Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer Conference – University of Bedfordshire, Luton – 13 June 2012

Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer Conference
Wednesday 13th June 2012
Research Institute for Media, Art and Design
University of Bedfordshire
Luton Campus, Park Square
Bedfordshire, UK

Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer enters its 5th year as a conference focused upon questions concerning the player. With current debates in the Games Studies considering the effect of gamification upon our conceptions of work and leisure, the increasing prominence of pervasive gaming, location-based gaming and ARGs, and the validity of procedurality as an analytical approach versus more player-centric models, such inquiries seem more pertinent than ever before. Under the Mask is a conference dedicated to understanding the many facets of the player; the psychological, political, social, cultural and historical aspects of the user and their interactions with both games (analog and digital) and the wider culture.

Under the Mask is organized by the University of Bedfordshire, UK, in association with the University of Hertfordshire, UK and the Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. This year’s keynote will be provided by DiGRA Vice-President Dr. Esther MacCallum-Stewart.

Possible conference topics include (but are not limited to):
• How is gaming situated within, and informed by, the player’s everyday life?
• Procedurality versus the player; is it really a versus scenario?
• Gamification and its potential benefits and impediments.
• What theoretical perspectives are most productive? What are their limitations?
• What consequences are there to the increasing surveillance of players within online games?
• What role does sex and gender assume in game culture and community?
• Are there consequences of play for gamers, psychologically, politically, socially and culturally?
• The impact (or lack thereof) of gamer culture on traditional institutions, such as governments, NGOs, commercial and statutory institutions.

Call for papers:
• New methodologies or adapted methodologies for studying the player;
• Case studies of users in social settings;
• Case studies of social networking, gamification and alternate reality gaming;
• Case studies of the relationship between gender and games;
• Case studies of gamers in competitive/professional settings;
• Case studies of government, NGO and mainstream institutional gaming;
• Methodologies relating to Psychoanalysis and Analytical Psychology;
• Genre and its relation to player performance;
• The role of professional, casual and social gaming within game culture and
• Presentations/Analyses of fan fiction and fan art.

Abstracts of 250 words, accompanied by contact details and a brief biography to be received by the 16th March 2012 to:

Call for Practice Proposals

As part of the conference, we are keen to support the practice of making games and game-related artefacts. If you have a game proposal you would like to run at the conference, or have any projects, works in progress, etc. you would like to display/have people play on the day, we would like to hear from you.
The deadline for practice-based submissions is 2nd May 2012. We will discuss submissions with you on a rolling basis up until this date.

Please email submissions to

For further information, please go to:

Conference Organizers

Prof Luke Hockley
Steven Conway
Alison Gazzard
Gavin Stewart

Contact Details
c/o Gavin Stewart
School of Media, Art & Design
University of Bedfordshire
Park Square