Ludic Expressions

October 11-13



This year, CEEGS will host three workshops, all of which will take place on October 11. Workshops are more informal venues for discussion of work-in-progress research and other related topics in game studies and education. To be able to participate in a workshop, you must register for CEEGS 2018. Acceptance into the program of the main conference, however, is not required for participation in the workshop. Workshop submission deadlines for the Slavic fantasy in Video Games and Visions for Game Development Programs have been extended to September 6. Please see the individual calls below.

Slavic fantasy in video games

Organizer: Leonid Moyzhes (Russian State University for Humanities)

The genre of Slavic Fantasy first appeared in the last decades of 20th century in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The main reason for this was the fall, or weakening, of Iron Curtain and corresponding influx of Western, in particular – American, mass-cultural products in the new market. Their popularity naturally created a demand for homebrew analogues, which followed very quickly. And one of those analogues was genre of Slavic fantasy. Its authors attempted, with different degree of success, to blend fantasy genre conventions, already well-established in Western mass culture, with aesthetic, art traditions and folklore of their own home countries.

The most important field for this kind of experiments was literature, and to date the most famous original work of Slavic Fantasy by far is the “Witcher cycle” by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Similar, though much less successful books and series were created in other part of the region. But Slavic Fantasy is not restricted to books, it is presented in all other forms of media: films, comic books, music and, of course, videogames. From the nineties and to this day, different groups of developers worked in this genre, creating games like “Konung” series, “Thea: The Awakening” and, again most famous, “Witcher” series. The last game trilogy was so successful that it inspired a new-found interest in Slavic Fantasy among both global and local gaming and geek communities. In this light it is important to reflect and attempt to understand what exactly are we dealing with, and whether “Slavic fantasy” is indeed a real phenomenon, or just some sort of marketing ploy?

This problem raises further questions. If Slavic Fantasy exists, than what place it holds in the modern world? Is it just a rip-off of Western fantasy, a translation of older conventions and conflicts? Or is it a genuinely new genre, rooted in Central and Eastern European identity and traditions of literature, cinema and art? What are the relationships between Slavic fantasy and Slavic folklore? How this genre, its characters and stories are influenced by the common ways of portraying these regions in Western mainstream culture? And, most importantly, is it possible that attempts to create some kind of distinct Slavic fantasy can inspire developers to introduce new, fresh game mechanics, ideas and approaches, transforming existing genres, like strategies, RPGs, action? We would like to address all these questions during our workshop.

Suggested topics:

  • History and case studies of tabletop, roleplaying and videogames in the genre of Slavic fantasy
  • Slavic or Central and Eastern European? Influence of the non-Slavic cultures in the region on the genre.
  • Slavic identity in videogames.
  • Representation of Central and Eastern Europe in fantasy videogames.
  • Videogames and Slavic Romanticism.
  • Baba-yaga: creation and reception of the myth.
  • Slavic folklore monsters in videogames
  • Slavic fantasy and orientalism
  • Appropriation of folklore by mass-culture.
  • Pirates and unofficial localizations in Central and Eastern Europe, and their role in videogame history.
  • Representation of Orthodox Christianity in videogames, or lack thereof

Guidelines for authors

Your submission should contain two documents: №1 – An abstract (700 words maximum) accompanied with a list of up to 10 keywords and a list of references (bibliography and ludography), that won’t count against word limit. This document cannot contain any personal data including author’s name, affiliation and indicative references to any previous publications of the same author. №2 – ID. This document should contain author’s first name, last name, affiliation and contact information All abstracts will be subject to blind peer review. Deadline extended to September 6. Submission Address:

Visions for Game Development Programs

Organizers: Jakub Gemrot (Charles University), Lukáš Kolek (Charles University)

Video games are being developed for more than fifty years now. Since late nineties, companies have recognized the need for formal education in this ever-evolving medium. As the response, many universities and colleges around the globe created their own specializations and curriculas. Many areas have emerged as summarized by IGDA Game Development Curriculum from 2008. Since then, the landscape of game development has changed once again. We see the democratization of game development, where strong technical background and AAA-funding are no longer requirements for creating successful videogames, and where the Gamergate controversy has turned the attention to social and representational aspects of gaming. So the question is, what is the position of game development education in this new era? For the CEEGS 2018 conference, we would like to invite (not only) scholars and practitioners of game development education, be it at high-schools, colleges or universities, to share their positions and opinions on following three major areas:

  1. Challenges for Game Development Education in 2020
  2. Social Responsibilities of Game Development
  3. Experimental Classes and Innovative Approaches in Game Development Education

As such, the workshop is an opportunity to exchange fresh and bold ideas that will inspire the future of the game development education of its participants. We would like to invite scholars, practitioners and industry experts to submit abstract of approx. 400 words and a brief author bio and contact details to no later than August 31, 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact in case you should have comments and/or questions.

