Pre-Conference 04: The Praxis of Play: Exploring Freedom In/Through Games

Sponsor: Preconferences
Wed, 11/15: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST
Gaylord National 
Room: Potomac 4 - Convention Center, Ballroom Level 
Games are often seen as a means of escape, as freedom from regular life. However, games are also known to capture and ensnare players in flow, that 'in-the-zone' feeling that can keep one playing for hours, ignoring their need for food, sleep, and responsibilities from the real world. How can the medium of games simultaneously embody freedom and restriction? Furthermore, how can games be transformed from an escape or restriction to mechanisms by which freedom is expanded? Partnering with game designers, game studies scholars, and non-profit representatives committed to making the world better through games, the Game Studies Division 2023 Preconference explores how freedom and restriction operate in and through games. In addition, by supporting non-traditional presentation styles, the Game Studies Division works to increase freedom of form to the traditionally rigid academic presentation format. While game design creates restrictions for play, by necessity, play can often be subversive of restrictions. By interrogating how freedom and restriction operate in games, we are able to get at the very nature of freedom itself. By analyzing how freedom and restriction can operate through games, we are able to explore how games and gaming can be used in multitudinous ways to expand freedom for historically marginalized and restricted identities. By supporting non-traditional presentation styles, we game the preconference to expand freedom in the academic conference itself.


Ailea Merriam-Pigg, University of Wisconsin-Madison  - Contact Me