DiGRA Workshops are self-contained, highly focused events hosted by members of the community and sporting their own call for participants. Below you’ll find a list of workshops and detailed rules of participation.

The standard deadline for workshop submissions is 20 April. However, please refer to the instructions for each individual workshop, as dates may vary.

Please note: Workshop participants are considered DiGRA 2023 attendees in all regards, meaning they will be provided access to the online part of the conference, will be expected to register as regular participants, and will be able to participate in regular DiGRA as well as social events. Check the Registration and Fees section for full details on how to participate.

All workshops will take place on the pre-conference day, 19 June.

Game Design Pattern Creation

Organizer: Christopher Barney

Description (overview): Design patterns which were conceived of in the 1970s and introduced to game design in the early 2000s have often been met with high levels of interest but lower levels of adoption. This workshop will introduce the pattern creation process as presented in the text, include execution of that process with participants, and then conclude with discussion and iteration on the process to improve and consolidate design pattern creation processes with new and experienced scholars in that area of research. The workshop will be held over the course of one day and include an introduction to the pattern creation process. Two rounds of pattern creation, the first in small groups and the second individual. All participants will then work together to create a small pattern language consisting of all created patterns. Participation in this workshop should be open to any interested attendees.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: c.barney[at]

Game-It-Yourself in Healthcare: Implications for Teaching and Curriculum Design

Organizer: Liliana Vale Costa

Description (overview): The past few years have seen increasingly interest in the use of digital therapeutics, application of behavioral design in digital games, and subsequent implications on choice-making about physical, mental, psychological, and social wellbeing. In fact, digital games may constitute non-pharmacological interventions, being complementary to rehabilitation therapy programmes, psychotherapy, and brain-training that can be delievered in patients’ in-home trainings or health centers. The aim of this workshop is to design game teaching curricula that carefully ensures the learner’s preparedness for crisis scenarios. There is a minimum of 4 and maximum of 50 participants for this workshop. It will begin with the design of a tentative learning schedule given different healthcare scenarios to integrate in game-it-yourself activities, using personas of different stakeholders, role-playing strategies, and textual mazes to establish a course curriculum.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: lilianavale[at]

Games and Pr0n

Organizers: Agata Waszkiewicz, Maria Ruotsalainen, Mike Hyslop Graham, Tanja Välisalo

Description (overview): Undoubtedly, sex has always been a part of digital and analog games, with game studies research focusing on both the representation of sex in the narrative level, and the way sex and porn imagery in games negotiates and influences the players’ embodied engagement and expression of desire. However, not much research has been yet conducted on the intersections of game and porn studies. The aim of the workshop is to provide a both safe and open space to share and discuss research regarding the broadly understood intersections between games (digital and analog) and pornography. We invite scholars coming from a variety of fields and backgrounds to present short (10-15 minute long) presentations including finished research, work in progress, as well as present more open-ended research questions that can become the basis for broader discussion.

Call for papers, presentations, and activities: Deadline 28 April 2023

Announcement of workshop acceptance: 30 April 2023

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: gamesandpr0nz[at]

Kunst – Spiel, Kunst – Werk, Spiel – Kunst

Organizers: Florian Bettle, Mathias Fuchs, Margarete Jahrmann, Hartmut Koenitz, Lies van Roessel, René Bauer, Kato Hiloko, Roman Kirschner

Description (overview): When we theorize about games and art in German we use terms that lack an unequivocal translation into the English language. The concepts underlying these terms differ as well from the concepts underlying corresponding concepts in the Anglo-American world. The problem is symptomatic for game studies and the difficulty of translating «Spieleforschung» (not quite the same as game studies) into other languages. Against this background of the ambiguity of the terms «Spiel» in German and «artist» in English, we will focus on the issue of games as art. The workshop will revisit game art «Werke» (oevres or pieces) and draw a timeline from the 1990s to the present. It aims at kicking off a more encompassing discussion about topics that have been discussed informally by colleagues from the DiGRA chapter of the German-speaking countries, but never been addressed in depth.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: mathias.fuchs[at]

