presenting informed positions or arguments related to our conference theme. We encourage authors to critically engage with key points outlined therein. Authors of select papers may be invited to individually present, and all accepted papers will be distributed in advance of the summit.
  • Panels: We invite proposals for 30-minute panel sessions featuring multiple speakers at the summit. Panel proposals should center on a common issue related to the conference theme. Proposals should be no longer than 1000 words, and should identify the title, issue(s) the panel will address, the proposed panelists, a core list of questions or talking points, and (optionally) the proposed moderator.
  • Presentations: We invite proposals for 10-minute individual presentations focused on a particular conference theme-related topic. Proposals should be no longer than 500 words, and should identify the title, the presentation outline as a bulleted list of key talking points, expected takeaways, and desired distribution of time between presentation and Q&A period (note, both the presentation and Q&A must fit within the allotted 10 minutes). 

Submission Information


All contributions must be submitted as a PDF document via the Easychair conference management system at the following link:

Submissions should be in English and should follow the EasyChair Proceedings template, available in both Word and LaTeX on the EasyChair Publications Instructions For Authors.

Contributions should not be anonymized for review.

Key Topics

Below, we present a non-comprehensive list of topics of interest to the summit. 

To facilitate review, we ask that authors identify all topic areas relevant to their submission time. If none are relevant, we ask that authors check “Other” and overtly identify the topic in their submission.

Academic Program Evaluation Standards of Rigor
Community Faculty Students: Graduate
Constituents and Stakeholders Pedagogy Students: Undergraduate
Disciplinary Epistemology Post-doctoral Scholars Support Staff
Disciplinary Identity Publishing Teaching and Learning
Disciplinary Ontology Retention, Promotion, and Tenure Training
Disciplinary Teleology Scholarship Other

Reviewing Process

Submissions will undergo light editorial review/editing to support reflection and mutual understanding of the diverse ideas in this space. Barring any glaring issues, we expect all submissions to be accepted by default. 

All accepted submissions will be compiled into a proceedings document that will be distributed to attendees prior to the summit, to facilitate peer discussion. However, given the finite time of the event, only some contributions may be selected for presentation. Contributions will be selected for presentation based on their scholarly merit and alignment with the summit’s objectives.

Authors will be notified of acceptance by Monday, January 22, 2023.

Archival Status

We expect to publish the Proceedings of the 1st Utah Winter Summit on Games as a Utah Games Technical Report. Further, we deem the articles in the proceedings to be at the level of Reviewed, as described in policy by the Association for Computing Machinery:

Reviewed material is subjected to a more informal and not necessarily uniform process of volunteer review, with standards dependent upon the publication and the type of material. The evaluation is generally directed towards obtaining an independent assessment as to the importance of the material and of the methods of exposition, and there may still be requests for revision conveyed to the author. Besides the variable standards and criteria, reviewing differs from refereeing in that there need not be written reports and statements for record, although of course there may be. This category includes opinion pieces, where the accuracy of certain statements may be controversial, and pieces such as the written version of an invited lecture, where an editor cannot ask that what the lecturer said be revised, but may impose general constraints on the extent to which the written version may be an expansion or extension of the presentation.

Note: we are looking into partnering with a publisher to support refining the contributions into archival publications. If you are interested in having your contribution considered for this opportunity, you will have the opportunity to indicate as such after the summit concludes.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: Friday, January 19th, 2024

Notification of Acceptance: Friday, January 26th, 2024 

Technical Report distributed to attendees: Monday, January 29th, 2024

Conference Dates: February 4th – 6th, 2024

Contact Information

For inquiries or additional information, please contact the Organizers:
Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera <>
R. Michael Young <>