2018 Conference CPF
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Rabindra Ratan, Vice Chair
Michigan State U
College of Communication Arts & 
404 Wilson Rd. East Lansing, MI 48823
E-mail: rar@msu.edu

Use the ICA’s AllAcademic paper management site to submit papers by 16:00 UTC on Wednesday November 1, 2017. See the ICA’s general call for papers for more information. All relevant guidelines and requirements in the ICA’s general call for papers apply to submissions made to the Game Studies Division (such as formatting and registration requirements), but please note that GSD has specific requirements for each of its five submission types.

The ICA Games Studies Division welcomes research from multiple disciplines that investigates human communication related to games in some capacity, including the study of games themselves as well as communication phenomena associated with games.  Disciplinarily, the GSD fosters intersections between communication and media studies, cultural studies, social sciences, computer sciences, design, cognitive sciences, engineering, education, health studies, and information technology studies.  Topically, in addition to (video/digital) games, the scope includes many forms of advanced immersive media, such as virtual environments (VEs) and simulations. In sum, the GSD could be characterized as providing a multidisciplinary forum for research related to games and/or advanced immersive media (GAIMs). 

More specifically, our division welcomes papers, panels, and poster presentations on topics involving (but not limited to) the following:

  • the social and psychological uses and effects of (video/digital) games and/or advanced immersive media (GAIMs), such as simulations and VEs 
  • the cultural affordances, uses, and meanings of GAIMs
  • GAIMs as training or instructional media
  • comparative media analyses involving GAIMs
  • human-computer interaction in GAIMs
  • design research in the context of GAIMs
  • users’ motivations and emotional, cognitive, and psychophysiological experiences in GAIMs

This list is far from exhaustive. We encourage submissions using a wide array of theoretical and methodological approaches (including but not limited to critical/rhetorical, qualitative, and quantitative research methods). Submissions are especially welcome for topics that are consistent with this year’s conference theme, Voices.

Important notice: When submitting, please indicate in the abstract of your submission which of the five categories you are submitting under. Unfortunately, the paper management system does not provide an option to specify the discrete submission type (with exception for panels), so we are asking all submitted proposals to include in ALL CAPS the type of submission for the proposal.  This information should be at the very beginning of the abstract. This could be: RESEARCH PAPER, THEORY PAPER, FLASHLIGHT, PANEL PROPOSAL, POSTER PROPOSAL.

Please be aware that we are very strict on our submissions’ criteria. Submissions which do not meet the general ICA submission guidelines, the GSD-specific formal criteria listed below, and/or the kind of submissions explained below will be automatically excluded from the review process. We encourage all scholars to contact us directly, if any clarifications are needed, prior to submission. Student submissions must be clearly identified, with the understanding that student authors are the primary creators of the work and are the sole author or first author of any paper labelled as a student submission.

Submissions we consider for review:

Full research papers 

  • Must be anonymous (all identifying information must be removed from the paper).
  • Maximum of 25 pages (double-spaced) in length, inclusive of figures, tables, and references. Title page and abstract are not counted against the page limit.
  • Must include at least one completed study related to games and/or advanced immersive media (GAIMs) independent of the methods used. 

Full theoretical papers 

  •  Must be anonymous (all identifying information must be removed from the paper)
  • Maximum of 25 pages (double-spaced) in length, inclusive of figures and tables. Title page, abstract and references are not counted against the page limit.
  • Must include the development of new theoretical approaches to the studies of GAIMs. 

Panel proposals

  • Must include 1) a 400-word rationale for the panel, 2) a 150-word abstract describing each participant’s contribution, 3) a description of each panelist’s qualifications regarding the proposed topic related to GAIMs, and 4) complete contact information for each panelist. 
  • Suggestions for cosponsored panels with other ICA divisions are also welcome. 
  • Each panelist must be willing to register for and attend the conference if the panel is accepted. Panel proposals are not submitted anonymously.

Poster proposals 

  • Works-in-progress or late-breaking results, considered only for the interactive paper plenary session.
    Must be anonymous (all identifying information must be removed from the paper).
  • Must include short papers describing the GAIMs-related research, and any potential results not available at the time of submission that will likely be included in the final interactive presentation.
  • Minimum of 5 pages (double-spaced) in length, inclusive of references. Title page, abstract, figures, and tables are not counted in this the page limit.
  •  Please note: Due to space limitations, ICA will be implementing a new “digital poster” format for hybrid high-density sessions whereby authors present an abbreviated poster, slides, or infographic on their personal laptop/touchscreen device, or provide paper handouts to attendees. Posters affixed to an upright wall or structure will not be permitted.


  • Must be anonymous (all identifying information must be removed from the paper).
  • May only be submitted by graduate students – either solo or team presentations.
  • Maximum length is 6 pages, including highlights at the beginning (maximum of 80 words); this page limit excludes figures, tables, and references (maximum 15 references). 
  • Flashlights are intended to facilitate cross-disciplinary connections, building on an understanding that research across the field of communication increasingly intersects with topics traditionally represented in our division.  As such, Flashlights offer a forum for new theoretical approaches or findings of emerging lines of research from ANY ICA Division (especially co-sponsors) that might be related to games and/or advanced immersive media (GAIMs), including virtual environments and simulations.  GAIMS-related research does not necessarily focus on GAIMs as the object of study, but may also include GAIMs as part of inquiries on other phenomena (e.g., methodologically).  Thus, Flashlights provide opportunity for scholars from outside of the GSD to receive relevant feedback on their emerging projects as well as to inform the public at-large about GAIMs-related research. 
  • If accepted, Flashlight proposals will be scheduled as (strict) 5-minute presentations in a session that is promoted to all ICA divisions (especially co-sponsors). The gathered audience will vote for the best Flashlight, which will result in a specific best paper award given by our Division.
  • Co-sponsors include Communication and Technology, Mass Communication, Information Systems, and Communication Science and Biology, Mobile Communication, Health Communication, Instructional and Developmental Communication, Popular Communication, Sports Communication, and Global Communication and Social Change
Review Criteria. Reviewers will evaluate submissions based on these criteria:
  •  Full Research Papers: Quality of Literature Review, Quality of Methods, Quality of Analyses, Relevance to Games and/or Advanced Immersive Media (GAIMs), and Quality of Writing.
  • Full Theoretical Papers: Quality of the Theory Development, Quality of the Application to GAIMs, Quality of Derived Assumptions and/or Research Questions, Relevance to GAIMs, and Quality of Writing.
  • Flashlights: Quality of Summarized Literature Review, Quality of Presentation of Approaches and/or Methods, Quality of Summarized Findings, Relevance to GAIMs, and Quality of Writing.
  • Fully developed panel proposals: Quality of the Rationale, Average Quality of Contributions, Coherence of Contributions, Relevance to GAIMs, and Quality of Writing.
    Poster proposals: Quality of Literature Review, Quality of Methods, Proposed Analyses, Relevance to GAIMs, and Quality of Writing.