Paper submission deadline: 15 April 2023

Decision notification: 29 May 2023


The Conference
7 – 9 September 2023

A three-day event featuring presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities.

Day 1 – Thu, 7 September
09:00-09:30 Coffee and registration
09:30-10:00 Introduction and opening remarks
Benjamin Hanußek & Monika Stobiecka (In)humane Architecture? Post-Soviet Heritage in Videogames
Magdalena M. Strobl “But Somewhere Along the Way, I Started Changing”: Death Stranding’s Road Towards Mindfulness and Environmental Awareness Through the Act of Walking
Sarah Beyvers Navigating Oppression: The Explorability of Gendered and Classed Spaces in the (Neo-)Victorian City
11:30-11:45 Coffee
Rüdiger Brandis Decay and the Practice of Historiography in Kentucky Route Zero
René Schallegger Of Dead Heroes and Growing Networks: Crisis, Agency, and Solidarity in Canadian Videogames
13:15-14:15 Lunch
Charlotte Stevens Representing and Remediating Video Games in Chinese Television
Thitinan Boonpap Common Life simulation video games and identity learning among the young gamers in Thailand: the case study of ‘The Sims’
15:45-16:00 Coffee
Tamara Urach “Watch for fairies, fen-folk, and fiends.” – How Assassin’s Creed Valhalla explores hostility towards (Celtic) pagan people and practices in the multi-cultural world of the British Isles of the late 9th century.
Matthew Hellenbrand “In the Beginning was the Word”: Pentiment, Game Design, and New Cultures of Story-telling
Eliseo Guardado Salguero An archaeological narrative analysis in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, DLC: Dragonborn
Day 2 – Fri, 8 September
09:00-09:30 Coffee
Katja Aller Irreducible Elements of Magic – An Exploration of Heritage and Identity through (Magical Realist) Object Narratives in What Remains of Edith Finch
Kseniia Harshina & Tom Tucek Virtual Spaces as Safe Spaces of Exploration for Various Identities
Pedro Ferreira Experimenting ethical challenges, dilemmas and tensions of serious games 
11:00-11:15 Coffee
Betty Neumann Womb of Woe. Exploring Pregnancy in AMNESIA: REBIRTH
Christina Obmann Embodied game play: Exploring human and non-human experiences through affective game design
12:45-13:45 Lunch
Nicole Kilzer A Turning Point – Queer Representation in Gone Home
Laura Arnott The performance of queer identities in the gameplay of Final Fantasy VII (1997) and Final Fantasy VII Remake (2020)
15:15-15:30 Coffee
Yiğit Soncul and James Williamson In Defence of Poor and Imperfect Gaming: A Workshop
Michael Steinkellner Creating Virtual Worlds with Sound Design
17:30-Open Social Event
Day 3 – Sat, 9 September
09:00-09:30 Coffee
Felix Schniz The Ludic Close-Up: Developing a Micro-Qualitative Methodology for Game Studies
Daniel Riha What do We know about How Players of Video Games potentially rate a Wilhelm Scream ? A Bayesian Statistical Analysis
Florian Kelle Everybody asks ‘What is play?’: And nobody asks ‘Where is play?’
11:00-11:15 Coffee
Ylva Schütz Cultivating kindness in a tiny MORPG: Book of Travels as a walking simulator hybrid with cooperative play
Kristina Jevtic Playing Time Capsules: Layered Temporalities in Gone Home and Return of the Obra Dinn
Christoph Kaindel August in Ischl. A Salzkammergut Sommerfrische Simulator set in the fateful year of 1853
12:45-13:15 Lunch
13:15-14:00 Final panel discussion and outlook



There will be a publication of proceedings broadly dealing with exploration, as well as a thematic anthology concerned with the special focus of VGC 2023: walking simulators.

A precise timeline of post-conference publication procedures will be announced after the conference.