We received several requests for an English version of our call for papers. Therefore, here is an English summary of the call.
According to approaches of communication sociology and knowledge sociology, we are living in the "next society" (German sociologist Dirk Baecker), which is also called "knowledge society" (Helmut Willke). The problem of this society is not just the amount of knowledge (or the impression that there is too much knowledge to handle). The problem is that we do not know anymore what knowledge is and what it is not (Willke). Thus, usual strategies to define identities don't work anymore. The only safe identity is difference (Baecker). This leads to uncertainty on a very fundamental level, both regarding one's own place in the world and the assessment of knowledge. According to Baecker, only the history of an individual's reflection offers possibilites for coping with this uncertainty.
Computer games suspend the uncertain everyday world for a little while. Clearly defined rules offer certainty and allow for protected acting, because no scepticism is possible against the rules of a game (Johan Huizinga). By providing this kind of safety, games also create a space in which reflection can take place. Game mechanics and narration can then be used for playing through alternatives in individual, practical, social and historic fields. This is not just the case for games specifically made for game-based learning, but also for commerically successful computer games and independent games.
Based on this background, we want to discuss game's potential for reflection and simulation. We are interested in creative approaches regarding the following main topics:
1) The playful element of reflection: How can game mechanics support reflection?
2) The narration of simulation: Are richer simulations possible by adding stories?
3) Learning and reflection, learning and simulation: The potential of computer games for teaching at university and school
Baecker, Dirk (2007): Studien zur nächsten Gesellschaft. Frankfurt (Main): Suhrkamp.
Baecker, Dirk (2013): Beobachter unter sich. Frankfurt (Main): Suhrkamp.
Huizinga, Johan (2009): Homo Ludens. Vom Ursprung der Kultur im Spiel. Reinbek b. Hamburg: Rowohlt.
Willke, Helmut (2002): Dystopia. Studien zur Krisis des Wissens in der moderenen Gesellschaft. Frankfurt (Main): Suhrkamp.
Please send your abstract (1 page) and a short CV not later than August 31st 2014 to mario.donick (at) uni-rostock.de and christian.klager (at) uni-rostock.de. You will be notified of the acceptance on September 15th 2014.
Participation is free of charge.