Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment

The Project
This project aims to investigate, explore and critically engage with the issues and implications created by the mass usage of computer- and videogames for human cultural needs and study how the innovative video- and computer game titles and interfaces form human communication and impact the development of ludic culture.

Videogames have probably become one of the most progressive mediums in the 21st century. The videogame genres and sub-genres are rapidly diverging and many concepts are merging with those from other media and even with the environment of the “real” world (alternate reality games). Consequently, the scope of the project is not limited to videogame studies only, but towards many other disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, sociology, economics, information science, criminology, military studies or ethology, to name but a few. Many scholars from listed disciplines have found play, game, game-model, player behaviour, game design and players’ relation to the virtual environment as a high priority within their own fields of research. The discourse on videogame and videogame cultures is constantly evolving giving it an ever wider range of influence and an increasingly inter-, multi-, and trans-disciplinary character.

The Issues
Since the networking technology has allowed players to share and cooperate within the game worlds worldwide, computer- and videogame has become almost innumerable medium of a challenge. Currently, we are witnessing an adoption of immersive virtual reality technology and this process is about to revolutionize the field of videogames development alike. In the frames of Videogame Cultures project we do focus on the study how videogame cultures are established over the course of the game life. Since 2009, we have identified and discussed many important research issues from this field of study. The most significant topics identified include: ethics of experience; investigation how to improve state of humanity through gaming; evolution of convergence culture; videogames as meta-modernity; socialization through gaming; agency and choice in the game world.

The Audience
We are welcoming all categories of the conference-goers. Although the format of this event is almost academic, we are not limiting the audience to the academia-related personnel only. This event often attracts participants from many research fields and areas of interest (sociology, psychology, cultural studies, information science, or business) but game designers and game writers alike.

The Outcomes
Our goal is to facilitate a dialogue between so diverse groups like academics, economists, game producers, game designers, or even fanboys. We attempt to develop and share an extended understanding of videogame medium not as pure entertainment but as a medium powerful enough to improve the human condition.

The project will engage with a number of core themes;

1. Videogames and Gaming
2. Videogame Cultures
3. Videogame Technologies and the Future of Interactive Entertainment
4. The History of Virtual Worlds and their Cultures
5. The Relations between Cinema and Videogames
6. Art and Experimental Games
7. Serious Games and Educational Use of 3-D Videogames and Virtual Worlds

Related themes will also be identified for development and exploration. Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of related cross context research projects will develop.