Local History of Games, Play and Game Design

Organizers: Mela Kocher, Eugen Pfister, Yannick Rochat

Description (overview): Digital games have a rich history spanning over 50 years as mass media. Since the turn of the millennium, separate research disciplines have converged in the field of game studies. For the longest time, however, research on digital games focused mainly on the United States, Japan, and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom. Only recently «local history» research research has emerged to focus on regional and national digital game histories in Europe, Oceania, Africa, and Asia. We want to show that a stronger focus on national and regional game cultures is urgently needed in the future, also to better understand digital games today. Such a focus must never be completely confined by national borders, as especially in Europe national borders have been extremely permeable with regard to the production and consumption of digital games. We are very interested in close cooperation with similar research initiatives from other countries. In our workshop, we would like to meet and discuss with other international researchers of local video game history, exchange project ideas and methodological insights, learn from each other, and ideally form a long-term cooperation.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: yannick.rochat[at]

Busting the Matchmaking Bubble in Video Games

Organizers: Hadi Mehrpouya, Duncan McCann, William Kavanagh

Description (overview): Online video games are social spaces where we develop relationships, have moving experiences, and spend many hours of our time with friends and families. At the heart of these platforms is their community of players and their play network. Central to the production of play networks is matchmaking. Matchmaking in games has always been a challenge for developers and players. Current matchmaking practices in games, which focus on equitable player groupings, cause issues beyond the singular matches they arrange. In this workshop, participants are tasked with the challenge of coming up with new matchmaking recipes. Each group will be introduced to a player persona developed over a year of ethnographic work playing with a wide range of players. The persona will provide a point of reference and unique challenge for each team to develop their matchmaking recipes.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: h.mehrpouya[at]

Morality Play

Organizers: Malcolm Ryan, Paul Formosa, Dan Staines, Kevin Schut

Description (overview): Morality Play 2023 is a workshop on empathy and ethics at play. Games and simulations offer unique opportunities to explore difficult questions of morality first-hand, and to put ourselves into other people’s shoes and experience the challenges they face. Moral themes can be explored for advocacy and education, or merely for enjoyment of the drama they create. We invite papers experimenting with the design of games for moral engagement, critiquing moral themes in existing works, empirically examining the nature of moral engagement in gameplay, or discussing the philosophical and psychological significance of (im)moral play. The workshop will feature a half day of research paper presentations and game demonstrations, followed by a group discussion on challenges and opportunities in ethics and game design. The workshop will include 10-15 short-paper submissions, which will be selected by a program committee including prominent researchers in the area.

New deadline: Sunday, Apr 23, 11:59pm AoE (anywhere on Earth)

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: kevin.schut[at]

Provocative Approaches to Serious Game Design and Analysis

Organizers: Jamie Ferguson, Daisy Abbott, Sandy Louchart

Description (overview): Small Provoking Games (SPG) are physical or digital serious games that intend to incite reflection, discussion, or a shift in attitude regarding a particular application domain. They are built upon the principles of reflective game design to «produce cognitive and affective challenge» and «emphasise a player’s sense of purpose and aim to create exo-transformation (change in attitudes and/or practice outside the game)». A publication which summarises the discussions during the workshop, disseminating the current state of provoking games research and avenues for continuing work, will be produced as an output. Furthermore, the evaluations of the provoking game during the reverse-engineering task will directly feedback into the design of the particular game used during the workshop, as well as others in development.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: j.ferguson[at]

Re-Playing with History: Revisiting Historical Games Studies

Organizers: Adam Chapman, Esther Wright, Nick Webber, Iain Donald

Description (overview): In 2016, the Playing with History workshop at the DiGRA/FDG conference saw game scholars and developers present 16 papers on broad themes encompassing historical games. Since then, Historical Game Studies (HGS) has continued to flourish as a field of intellectual inquiry. This workshop aims to revisit several of the questions raised in 2016, bringing together a range of theories, perspectives, and techniques to better understand how games and history interact, and how games can influence players’ perceptions and understanding of historical narratives. Selected participants will be invited to contribute chapters to a proposal for a game-focused edited collection in Bloomsbury’s Writing History series, which will offer accessible methodological, theoretical, and conceptual approaches to the study of games and history.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: nick.webber[at]

Referencing Digital Games: Developing Shared Guidelines and Citation Practices

Organizers: Stefano Gualeni, Paul Martin, Jonathan Frome, Kazufumi Fukuda, Eric Kaltman, Riccardo Fassone, Martin Roth

Description (overview): Scholars and editors working on themes related to games and audiovisual media have, in the past few years, become more sensitive to the problem of referencing games and non-textual communicative artifacts. There is, however, presently no shared practice of or consensus on how scholars should cite digital games in particular. Only four style guides (namely APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago) propose (different) ways to cite video games in the context of academic writing. In the absence of shared guidelines, game scholars often decide how to act on the basis of their academic background, their personal preferences, and what appears to be logical or rhetorically convenient for the academic output in question. This workshop will take the form of a roundtable discussion with a very practical outcome: that of discussing steps that we should take as academics, authors, and editors to ensure more comprehensive and consistent referencing practices in our community.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: stefano.gualeni[at]

