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Concerns about Video Games and the Video Games of Concern

January 20, 2016 - January 22, 2016

This conference brings together academics whose research in one way or another deals with the myriad concerns that exist in and around video games: addiction, violence, misuse in online games and how to moderate, filter, block, and report misuse, how to adapt current laws to video games, how to measure and describe game concerns, how to communicate worries and desires about video games, etc. Through such concerns video games are embedded in diverse societal practices. The conference aims to provide a platform for researchers from games studies, social sciences, law, psychology, education, etc., as well as games industry affiliates, members of media regulation agencies and researchers from related fields to discuss the multiplicity of video game concerns. Such discussions might include concerns about the circumstances under which video games are designed, marketed, consumed and researched. The conference welcomes and encourages a diversity of perspectives including researchers, parents, children, designers, lawmakers etc.

Concerns about video games are, like the games themselves, a global phenomenon. The most prolific concerns revolve around violence and addiction, and have done so for as long as video games have been around. The current conference can be seen as a timely (or perhaps long overdue) attempt at promoting and encouraging research on the concerns about video games themselves. How and why do these concerns come into being and how do they influence the players, researchers, parents, legislators, game designers, educators and healthcare professionals?

Concerns about video games are not uniform, however; they are entangled in a myriad of social practices, which give shape to the concerns. In some practices the aesthetics of video games are of concern. In others, video games are of concern as manufactured objects that have to earn money for investors. In some practices video games are a simple pastime and leisure. In others they are the fields on which e-sport play out in front of thousands of spectators. Some practices are concerned with educating children or caring for seniors. Some practices are concerned with the population’s well-being and the negative effect that games might have. Yet other practices are concerned with how video games should be labeled.

Contemplating the variety of video game concerns reveals how video games do not represent just one type of object, or even one unified category of objects. It draws attention to how media-technological objects of contemporary culture evoke myriads of different engagements. It provides us with insights into contemporary society and how a media-technology such as video games activates specific practices, provokes certain reactions, allows special ways of thinking, and mobilizes particular concerns whereby its ontology varies or changes. So not only do the things we call games vary significantly from each other, they also change according to the practices in which they are considered.

Possible paper topics include but are not limited to:

      – Video game concerns in the family

– Video game controversies and debates

– Concerns of the video games industry

– Minority concerns in video games

– Video game concerns in science

– Legal concerns surrounding video games

– Video game concerns in and across cultures

Conference registration will be free of charge.


Henrike Lode, CEO and game designer at Lohika

Anne Mette Thorhauge, University of Copenhagen

Panel Keynotes

Christopher Ferguson, Stetson University.

Elly Konijn, VU University Amsterdam

Andreas Roepstorff, Aarhus University

Albert Gjedde, University of Copenhagen


Registration is now open. If you wish to participate in the conference, please send an email with name and affiliation to concernsconf@itu.dk.


A preliminary conference program can be downloaded here

Abstracts for the conference presentations and workshops can be downloaded here


January 20, 2016
January 22, 2016
Event Category:


Espen Aarseth and Rune K. Nielsen of the IT University of Copenhagen Estrid Sørensen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum


Concerns about Video Games and the Video Games of Concern
ITU Rued langgaardsvej 7
København S, 2300
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