How to participate

There are two possibilities how to get involved: either you will attend the workshop as a speaker (provided you sent us an abstract of your talk, see Submissions, which will be accepted) or as an attendee, who can participate in discussions during Q&A, coffee breaks and the panel.

Topic Suggestions

  • Game development curriculum and its future
  • Visions, challenges, improvements, emerging game development fields
  • Experimental courses: design and outcomes
  • Team-oriented courses: design, managing student stress and motivation, outcomes
  • Challenges of cross-faculty collaboration and the curriculum
  • Collaboration with the industry
  • Publishing student games: from student games to commercial release
  • Soft-skills and game developers: Teaching community management
  • Social dimension and responsibilities of game development: How to teach it?
  • Creative process in game development: Lessons learnt
  • Law and game development: How to avoid student failures? Case studies
  • Designing game jam events with learning objectives in mind: Position of game jam events in the curriculum Validating game development: game user research classes
  • University as a place for responsible development

Submissions & Deadlines

Please submit a 400 words abstract of your talk (excluding bibliography) to Lukáš Kolek ( All the submissions will be reviewed by both organizers of the workshop regarding their relevance to the workshop theme, originality and processing quality. Submission deadline: extended to 6. 9. 2018. Acceptance notification: 7. 9. 2018.

WAR/GAME: Ludic Expressions of Violent Conflict

Organizers: Holger Pötzsch (UiT Tromsø), Philip Hammond (London South Bank University), Vít Šisler (Charles University)

The WAR/GAME network has since 2014 brought together established and young game scholars from several European countries. Through a series of four international workshops, a special issue of the journal Game Studies (2016), a series of scholarly papers and a forthcoming anthology, the group has critically interrogated the varying interrelations and mutual dependencies between games, play, and war. Comprising experts from a variety of fields employing different theories and methods, work carried out by the network has interdisciplinary qualities that open new and often unexpected perspectives on an apparently well-studied issue.

The objectives of the workshop are threefold. Firstly, we want to gain an overview of the latest research on the relationships between games, play, and war. Secondly, we wish to disseminate the work of the WAR/GAME network and reach out to new scholars and others interested in our research. Thirdly, we hope to connect to other relevant projects working in the same or related areas of research.

For the CEEGS 2018 conference, we would like to invite in particular young scholars to submit abstracts focusing on themes such as:

  1. How do games articulate specific actual or historical wars?
  2. How does the production context and the political economy of the games industry factor into design and development of war games?
  3. How do players, either individually or in groups, play with, negotiate, and subvert war games?

As such, the panel is open for contextual, player-centric, as well as game-centric approaches and welcomes, yet is not limited to, studies dealing with issues such as the political economy of war game production, educational uses and impacts of specific war-themed titles, player-responses to war games, critical analysis of specific war games or genres, and more. We aim at maximum of 2 panels with 3-4 presentations of 15-20 minutes each. We’ll leave approx. 30 minutes for questions and discussions in the end of each panel.

Please submit abstracts of approx. 500 words (excl. references) and brief author bios and contact details to no later than August 31, 2018. (Submissions are now closed!)

Please do not hesitate to contact in case you should have comments or questions.

About the conference

CEEGS (Central and Eastern European Game Studies conference) is a gathering of game scholars organized annually by academics from the region of Central and Eastern Europe, but its thematic scope is not limited to regional topics, and it welcomes participants from anywhere in the world.

The 2018 conference will be hosted by the Film Faculty of Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts, which will be opening the country’s first Master’s game design program in 2019. Our first two confirmed keynote speakers are Clara Fernández-Vara (New York University) and Jesper Juul (Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts).

The submission deadline for abstracts has been extended to June 10, 2018 (originally June 1, 2018).


