Call for Papers: Dakota State hosts horror design workshop

Dakota State University has decided to start hosting an annual workshop on game design, and for the first event they have chosen horror games as their topic. They are actively looking for speakers to present research and papers about horror game design, and have asked me to post their official call for papers (see below).

You know I’m totally submitting an abstract for this. I had so much fun at Thinking After Dark that I get excited about any opportunity to present my findings publicly. This kind of academic event is a great way for me to collect the various areas of research that this blog covers into a single, (hopefully) coherent theory of horror game design.

Below you will find Dakota State’s Call for Papers for this workshop. I know a lot of you out there have a lot of ideas about how and why horror game design works, and I urge you to submit an abstract for this event. Turn that horror game addiction into proper research!

1st Annual Workshop on Integrated Design in Games

2011 Theme: Horror

Conference Dates: November 3-6, 2011

Deadline for Abstracts: June 15th, 2011

Call for Presentations, Workshops, and Activities

The Workshop on Integrated Design in Games is offered in conjunction with Nanocon IX, the ninth installment of the game convention sponsored by Dakota State University’s Gaming Club. The Workshop will be an annual event, and every year’s workshop will feature a different theme. This year, the theme is horror. Integrated design means that all aspects of design come together to create a single experience, unified by a common theme. In relationship to horror games, integrated design means that mechanics, visual art, audio, and narrative converge to allow players to confront and perhaps overcome fear.

The category of horror games is intended to include survival horror videogames, more recent action horror videogames like Dead Space 2, indie horror games like Amnesia, as well as tabletop RPG’s, LARPs, and board games. This theme is an opportunity for anyone who designs, develops, or studies horror games to give a presentation on any relevant topic of his or her choosing. The proceedings of the conference will be published electronically, so submissions should include a written component. At the same time, we strongly encourage presentations with a participatory and hands-on component involving exercises in game design. Submissions will be selected by a program committee with expertise in game design and horror, including members who have worked in the M.I.T. Gambit Lab, White Wolf, Red Storm Entertainment/Ubisoft, Irrational Games, Fantasy Flight Games, and Wizards of the Coast.

Acceptable formats for submissions include:

  • Traditional academic presentations
  • Panels
  • Short design workshops
  • Presentations with an accompanying hands-on activity or exercise

Please submit abstracts of no more than 500 words to the Program Committee Chair, Jeff Howard, by no later than June 15. The contact email is

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Designing the mechanics of horror
  • Narrative design and horror
  • Concept art
  • 3d modeling/animation/character design
  • Audio (voice acting, music, sound effects, interactive sound design)
  • Classic survival horror franchises like Resident Evil and Silent Hill
  • Action horror (Dead Space 2)
  • Particular horror themes or monsters (the Gothic, haunting, exorcism, ghosts, zombies, vampires)
  • Indie horror games (Eversion, The Path, Amnesia)
  • Transmedia horror (game design in relation to film, comic books, and literature)

4 thoughts on “Call for Papers: Dakota State hosts horror design workshop

  1. Hi all,

    Just wanted to remind people to please submit abstracts to the workshop on horror games if you’re at all interested. Chris Pruett and Dr. Bernard Perron are our keynote speakers, and I’ve received some very intriguing ideas for presentations. Today (June 15th) is the deadline, but abstracts are intended to be short (less than 500 words). So, if you have an idea, please do send it to me at Thanks!


Comments are closed.