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CfP: The Cultural Analysis of God Games and Virtual Worlds

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  • Markus Wiemker
    - Apologies for Cross Postings - Proposals are invited for PAPERS at the 7th International Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference Of Sacred Crossroads ,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 15, 2007
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      - Apologies for Cross Postings -

      Proposals are invited for PAPERS at the 7th International Crossroads in
      Cultural Studies Conference "Of Sacred Crossroads", scheduled for July 3
      to 7, 2008 in the Caribbean (University of the West Indies Kingston,
      Jamaica). http://www.crossroads2008.org

      God games are digital simulation games that cast the player in the
      position of an entity with divine or supernatural powers and place them
      in charge of a game setting containing autonomous mortals to be guarded
      and influenced. These Games often adopt a bird's eye perspective, giving
      the player the impression that he or she is in charge of developing the
      virtual world. God Games and other virtual worlds create persistent,
      open-ended worlds that may even develop without the intervention of a
      player, whose interventions, however, appear as god-like, supernatural
      activities in the realm of the virtual gaming world. Examples of
      successful God Games are Little Computer People Project, Populous, The
      Sims, Black & White or the upcoming Spore. Today, many massive
      multiplayer virtual worlds, e.g. Second Life or World of Warcraft have
      also incorporated elements of these God Games. Here, the development of
      a computer generated virtual world interacts with the interventions from
      users who start to create their own content in order to change the
      virtual world. The following questions seem to be important to
      understand the cultural logic of God Games and their influence on
      virtual worlds:

      Central questions:
      - Can different categories of God Games be identified?
      - Does this kind of games promote special kinds of religious activity
      and spirituality and how are real-life faiths, confessions, churches or
      sects related to these games?

      - What kind of worlds can be created? Which norms, values and beliefs
      are suggested and supported in the virtual worlds of God Games?
      - How are these worlds actually created by users?

      - What motivates players to continuously populate these worlds for a
      long time?
      - How do real-life moral or ethical values impinge on these worlds?

      - How can the relationship between game world and real-life world be
      described? Do virtual worlds have an influence on real-life opinions or
      activities?

      Also invited are papers that deal with religious digital games e.g.
      Eternal War: Shadows of Light or the understanding of religiosity in
      virtual communities.

      ALL PROPOSALS ARE WELCOME!

      - Please send an abstract of 150 words to both session organizers.
      Deadline: June 30th, 2007 -

      Proposals are invited for PAPERS at the 7th International Crossroads in
      Cultural Studies Conference "Of Sacred Crossroads", scheduled for July 3
      to 7, 2008 in the Caribbean (University of the West Indies Kingston,
      Jamaica). http://www.crossroads2008.org

      God games are digital simulation games that cast the player in the
      position of an entity with divine or supernatural powers and place them
      in charge of a game setting containing autonomous mortals to be guarded
      and influenced. These Games often adopt a bird's eye perspective, giving
      the player the impression that he or she is in charge of developing the
      virtual world. God Games and other virtual worlds create persistent,
      open-ended worlds that may even develop without the intervention of a
      player, whose interventions, however, appear as god-like, supernatural
      activities in the realm of the virtual gaming world. Examples of
      successful God Games are Little Computer People Project, Populous, The
      Sims, Black & White or the upcoming Spore. Today, many massive
      multiplayer virtual worlds, e.g. Second Life or World of Warcraft have
      also incorporated elements of these God Games. Here, the development of
      a computer generated virtual world interacts with the interventions from
      users who start to create their own content in order to change the
      virtual world. The following questions seem to be important to
      understand the cultural logic of God Games and their influence on
      virtual worlds:

      Central questions:
      - Can different categories of God Games be identified?
      - Does this kind of games promote special kinds of religious activity
      and spirituality and how are real-life faiths, confessions, churches or
      sects related to these games?

      - What kind of worlds can be created? Which norms, values and beliefs
      are suggested and supported in the virtual worlds of God Games?
      - How are these worlds actually created by users?

      - What motivates players to continuously populate these worlds for a
      long time?
      - How do real-life moral or ethical values impinge on these worlds?

      How can the relationship between game world and real-life world be
      described? Do virtual worlds have an influence on real-life opinions or
      activities?

      Also invited are papers that deal with religious digital games e.g.
      Eternal War: Shadows of Light or the understanding of religiosity in
      virtual communities.

      ALL PROPOSALS ARE WELCOME!
      - Please send an abstract of 150 words to both session organizers.
      Deadline: June 30th, 2007 -

      Markus Wiemker
      University of Technology
      RWTH Aachen, Germany
      markus@...
      www.wiemker.org

      Sven Jöckel
      University of Technology
      Ilmenau, Germany
      sven.joeckel@...
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