Helena Bendová (Academy of Performing Arts, Prague), Jaroslav Švelch (University of Bergen), Lubor Kopecký (Academy of Performing Arts, Prague), Vít Šisler (Charles University, Prague), Jakub Gemrot (Charles University, Prague), Lukáš Kolek (Charles University, Prague)

If you have any questions, please contact Jaroslav Švelch.


Program chair: Tomasz Z. Majkowski (Jagiellonian University, Krakow). Track chairs: Theory - Mateusz Felczak (Jagiellonian University, Krakow), Criticism - Paweł Frelik (University of Warsaw), History - Jaroslav Švelch (University of Bergen), Player studies and Design/Industry studies - Mikhail Fiadotau (Tallinn University).

Theme & Scope

Although often considered toys, entertainment products, and pastimes disconnected from the real life, games have been recognized by both academics and designers as a means to express ideas, opinions, feelings, and experiences. Games can promote or subvert ideology, induce hope or fear, or make us feel empathy or enmity towards their characters. Games are never completely innocent, and always – in ways both subtle and explicit – interact with the social or political context; they provide us with designed experiences intended to make us feel or think in certain ways.

The fifth annual CEEGS conference wants to bring focus to the expressive potential of digital and non-digital games. It aims to explore what - and how - is expressed through games and how players interact with and interpret ludic expressions in their own practices. We welcome academic contributions related to the exploration of games as an expressive medium from any relevant disciplinary perspective, including the following topics:

  • structural and ontological properties of games as a medium of expression
  • aesthetic explorations of games
  • histories of ludic expressions
  • relationship of games to other media
  • games and affect
  • game design as an interdisciplinary and reflective endeavor
  • sociology and ethnography of game design
  • technology and computation as an opportunity or obstacle in ludic expression
  • local, regional, and international trends in game design and game cultures
  • player reception of ludic expressions
  • subversive and transgressive game design and gameplay
  • critique of design and industry paradigms
  • current trends in game industries and their effects on content of games
  • in-game representations of real-life events and social phenomena
  • games, activism and tactical media
  • the “indie” game paradigm and expressivity
  • fringe and outsider games
  • game design education between the needs of industry and artistic visions
  • expressions about games - player and fan discourses
  • players’ expressions beyond gameplay

We encourage you to incorporate your own research topic and perspectives into the proposed framework, but we are open to all kinds and shapes of game studies papers. We welcome submissions from academics, educators, students, and designers.


Clara Fernández-Vara

Clara Fernández-Vara is an Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center. She is a game scholar, designer and writer. Her main research interest is the study and creation of narrative games, and how they create worlds in which the player can perform. Clara’s digital media work is grounded in the humanities, informed by her background in literature, film and theatre. Her first book, Introduction to Game Analysis, has been published by Routledge.

Clara has presented her work at various international academic and industry conferences, such as DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association), FROG (Future and Reality of Games), the Electronic Literature Organization conference, Foundations of Digital Games, and the Game Developer’s Conference (GDC). She has worked on several experimental narrative games as part of her research, as well as commercial games. She is currently developing the first-person thriller game, The Myth Machine.

Jesper Juul

Jesper Juul has been working with video game research since the late 1990’s. He is an Associate Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts - School of Design and a Visiting Associate Professor at MIT. Prior to this, he helped start some of the world’s leading master programs in game design at IT University of Copenhagen and New York University Game Center. He has published three books with MIT Press: Half-Real (2005), A Casual Revolution (2009) and The Art of Failure (2013). He is also a co-editor of the Playful Thinking Series (also on MIT Press). He has worked as a game developer and programmer and is currently working on a book on independent video games. He maintains the blog The Ludologist on video games and other important things.

Jan Kavan

Jan Kavan is a composer, cellist and game developer. He achieved master’s degree and later on doctoral degree at Janacek’s Academy of Performing Arts in Brno where he currently teaches composition, multimedia composition and interactive and electroacoustic music. Jan joined game industry in 2002 and worked in various roles on more than 15 published independent games. In 2006 he started with Lukas Medek his own studio CBE software, creating among other titles a critically acclaimed game J.U.L.I.A: Among the Stars. Right now CBE software creates a psychological horror Someday You’ll Return. In CBE software, Jan is responsible for crafting stories, game design, programming and adaptive sound and music design.


