CFP: Thinking after Dark: International Conference on Horror Video Games

Thinking after Dark: International Conference on Horror Video Games
Montreal, April 23-25, 2009

The research group Ludiciné from the University of Montreal, in
collaboration with the Research Group on the Creation and Formation of
Cinematographic and Theatrical Institutions (GRAFICS) from the
University of Montreal and the NT2 Laboratory on Hypermedia Art and
Literature from the University of Quebec in Montreal, solicits your
proposals for the bilingual (French/English) international conference
titled «Thinking after Dark: Welcome to the World of Horror Video
Games». This conference will be held in Montreal from April 23 to 25, 2009.

Call for papers

As fear is the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind (Lovecraft),
human beings have always taken a malicious pleasure in frightening
themselves. If literature and cinema were and still represent good means
for the expression of horror, nowadays, the experience of fear is as
intense in video games.

While academia has been studying horrific literature and films for a few
decades, such an interest for the videoludic side of horror has not,
until now, showed up. Yet, since the cinematic staging of fear in Alone
in the Dark
in 1992, the Survival Horror has become a prolific genre
offering a wide selection of significant games such as the Resident
, Silent Hill and Fatal Frame series. Because it is at the
crossroads of diverse cultural heritages and the latest technological
, and because it exhibits the ins and outs of the matrix
that governs all but a few games (spatial navigation and survival),
horror video games require a deeper study.

This international conference wishes to study horror video games (not
necessarily labeled survival horror) from an eclectic range of critical
and theoretical perspectives. It aims to fill a gap in game studies
between general theory and analysis of particular genres and games.

Possible Topics
Here are some examples of relevant themes we wish to explore in this

Historical approach
– Origins and history of horror video games
– Impact of the technological evolution on horror video games

Theoretical approach
– Simulation of horror, fear, terror
– Narratives and themes of horror video games

Transmedial approach
– Transmedial study of horror video games (Games/Films/Literature)
– Remediation in films, literature and video games

Socio-cultural approach
– Transnational analysis of horror video games (United States/Japan)
– Social and cultural meanings of horror video games
– Horror video games and censorship

Analytical approach
Aesthetics of horror video games (lighting, sound, editing, 1st/3rd
person perspective)
– Study of specific games or series (Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil,
Fatal Frame, etc.)

The organizing committee remains open to proposals that respect the
general spirit of this call for papers.

Please submit your proposals no later than January 15, 2009 at the
following e-mail address: <>. Acceptance
and rejection notifications will be sent by the beginning of February.

Your proposal must include:

1. The title of your paper and an abstract (no more that 500 words).
2. Your academic status, your institutional affiliation, your department
and your contact information (mailing address, telephone number, fax
number and e-mail address)
3. A short biography underlining your work related to the themes of the
conference (no more than 250 words).

A selection of papers will be published in a special issue of Loading…,
the journal of the Canadian Game Study Association.

For further information, please visit our website:

Organizing committee:
Bernard Perron, Conference Head, Associate Professor, Department of Art
History and Film Studies, University of Montreal
Martin Picard, coordinator, research group Ludicine, University of Montreal
Richard Bégin, Invited Professor in Film Studies, Literatures
Departement, Laval University.
Carl Therrien, research group Ludicine, University of Montreal
Dominic Arsenault, research group Ludicine, University of Montreal
Guillaume Roux-Girard, research group Ludicine, University of Montreal


Book Launch Article

A quick update to say that the book launch on Oct 7th for Growing Up Online: Young People and Digital Technologies went really well. Set up as a workshop/presentation of the contents of the book (then wine and cheese afterwards), there was a good showing of interested people. The Concordia Journal also did an interview with Shanly Dixon and a write up of the event/book.

The Glory of Hallowe’en

I am rather excited for Hallowe’en this year. For the first year in a long time, I am not taking anyone trick or treating (the girls are too old for that) and my bf and I are going to our first Hallowe’en party in as many years, where there will be no children. After many hours (or even days) scouring the internet for ideas, I ordered this costume and these shoes. I got the wig too, but after talking to a friend, realized I have an even better wig to go with the outfit. I was incredibly impressed with the delivery time, and the costume actually fits quite well, and the fabric is decent. All in all, looks like it will be a great Hallowe’en – I can’t wait!

IGDA Montreal Chapter Meeting

When: Wednesday, November 5th @ 7:00pm
Where: The SAT, 1195 St.Laurent


“Design Postmortem: Social Mechanics of Spore”
by Alex Hutchinson – Creative Director, EA

Complete event information and description available online:

Print out our snazzy promo poster and pin it up
at work to help promote the event:

Upcoming GameCODE Meeting

The next gamecode meeting will be this Friday Oct 24th from 11-1 pm. 
A/V room next to H-1120 in the Hall Building.

From 11-12 or thereabouts we will have a special brainstorming session
on games studies and the Wii.

Following this free-for-all brainstorming session will be a short
administration meeting

Random Blogs

In the spirit of procrastination, I hit the “random” button on the top right hand corner of my blog (you have to be ‘logged in’ to a wordpress account to see the arrow). All I have to say is, there is alot of very random (and weird) stuff out there! If you have an afternoon to waste and perhaps a bottle of wine to drink, try it, its quite entertaining!

In Response (Beyond Filmic Analysis)

To my previous post, I brought up the challenges I was facing with a colleague, and then, in class, with my professor – it reminded me why I should always speak up in times of confusion. In the end, she explained that she has been trying to work her way away from (strict) filmic analysis – the films she has been showing were never intended to follow the “look, see” formula that I have ruthlessly attached to a particular method of film studies. Essentially, the films are shown to give us an idea of how the figural is represented in film. There is no hard and fast analysis, no direct link between A and B. And much to my happiness, she explained that the readings were there not to force me (or the other students) into a box, but rather, to take out of it what we can and address our own work. For this I am grateful, and it definitly lifts off a bit of weight heading into my turn to present the reading discussion next week.