Abstracts = Academic first steps
• Gateways to full papers
• Excellent practice
• Chance to flex your academic muscles
• Honing your writing skills
• Working with constraints
• They require a certain art – and creativity
Hunting & trapping CFPs
Games Network / DigraUK / Twitter / Linked in
/ Facebook Groups are my go to places
Ones that interest me I send to my Trello so I
can check them out later
I also check logistics
• If I get in can I make the conference?
• How much time do I have to write
• What do the conference organisers want?
• An I make it into something better later
• Does the cfp fit my current agenda
That moment when you spot one
Gaming The Gothic – an easy win
• As you know, Esther & I have been researching Hidden Object Games
for a little while Which means I knew we knew we had
research that fitted the theme of the
conference really well
We tested the waters with a general
abstract at DigraUK2017 and there was
interest then & we’ve had another
abstract / paper from the same research
accepted for a literature conference in
Anatomy of an abstract‘Quoth the Ravenhearst: “Nevermore”’
N. Wearn (Staffordshire University) & Dr. Esther MacCallum-Stewart (Staffordshire University)
Have you ever wished to search for objects on a time travelling steam train, or craft grappling hooks in order to cross the picket
line of protesting cult members? If so then, the rich and varied world of Hidden Object games is for you. This expansive genre
of games is often overlooked despite its vast array of titles and an engaged, mainly female audience. Building on the work of
Chess (2014a, 2014b, 2017) and Consalvo (2009) this paper will offer a glimpse into the gothic aspects of Hidden Object
Games. Unusually, these games do not identify themselves with more commonplace tropes seen in videogaming culture, but
instead use elements of narrative storytelling seen more commonly in romance and mystery fiction. With a focus on beautiful
artwork and breath-taking locations, feisty heroines, dashing heroes, evil warlocks, and mysteries of lost uncles, Hidden Object
games deliberately present the Gothic as a central discourse.
This paper examines how the genre has developed, and discusses how it answers the changing needs of an underrepresented
gaming audience who are hungry a very different type of gaming experience. Despite the lack of critical attention, this genre
forms a huge, and lucrative subculture within casual gaming markets which presents a very different, feminist image of the
Chess, Shira. (2014a). ‘Uncanny Gaming: The Ravenhearst video games and gothic appropriation’. Feminist Media Studies. Vol
15. No. 3. 382-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2014.930062
Chess, Shira. (2014b). ‘Strange Bedfellows: Subjectivity, Romance, and Hidden Object Video Games’. Games and Culture. Vol. 9,
no. 6. 417-428.
Chess, Shira. (2017). Ready Player Two: Women Gamers and Designed Identity. University of Minnesota Press.
Consalvo, Mia. (2009). ‘Hardcore Casual: Game Culture Return(s) to Ravenhearst’ in Proceedings of the 4th International
Which meant I walked out of work on Friday
feeling like this
My peers liked what I wrote, thought what we were researching was relevant and they want us to share it with the research
(Friday was a good Research Day – Ying-Ying got a short paper accepted into Digra in Turin in July)
And now I have a few weeks to craft a presentation
And also do some online networking before the conference, sort out childcare, buy a ticket,
look at trains and make sure I fit into my prettiest black dress
Gaming the Gothic Schedule Logistics & thoughts
I’ve got about 20 mins
I’m guessing I’m going to have a PC
and need a powerpoint / Prezzi
but I actually need to check this
I haven’t had any specific feedback
on the abstract or the submission
No one’s asked to send it before
(which is nice)
I’m assuming there will be time for
Quite happy to be in the morning
– that will give me a better chance
to network and enjoy the rest of
I’m also aware the things might
Presenting your abstract Every conference is going to be different
– and treat abstracts differently
How much time you have, format of your
presentation, room size, when you’re
scheduled, who will be there, what track you’ll
be on etc is going to differ conference to
What you present is pretty much what you
said you do in the abstract
And now it's your turn...
• Write an abstract plan for the call for papers in front of you
• All of these are real call for papers gathered over the last year
• You might need to think sideways to fit the knowledge you have for that call
• This is where having a broad sweep of relevant info is useful
• Draw on other pools of knowledge you might have
• Things you've read
• Things you've studied previously
• Other areas that interest you
• Abstracts especially as one shot things – don't overscope your submission
• Paper's title
• What are you going to cover
• Why is it relevant to that cfp
• However roughly where can you link other research
• Use the big bits of paper and pens to do a bubble map of your abstract plan
• Once you’re done attach it to the wall
Approaching an Abstract
Respect for the event is expressed by
a) verifying if your topic really fits the call for papers;
b) limiting yourself to the word count that is indicated by the organisers;
c) following the instructions on how to format the proposal;
d) including all the additional information required (such as basic personal data,
keywords, exact level of study, etc.);
e) writing a text in correct English syntax and spelling;
f) keeping to the deadline.
Approaching an Abstract
A good abstract provides an idea of why the original research this paper is based
upon provides an added value to the conference and the ongoing dialogue in
the field. It is obviously not easy to squeeze the research of an entire PhD thesis
into a few lines. You will need to focus on one specific angle, answering four
a) What is the problem you address?
b) What method(s) do you use to research this problem?
c) What data have you been able to produce or process?
d) What (intermediary) findings will you be able to discuss?
In answering these four questions in a succinct manner, the usual 200 to 300
words of an abstract are quickly used up.
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