CELEBRATING THE PLAYER
When designing games, the cardinal question is often referred to as “what does the player do”? This question is not restricted to game design but pertains to all game research. For user researchers and data analysts this question is about analyzing, modeling, and predicting player behavior; for AI researchers this is about anticipating player responses to interacting with Non-Player Characters and generated content or modeling human-like responses; for game studies scholars this is about understanding play and its meaning for players, culture and society; for scholars investigating games for a purpose this is about exploring how more impact can be achieved by considering the role of players more fundamentally. In fact, “what does the player do?” is the central question of this year’s conference theme of “Celebrating the Player” with the following modification: “what does the player do, why, and how do we know?” The “why” suggests a theoretical explanation for understanding players. The “how do we know” refers to a methodological underpinning for understanding players. For FDG 2017 we seek efforts within and across domains and disciplines that propose theoretical frameworks and methods to accomplish this, and thereby advance the field of digital games at large. We especially welcome interdisciplinary efforts where scholars collaborate across disciplines to address this year’s theme.
We expect high quality submissions. All submissions will be rigorously reviewed for their technical merit, significance, clarity and relevance to the advancement of digital game research.
Full Papers, max 10 pages, due March 13
Short Papers, max 6 pages, due March 13
Workshop proposals, max 4 pages extended abstract, due February 13
Special Events proposals, no specific format, due February 13
Panel proposals, max 4 pages extended abstract, due May 1
Poster, max 4 pages extended abstract, due April 17
Game, max 4 pages extended abstract and unedited video of a playthrough, due May 1
Tech Demo, max 4 pages extended abstract and unedited video illustrating the technology, due May 1
Doctoral Consortium, max 4 pages extended abstract, due March 27
All submissions must be in PDF format, and comply with the ACM SIGCONF format. For authors using LaTeX, we created an ACM SIGCONF template that includes all the necessary files.
Paper and poster submissions should be anonymized for double-blind review. Paper submissions will also include a rebuttal process where authors will have the opportunity to address the reviewer comments and explain how they will improve their contribution. All other submissions will involve a juried selection process and should not be anonymized. All submission lengths include references and appendices.
We welcome videos, binary files, or other materials accompanying submissions to demonstrate the contribution when necessary. Links to all materials should be provided in the main submission.
All submissions should be submitted via EasyChair. Paper and poster submissions need to select a track to submit to and then clarify their submission type (full paper, short paper, or poster). Workshop submissions should be submitted directly to the workshop, in accordance with each workshop's submission instructions.
At least one presenter of each paper must register for the conference in order for the paper to be included in the proceedings.
We invite research contributions in the form of a full paper of up to 10 pages in length or as short paper of up to 6 pages in length. We invite contributions from any discipline, from computer science, communication studies, learning sciences, and psychology to the visual arts, humanities, public policy, and architecture. When submitting authors are requested to select one the following tracks that fits most closely with their submission:
Game Design and Development
The goal of this track is to encourage the generation of frameworks and philosophies that help understand the design of games, both digital and non-digital, as well the process of developing digital games. This can be achieved from a variety of perspectives, such as proposing methods of design and development or classifications of design elements that allow us to understand the design of pre-existing games; software engineering aspect of development; analyses of the game-making process within their socio-cultural context are also welcome. The track is also open both to formal approaches to games as well as explorations of play and the design of playful objects. Structural methods that allow us a better of understanding design and development, such as game design patterns or taxonomies of design elements, are examples of formal approaches; philosophical approaches to playfulness, studies of communities of game makers, are instances of sociocultural research that also belong in this track.
Game Analytics and Visualization
This track is suitable for all papers pertaining to aspects of game analytics and visualization of in-game data. Papers submitted to this track should enhance our understanding of player behavior derived through quantitative analysis of game telemetry data or present novel approaches for visually exploring and/or communicating in-game data, insights, and patterns. Examples of topics include: player profiling; retention analysis; behavioral and churn prediction; spatial analytics; social network analysis in games; visual analytics approaches for gameplay data; (visual) approaches for triangulating mixed data sources; and player-centric visualization.
Game Artificial Intelligence
This track accepts papers relevant to the intersection of artificial intelligence and game design, including novel methods for AI agents in games, applications of artificial intelligence in the service of game design, and innovative games that deeply integrate artificial intelligence. Topics include AI agents, procedural content generation, dialog and authoring tools, general game playing, motion planning, intelligent cinematography, adaptive games, interactive storytelling and navigation planning. Authors are encouraged to focus on how their work contributes to games as a field. Papers that use games as a testbed for AI without a motivation for how the work advances games research are discouraged.
Game Criticism and Analysis
This track focuses on the critical study of games, play and players as well as the related play, development, marketing and business cultures. Following this year's conference theme, we invite contributions that consider not only what players actually do, but also what are they expected to do, how are games shaping their players and what possibilities for identification, action, reflection and social interaction, among others, are available for the players. Particularly, we welcome analyses, ethnographic studies, critiques and theoretical papers that study recent developments in collaboration between players and the industry as well as players' involvement in extending their own experiences through creating transformative works such as let's play videos and gameplay streaming.