Supervising the Games Doctorate

Organizers: Mia Consalvo, Rilla Khaled, Souvik Mukherjee, Hanna Wirman

Description (overview): Supervision of doctoral students is both challenging and rewarding. That work takes many different forms, depending on the discipline (or multiple disciplines) where study takes place, program specificities regarding coursework, time to degree, work expectations, and supervisor expectations. Yet games doctorates can add additional layers to that workload. Those layers can include practice-based components, a lack of committee expertise in the area, varying student expectations for life beyond the degree, and administrators who may not see the value in a games-related PhD. This workshop is a chance for doctoral supervisors to come together and discuss the challenges they face along with best practices for managing students, committee members, as well as institutional administrations.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: mconsalvo[at]

The Rules We Break

Organizer: Eric Zimmerman

Description (overview): We all play games, study games, and make games. (In some combination!) And we also all face the challenge of teaching about games too. Based on three decades of teaching game-related classes, these workshops are hands-on experiences where we will learn about what games are and how they function as human and cultural experiences. At the same time, the workshops offer models for integrating active, critical play into the academic classroom experience. Each of the two workshops offers something quite different: one focused on learning fundamentals through physical play, and one focused on understanding complex systems through tabletop exercises. The two workshops are separate sessions that do not assume prior knowledge. Conference participants can take either one or both of them.

Contact: e[at]

Gamification: Thinking Beyond Game-Elements

Organizer: Salma Habachi

Description (overview): Previous literature was more focused on measuring the gamification on a mechanics level, on a dynamics’ level, or on a benefits’ one, disregarding the emotional factor of this impact. This resulted in some failed gamified systems, lacking the introduction of feelings that users could relate to, to keep them engaged. This workshop will shed light on this topic and dispel the perceived utility of gamification by delving into why game elements are motivating and engaging. It will provide a list of characteristics of good game mechanics that can be applied to the participants’ projects and activities to engage their users. Participants will receive clear guidelines and a detailed framework, including game-like and emotional elements, and will be able to discover practical gamification strategies and tools that can be adapted for their current or future projects.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: salma.habachi[at]

Towards an Oral History of Game Studies: Past, Present and Future Perspectives

Organizers: Souvik Mukherjee, Kati Alha, Emil Lundedal Hammar

Description (overview): This workshop serves as a step towards a potential oral history of game studies, which despite its two decades of vibrant existence has not been documented by those people who first worked on an academic account of games and play when the broad multidisciplinary field was still in its institutional nascent stages. Given that much of our understanding of the previous decades of «game studies» is buried in people’s memories and experiences rather than a systematic archive, we ask ourselves which way one should deploy the techniques of historical inquiry in investigating such an area. The workshop aims to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the foundations and the various paths in the history of game studies. It will function as the first steps into this project and create the basis of the diverse directions it should take. The workshop participants are invited to submit to a potential special issue on the topic in an open access journal.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: kati.alha[at]

Automation in Game Production

Organizers: Paolo Ruffino, Aleena Chia

Description (overview): The workshop will explore the implications of Procedural Content Generation (PCG) and other automated and computer-assisted techniques of development on both the aesthetics of video games and labour conditions of game makers. The automated generation of visual and interactive content raises questions regarding the potential of non-human agents to create original experiences, and challenges the supposed originality of human creativity. The workshop will present the work of 6-8 speakers over 4-5 comprehensive hours of discussion and Q&A. The workshop will facilitate the production of future publications, and potentially lead to a special journal issue, curated volume, and/or grant applications. Four speakers have already confirmed their presence, and others will be selected through a call for papers.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: p.ruffino[at]

Children, Play and Age-Appropriate Game Design

Organizers: Sara Grimes, Seth Giddins, Darshana Jayemanne

Description (overview): Children’s digital play is a liminal aspect of digital gaming, in spite of intuitive associations between youth and play. Many games are developed with adult players primarily in mind, and then supplementary structures such as age-rating systems are implemented to regulate or prohibit potential play by children. At the same time, children and young people are targeted in marketing and gaming culture—the players of the future. The stakes for children are high. Research has demonstrated that online games can bring important positive social, educational, and psychological benefits to children and young people. However, concerns remain around excessive play, privacy, gambling, bullying, harassment, and grooming that pose risks to children and young people. This workshop will bring together DiGRA scholars to discuss emerging issues around young people’s digital play, regulation, future forms of play, and the key question: What is age-appropriate game design?

