Games and Gaming Minitrack

Games, gaming, and playful behavior have been an essential element in human history and culture. Games and gaming often have a social dimension, and today digital media in particular moderates those activities in key ways. As such, the Games and Gaming minitrack is looking for submissions broadly related to digital games and sociality. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods papers are welcome, ranging from interviews to big data analyses, or more broadly theoretical papers looking at digital gaming practices in general. Types of games studied may include mobile, social, free to play, AAA, MMOGs, PC, console, multiplayer, and indie games.

As part of the Digital and Social Media track, papers should contain a social dimension in the analysis, examining, for example, sociability, social practices, communities (in-game, out-game, across multiple spaces or time), use of social affordances, or some other social dimension.

Although gaming papers have been presented at HICSS for several years, 2017 is the first time for a specific games-focused minitrack in the Digital and Social Media track. The hope is to have a successful focus on games and gaming, acknowledging that games can provide unusual and challenging analytical issues not found in other environments that may not have the same playful, perhaps semi-anonymous, focus on a game.

Games research may call for multi-site, multi-method analysis not always found in other research areas and not only calls for deep understanding of theory and method but of games, gaming, and specific gaming environments. Given that this minitrack focuses on social elements, interactions, and structures, we envision digital games more broadly as socio-technical constructs.

As part of the Digital and Social Media, the Games and Gaming mini-track covers the following topics:

  • Social affordances of games
  • Network analysis of groups and communities in games
  • Social practice (in-game, out-game, both)
  • Player communities
  • Fans and fan communities
  • Community management
  • Toxicity online
  • Multiplayer games
  • Cooperative and competitive play
  • eSports
  • Fantasy sports leagues
  • Multigenerational play
  • Intercultural play
  • Streaming gameplay (e.g., Twitch)
  • Game curation via sites like Steam

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Nathaniel Poor (Primary Contact)
Independent Scholar

Mia Consalvo
Concordia University, Montreal

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