Games for a Purpose
This track is suitable for papers relating to the use of games for purposes other than entertainment. Papers submitted to this track should generally advance our knowledge of how to effectively build or evaluate these games, or explore new domains where these games can be applied. Examples of topics include: human computation games; games for citizen science or crowdsourcing; games for training, education, or behavior change; exergames; games for health and games for raising awareness.
This track is suitable for papers on game engines, frameworks, computer graphics techniques, rendering, animation, networking, novel interaction techniques (such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and alternate controller schemes) and other technical areas. Papers submitted to this track should advance our technical knowledge in creating games. Papers on analytics, visualisation and artificial intelligence should be submitted to the more specific track and not this one.
This track focuses on the player experience of games, gamification and playful technologies. Submitted papers should focus on the interaction between player and technology and/or methods for understanding play. The track will consider quantitative, qualitative as well as mixed methods approaches. In addition to experimental studies and the creation of validated surveys, we welcome ethnographic accounts, coding schemes based on interpretative analysis and any other research based on social science methods and methodologies. Examples topics include: studies of play; player experience evaluation; games user research; player psychology (emotion, motivation, cognition); player interactions; the influence of game interfaces and mechanics.
All papers must describe a completed unit of work and show rigorous and compelling evaluation of the ideas they present. FDG 2017 will not accept any paper that, at the time of submission, is under review for or has already been published or accepted for publication in a journal or another conference. Each track will nominate two papers for honorable mention and one best paper. All best paper award winners will present their paper in the “best paper” single track session. Honorable mention papers will receive recognition during their session.
The conference workshops are full-day and half-day sessions focused on emerging game-related topics. These workshops provide an informal setting for new developments to be presented, discussed, and demonstrated. Workshops can also be hands-on or studio-based, and we especially encourage the submission of proposals for workshops that involve participants working together to explore and define new areas of game-related scholarship. We are particularly interested in topics that bridge different communities and disciplines. Concise workshop proposals (4 pages) should include: the objectives and expected outcome of the workshop, the rationale for the workshop informed by the literature and current trends, the planned activities, the background of the organizer(s), the anticipated number of participants, and the means for soliciting and selecting participants, and publication strategy.
Panel submissions should be in the form of a 4-page extended abstract describing the focus of the panel (informed by the literature and current trends), providing a list of confirmed speakers, and indicating their areas of expertise relative to the topic. Panel submissions must choose a track. We encourage both debate-style panels that include representatives advocating several positions on a topic of disagreement, and emerging-area style panels that consolidate and explain recent work on a subject of interest to the FDG community.
Posters are aimed at capturing work in progress and ongoing promising research. In addition, in light of the latest developments on research in general, we welcome proposals for studies and experiments designs that have not run yet. We encourage the FDG community to look into the work by the Center for Open Science and the suggestion to consider pre-registration, an open research practice where researchers have the option or are required to submit their research rationale, hypotheses, design, and analytic strategy before beginning the study. Submissions should be in the form of a 4-page extended abstract. Extended abstracts will be published and exposed during a dedicated poster session. Similar to papers, posters need to be submitted to one of the tracks.
The demo exhibition provides a forum for demonstrations of work best suited to interaction rather than a paper or a formal presentation. This track encourages submissions of technical demos showcasing the latest tools, techniques, and systems created for games by academic or industrial research groups, or other early-stage or late-breaking research not yet ready for formal presentation. Submissions should include a 4-page extended abstract, an unedited video illustrating the technology, and a link to the demo. Tech demos will be presented at a dedicated tech demo session.
This competition is a showcase of games and playable media. We encourage submissions that are aligned to one or more of these themes:
Expressive PCG: Playable experiences that include content generation as the main driver. Encouraged are submissions that think deeply about a meaningful role of Procedural Content Generation (PCG) and not apply it for the sake of increasing replayability.
Narrative Experiences: Playable experiences where story and narrative are central elements to the experience. Submissions are encouraged that experiment with innovative ways of how gameplay and narrative are integrated. Also encouraged are submissions that perform environmental storytelling.
Games as Research Tools: Playable experiences where the environment is used to study behavior of humans or systems (think of the bullwhip effect in the Beergame), collect data (e.g., gamified surveys), let players contribute to research (e.g., human computation or crowdsourcing games), or train AI agents.
Submissions should include a 4-page extended abstract, an unedited video of a playthrough, and a link to the game. Selection is juried.
We invite PhD students to apply to the Doctoral Consortium, a forum to provide PhD students with early feedback on their research directions, from fellow students, researchers, and experienced faculty in the area. The consortium is primarily for PhD students who intend to pursue a career in academia and who will soon propose, or have recently proposed, their dissertation research. To apply, doctoral students should submit a CV, a 4-page extended abstract describing their proposed research, and a short letter explaining how you would benefit from the consortium and what questions you want to discuss (general and/or specific to your research). The abstract should address the goals of your research, the proposed approach and how it differs from prior work, any results you may have, and your plans for completing the work. Accepted Doctoral Consortium students will give a presentation and are invited to present a poster on their abstracts during the general conference poster session. Approximately 6-8 students will be invited and receive scholarships that cover the conference registration.