January 26, 2006

ACM Video Game Symposium

by Michael Mateas · , 6:56 pm

Sandbox, the first ACM Video Game Symposium, will be held this summer, July 29 and 30, in Boston MA, USA (collocated with SIGGRAPH 06). This is the first ACM-sponsored conference on video games; rumor has it that it may eventually spawn into its own ACM games SIG, with its own conference, etc. In addition to the papers, the Hot Games session will preview previously unreleased titles from major game companies as well as indie developers. The call for participation encourages a broad range of submissions, ranging from technical papers to humanistic game studies, from game design to analyses of the economics and business of games. Long papers are due May 1, Hot Game demos are due July 1. Read on for the full CFP.

Sandbox: an ACM Video Game Symposium
Collocated with SIGGRAPH 06
29 July & 30 July, 2006, Boston, MA, USA

ACM is hosting a two-day video game symposium on 29 July and 30 July in 2006, co-located with SIGGRAPH 06 in Boston, MA, USA. The symposium will consist of keynotes, panels and papers. In addition, a “Hot Games” session will preview unreleased titles from major game companies and indie developers.

Video games are a singular technological medium, comparable in cultural impact to the telephone, television or the Internet. How can we advance the state of technology while ensuring that the medium flourishes? What role do Indie developers play in maintaining diversity and creativity in this medium? What are the impacts of the medium on society and on individuals?

The symposium seeks papers that describe research and ideas that are original and innovative. Technical papers should contain an empirical evaluation and an explicit description of the advantages of the proposed technique. Other papers should meet the standards of their respective disciplines (e.g. economics or media studies) and will be peer-reviewed. Selected papers will be those that are judged to have the greatest potential for either immediate or long-term impact on the field of game development

Developers and researchers from all related disciplines are invited to participate in this event and to exchange ideas, theories and experiences regarding the state of the field. We seek contributions from the technical, creative, independent and academic communities that design and develop video games and related technology, and also from observers of video games and their impact on society and on individuals.


Topics should center on critical and analytical approaches to video games. The focus is threefold: (1) industry and scholarly perspectives on how video games are designed and developed; (2) analysis of the experience and pleasures of game play; (3) critical articles on the value and significance of video games as cultural artifacts. Throughout, topics should focus on close readings and critical analysis of the design and development aspects of creating unique game experiences. While MMOs, Serious Games, simulations, and pervasive/mobile games are well researched, the committee also invites submissions that explore games from the wide range of popular console and PC titles. Studies of major games with significant player bases are encouraged. The committee welcomes interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to video game criticism, as well as those from the technical, social sciences and the humanities. We invite work across game platforms and titles, on games and literature, games and film, economics, media studies, communication, sociology, games and art, and games and other digital media.

Examples of some topic areas that are of interest include, but are not limited to:

Real-time animation and computer graphics for video games
Distributed simulation and communication in multi-player games
Game console hardware and software
Psychophysics and user interfaces
Artificial intelligence in games
Interactive physics
Uses of GPU for non-graphical algorithms in games
Multi-processor techniques for games
Speech and vision processing as user input techniques
Development tools and techniques
Procedural art
Sound Design and music in games
Mathematical Game Theory applied to video games
Cinematography in games
Game design and game genres
Story structure (setting, plot, character, theme) in games
Games (Casual, Serious, Mobile, Networked, Alternative Reality, Ubiquitous, Pervasive, etc.)
Legal, political, and societal impacts
Women and diversity in games
Gamer culture and community; such as modding communities, LAN parties, creative gamer content and machinima
Independent game developers
Economics and business of the game industry
Game production and labor
Negotiating intellectual property issues in development
Trade offs between creativity and branding in design and production
Alternative distribution models

Please submit full papers, not abstracts. Accepted formats:
-Long Paper (max. 10 pages)
-Short paper (max. 4 pages)
All papers will be reviewed by an independent review committee, which will provide written feedback on each paper. ACM will publish the proceedings and papers will be archived in the ACM Digital Library.

Submission of full paper (long or short): 1 May 2006
Submission of camera-ready papers: 1 July 2006
Submission of Hot Game demo: 1 July 06 *

Conference Chair: Drew Davidson (drew@waxebb.com)
Program Chair: Alan Heirich (alan.heirich@playstation.sony.com)
Program Chair: Doug Thomas (douglast@usc.edu)

* NOTE: There will be a specific call for Hot Games entries. In order to get the most contemporary games, the Hot Games session has a later submission date, but interested parties are welcome to submit ideas for the session earlier.

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