FROG Conference CfP – “Context Matters”

This post was written by conference co-chair Konstantin Mitgutsch.

Logo_Frog_25A little background about unconventional game politics

When in 2006 a tragic school shooting took place in Emsdetten (Germany), a new initiative for censorship in Austria was instigated by political parties in Vienna. Once more video games were made the scapegoat for the individual violence of a young man. The authorities of the City of Vienna had to take action and invited a group of experts. Based on the recommendations of these experts and the exemplar work of the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth with BuPP (, the politicians again choose a strong proactive way of handling video games: instead of censorship, the city of Vienna decided to host Game City, a high-profile event bringing together representatives of the games industry, non-profit organizations, academia, and the general public for the discussion of the current state of computer games in 2007. ( Since then Game City has become Austria’s biggest computer and console gaming event with more than 63.000 visitors in 2012. It is an event for every age group and the admission is free. During Game City the famous Vienna City Hall, the yard in the heart of the building and the open air exhibition area around the hall becomes a gaming area. The gaming room in the main ballroom of the city hall is transformed into a home style living room and offers exhibitors the chance to present their newest products in this cozy atmosphere. The center yard allows for typical trade fair concepts; the open-air exhibition area has almost no limits concerning the appearance of the exhibitors.


Vienna Games Conference

One key element of Game City is the Vienna Games Conference – Future and Reality of Gaming (short: FROG), which has the objective of serving as a public information platform as well as an international networking event for game researchers of various disciplines. Since 2007 the Vienna Games Conference has attracted hundreds of scholars and visitors to participate in this playful meeting of minds. In 2013 the Vienna Games Conference – now one of the most successful annual Games Conferences in Europe – will be held for the seventh time. FROG13 is jointly organized by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth, the City of Vienna, wienXtra, the MIT Game Lab (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Drexel University and the Danube-University Krems.With keynote speaker like TL Taylor, Sebastian Deterding, Jesper Juul the FROG conference brings together international scholars from all over the world and local researchers, graduate students, game developers, teachers, social workers and media representatives.

Call for Abstracts FROG13 – “Context Matters!”

FROG13 focuses on questions, challenges and innovations in exploring the contexts of play – such as the cultural, personal, social, educational, theoretical, technological or historical contexts – and their impact.

The activity of play is situated within different contextual constraints. Games contextualize the way we play and, vice versa, our play recontextualizes the rules and goals of games; culture, society and history contextualizes the way we create and experience games; language and communication are situating how we play and what games mean to us. The context of play matters and influences the impact games have on their players, on our society and culture. The study of context and frames that impact play raises the following questions: How can we understand the contextual characteristic of play? What forms of contexts and frames matter and why? What are constructive or problematic contexts of play? How can we study context and what methods appear appropriate to examine it? What context does game design and development establish? What is the contextual impact of technology on games and play? What media forms contextualize our play and how are the converging?

The organizers seek proposals covering all aspects of cutting-edge research on digital gaming, game design, game culture, game studies, therapy and economy within or across academic disciplines. Submission deadline is the 25th of May.

 FROG13 CfP in detail:

Abstract Submission:

Conference website


Abe Stein is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Game Lab and recently completed his SM in the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, writing about sports videogames. He has authored a number of articles about sports and sports media and is co-editor of the book Sports Videogames. He currently works as an Associate Director of Communications at Wheaton College, in Norton, MA and as a researcher with the eSports company Azubu, and have studied and written about sports media.