Friday, January 15, 2016

Two 2016 NYC games conferences to submit talks to, like, right now

What kind of games conference do you run after an IndieCade conference co-chair confesses that games conferences aren't "working"? Well, uh... let's do a bunch of conferences to try to figure it out!

Different Games is a diversity-focused games conference in the beginning of April, run by organizers based in Brooklyn and Atlanta. DG, in particular, holds a special place in my heart for administering the original arts grant that began my current track of gay sex games, so you could say they were kind of on the bleeding edge of indie sustainability. This year, Different Games 2016 (April 8-9) has several different tracks / themes:
  • Affective Play (i.e. feelings, emotions, bodies)
  • Video Games in Latin America
  • Video Games and Indigenous Culture
  • Accessible Game Design (i.e. making the field more accessible to new designers)
  • Participatory Game Design (i.e. game design as a workshop process, Freire?)
  • Race and Culture in Games
  • Player Agency, Mods, and Glitches
DG 2016 session submissions close on January 22nd. They also accept more traditional academic paper submissions, and game submissions for their arcade as well. (Huh, turns out they were all closed already, and only game submissions are open now? That was fast!)

IndieCade East, held in the sinister shadow of the academic-ish NYC games scene, has always been the slightly less chill / more intense of the twin IndieCades. (More ideas! More e-sports! More beer!) Its relatively young age also means that it's more open to experimentation. This year, IndieCade East 2016 (April 29 - May 1) is trying out some very interesting changes with their format:
  • It's now in the middle of Spring instead of the middle of Winter. (Yay!)
  • The conference chairs are Jennie and Henry Faber, developers and community leaders from Toronto (!) which is in Canada (!!) and NOT in the United States (!!!)
  • The three conference tracks recognize a post-indiepocalypse world: (a) design lessons from fields outside of games, (b) economic sustainability for games, (c) future tools and technology.
Of course, you aren't necessarily limited to those themes, and the only real criteria is that you can say interesting things about games -- either way, session submissions close on February 3rd.

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Hopefully you, dear reader, will be at one (or both) of those events? See you in April!