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: d.jayemanne[at]

Controlling the Trolling_ Classroom Management for Teaching Gamers

Organizers: Ashley Guajardo, Nina Feng

Description (overview): Ever growing university class sizes present professors with unique challenges to deliver effective education. This is especially true at the undergraduate, introductory course level where a single lecture class may have hundreds of students enrolled. The need to admit large numbers of students into introductory classes is often in competition with professors’ desire to invest in the individual success of each student. Large class sizes require more intentional pedagogy from professors, and they are correlated with increased classroom behavior problems, such as incivility. Objectives in this proposed workshop address classroom management in large undergraduate games classes, teaching participants to build a toolkit of concrete strategies, activities, and course design to prevent student incivility with a student-centered, prosocial pedagogical approach.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: ashley.guajardo[at]

Designing Game-Based Educational Projects: From Cots in the Classroom to Playful Design and Co-Creation of Games

Organizers: Jorge Oceja, Bárbara de Benito, Gemma Tur

Description (overview): Since the origins of the game industry, we have seen attempts to explore the educational possibilities of games and video games. Over the last twenty years, various meta-analyses have demonstrated the medium’s possibilities for both developing cognitive abilities and improving academic performance. However, educational efficacy depends on variables such as the specific educational use of games that teachers advocate for. Frequently, teachers have chosen to bring into the classroom games designed with an explicit instructional purpose, which some authors have referred to as edutainment. In this workshop we will review these theories focusing both on the constructionist and the sociocultural approaches illustrating them with two successful educational projects: Playing Emotions and DALI.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: jorge.oceja[at]

Experimental Adaptation: Gamey Literature & Literary Games

Organizers: Eddo Stern, Daniel Snelson

Description (overview): In this 3-hour workshop, we aim to introduce, have an open discussion, and collectively experiment with a range of tactics for experimental and pedagogical adaptations between literature and game. On the one hand, we will share examples of games adapted from difficult and marginal literary formats seemingly unsuited for adaptation, including modernist poetry, postmodern fiction, and contemporary experimental writing. On the other, we will present new works of poetry and fiction adapted from a variety of games, ranging from mainstream titles to independent productions. The primary objectives are to co-develop new tactics and collectively evaluate recent trends and future directions for adaptation. We anticipate working with around 10-20 participants in the workshop, including those who are interested in learning and playing rather than presenting.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: eddostern[at]

Fashion and Gaming Cultures

Organizers: Thomas Apperley, Mayara Caetano, Elina Koskinen, Ana Rodríguez, Maria Ruotsalainen

Description (overview): The objective of the workshop is to bring together scholars with different perspectives on the intersections of fashion and gaming to establish an interdisciplinary dialogue. Fashion garments and accessories pose productive challenges to the limits of game studies. As such, it is crucial to recenter fashion from the margins of game studies by opening a wider discussion on the various industrial, cultural, and technological intersections of fashion and gaming, and the ways in which these two fields may fruitfully connect. We invite scholars to submit a short expression of interest (EOI) of 100 words or less that outlines a short position piece that they would like to present to further discuss at the workshop with the goal of mutually and collaboratively developing knowledge and perspectives on the intersections of fashion and games.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: thomas.apperley[at]

From the Margins: Limits and Possibilities for Diversity in Games-Game Studies

Organizers: Poonam Chowdhury, Mahli-Ann Butt, Cody Mejeur, Noel Brett, Eliane Bettocchi, Amanda Cote

Description (overview): The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose long-standing inequities in healthcare, income, and opportunity on local, national, and global levels. Games are not (and have never been) immune to such inequities either, from questions of: Who can afford games and their platforms, to who has reliable internet access, to who is most represented in popular games. This Diversity Working Group workshop will promote current and emerging research on diversity in game studies, including but not limited to race, gender, sexuality, class, caste, disability, nationality, decoloniality, and other related topics. Workshop presenters will share their work with an audience of colleagues and experts, and participants will discuss current trends and network to better support diverse work in game studies. The workshop will be held across 6-hours, with a keynote from a game studies scholar in the host country (to be confirmed) and 6 paper presentations and discussions from DiGRA members who have submitted to the workshop.

Full description and participation guidelines

Contact: codymeje[at]

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