This fall’s SLSA conference will take place September 27-30 in Milwaukee, WI, on the theme of the nonhuman. Since nonhuman agency or an ethics of digital interaction with nonhuman entities (environments, organic and inorganic processes and forces, our world conceptualized as data) is an important component of my work on games, I can’t help but appreciate the organizing concept. (Bruno Latour and Donna Haraway, among others, undergird my criticism in often implicit ways.)

Furthermore, Patrick Jagoda and Stephanie Boluk have assembled another fabulous proposal for a critical game studies stream, panels below (I’m listed in #5). Game studies truly has some traction, now. It should be a great start to the year!

1. Virtual Worlds and Procedural Stories
Chair: Priscilla Wald
– Stephanie Boluk/ Patrick LeMieux: “Dwarven Epitaphs:
Procedurally-Generated Storytelling in Dwarf Fortress”
– Victoria Szabo: “The City Talks Back: Traversing Annotated Landscapes”
– Katherine Hayles: “Mapping Daemon : Geography, Power, and Mixed
Reality in the New World Order”

2. Aesthetics of Play
Chair: Patrick LeMieux
– Patrick Jagoda: “Games of Failure: Thresholdland and Transmedia
Aesthetics of Play”
– Mary Flanagan: “Playful aesthetics”
– Eddo Stern: “The design philosophy behind Darkgame”

3. Family Resemblances and Videogame Histories
Chair: Patrick Jagoda
– Ian Bogost: “Bone of My Bones and Flesh of my Flesh: The Genesis of
Ms. Pac-Man”
– Zach Whalen: “A Counterfactual Historiography of Three Game Platforms”
– Nick Montfort: Three Family Reunions and Some Black Sheep”

4. Simulation and Its Discontents
Chair: Stephanie Boluk
– David Golumbia, “Game of Drones”
– Ed Chang, “Gaming the Posthuman”
– Luke Caldwell and Tim Lenoir, “Reality is Expensive: Making a Better
Military-Entertainment Complex”

5. E-Cologies and (Post)human Nature
Chair: Mark Marino
– Lisa Nakamura, “Sexual Harassment and the Discourse of Indigeneity
in Digital Game Culture”
– Timothy Welsh, “The Vitality of the Digital: Bioart and Videogames”
– Alenda Chang, “Playing Nature”