I was fortunate enough to co-chair the multi.player 2 conference earlier this month at the University of Münster in Münster, Germany. This international conference focusing on the social aspects of digital gaming featured several prominent keynotes as well as various talks and panels from digital games scholars from across the globe (you can see the full program here)
For me, the keynotes of the conference were the real highlights. In particular, I enjoyed the talk by Chris Ferguson (Stetson University) who discussed how researchers themselves can contribute to research biases. For example, Dr. Ferguson discussed how one’s theoretical framework, research experience, and research agenda can have a profound influence on the interpretation of one’s findings, in the form of conformation biases. I found this talk to be very insightful as it touched upon topics that are often informally discussed but rarely formally addressed.
I also very much enjoyed the keynote by John Sherry (Michigan State University). It was insightful as well as motivating! His keynote focused on the utility of automated analysis techniques for evaluating interpersonal communication patterns. The work that is currently being conducted at MSU using such techniques is producing some fantastic results and generating new levels of understanding about the content of interpersonal exchanges in different scenarios.
There were also several noteworthy talks given by the conference participants, such as the talk by Evelien De Ferrerre and colleagues from Gent University about parental mediation and media use, Andy Przybylski’s (University of Oxford) talk about pro-social and anti-social behaviour in game spaces and how that may influence character identification and game enjoyment, and Jedrezj Czarnota’s (Manchester University) talk on the relationship between player-studio interactions in terms of co-creation.
As was done with the proceedings from the first multi.player conference that took place in Hohenheim Germany in 2011 (see here), the co-chairs of the conference (Thorsten Quandt and I) are discussing the possibility of creating an edited volume based on the high-quality content presented at the conference. It is our hope that we will secure a publisher for such a volume and be able to collate the top papers and keynotes from this conference within the next year.