Papers for CEEGS 2018 should be submitted as abstracts of approximately 500 words (400 words minimum and 600 words maximum). Each submission needs to be accompanied by a list of references cited within the abstract, which do not count towards the word limit.

You can submit your abstracts through EasyChair here.

All abstracts will undergo a process of blind peer review. For this reason, the abstracts cannot contain any information allowing for identification of the author – for example explicit references to own publications (indirect self-citing is allowed). Please note that abstracts containing such information or the name of the author will be automatically rejected, so make sure sensitive information is removed from the text.

To help us assign reviewers, each abstract has to be submitted to one of the five following sections:

  • Game Theory: humanities-informed inquiry on general nature of digital and non-digital games.
  • Game History: analysis of games and play practice from historical perspective.
  • Game Interpretation and Criticism: in-depth analyses of particular game titles.
  • Player Studies: ethnographic, sociological and psychological research on player practices, communities and cultures.
  • Game Design and Production Studies: research on game design, production, and industry.

However, this section division only applies to the review process. When drafting the conference program, we group abstracts based on their topics.

Papers can be co-authored, but only individual papers are accepted (no posters or pre-constituted panels). There are no limitations on the number of abstracts one can submit, but the maximum of accepted contributions by one participant is either co-authorship on two papers, or sole authorship of one paper and co-authorship on another one. Participation in workshops does not count towards this limit.

Each paper presentation will be about 20 minutes long, followed by a discussion.

If you are having trouble submitting your abstract through Easychair, or if you have any questions about the submission and review process, please email the program chair (contact below).


  • Submission deadline: EXTENDED TO June 10, 2018 (previously June 1)
  • Notification to authors: July 10, 2018
  • Early bird registration deadline: September 8, 2018 (previously September 1)
  • Registration deadline: September 30, 2018


CEEGS has a long tradition of inspiring workshops, meant mainly to present and discuss work-in-progress research. Workshops will take place on the first day of the conference, October 11. If you want to propose a workshop, please contact the Organizing Committee by June 10, 2018 at



You can register through the form below. You will receive confirmation and a request to pay the conference fee (see below). If you don’t hear from us in 3 days after submitting the form or if you have any other technical questions about registration, please contact Petr Vlček. Registration deadline is September 30.

Fee payment

Conference fee is 30 EUR early bird (until September 8) and 45 EUR regular fee (until September 30). Payment must be made by direct bank transfer (September 30 is deadline). Please enter your name and CEEGS 2018 into the information field.

Payment from abroad

IBAN code: CZ53 0100 0000 1953 7318 0297
Adress of the bank: Komerční banka, Malostranské nám. 23, 118 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
The owner of the account: AMU, Malostranské náměstí 12, 118 01 Praha 1

Important: In the information field, please enter: 3374818002 and your name. Otherwise we won’t be able to identify your payment.

Payment within Czech Republic

Číslo účtu: 19-5373180297/0100
Variabilní symbol: 3374818002

You will receive an invoice by email before the conference. If you require an invoice earlier, please contact us.

Practical Info

CEEGS 2018 will be held at Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague. The main part of the conference will take place at FAMU (Smetanovo nábřeží 2) on Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13. Workshops will be scheduled on Thursday, October 11 – also taking place at FAMU.

How to get to the conference venues

FAMU - Smetanovo nábřeží 2, Praha 1, 116 65, Czech Republic

  • tram stop Národní divadlo, lines 2, 9, 12, 18, 22, 23
  • metro (subway) line B, station Národní třída

Public transportation

For more information about trams, buses and metro, please go here:

You can find connections within Prague’s transport system here:

Transport to and from airport

Public transportation (buses), shuttles and taxis serve the Václav Havel airport in Prague. More information can be found for example here:


Prague offers hundreds of possibilities to find an accommodation according to your needs – there are many B&B’s and hotels of various quality and location – generally accessible through service such as – and many Airbnb’s.


There will be catering at the conference, providing coffee, non-alcoholic beverages and small snacks through the day. For lunch you can use some of the many restaurants and pubs in neighborhood. Every evening there will be a group program in nearby venues.

Some recommended places in neighborhood are:


Read the CEEGS Statute.

2014 – Brno, Czech republic

2015 – Krakow, Poland -

2016 – Lublin, Poland -

2017 – Trnava, Slovakia -