DGRG annual symposium ‘Geographies of Gaming and VR’

Tickets for this event are on-sale now from Eventbrite.

3 July 2019, Michael Tippett Room, Staff House, University of Birmingham

Since Atari released Pong in 1972 the video game industry has evolved rapidly, with an estimated global value of $137.9 billion in 2018 (Newzoo, 2018).  Considering the size of the sector and notwithstanding important exceptions (e.g. Ash & Gallacher 2011, Shaw & Sharp 2013), gaming has received surprisingly little attention from geographers.  VR, meanwhile, has been periodically hyped as the next big thing in technology for over thirty years.  The immersive qualities of VR drive a particularly compelling experience of virtual space, yet VR has been relatively neglected by geographers (although see Hillis, 1996, Fisher and Unwin, 2002).  In recent years VR has been boosted by significant investments from tech giants such as Facebook, Sony and Microsoft and is gaining traction in both consumer and professional contexts as a platform for games, socialisation and immersive media.


1000      Registration and Coffee

1015      Opening remarks

1030      Keynote 1: Sarah Jones (Head of the Birmingham School of Media, Birmingham City University) Storyliving: how presence manifests itself within immersive media

1100      Paper sessions

1215      Keynote 2: John Sear (Software developer and CEO of Museum Games) Engaging publics through gaming technologies

1245      Lunch

1330      Digital shorts

1345      Keynote 3: Melissa Kagen (Lecturer in Digital Media, Bangor University) Misplaying the map in 80 Days

1415      Workshop sessions 1 & 2

1500      Tea

1515      Workshop sessions 3 & 4

1600      Closing discussion panel

1630      Close


Paper sessions 1100-1215

Track 1 (Michael Tippet Room) Track 2 (Osbert Lancaster Room)
Emma Fraser: Virtual cities, real possibilities: considering place and space in digital media Sally Bushell & James Butler: LITCRAFT: re-engaging reluctant readers through Minecraft
Leighton Evans & Michał Rzeszewski: Embodiment creating space & place in VR Vincent Miller & Gonzalo Garcia: Autoethnographic research in digital ruins
Victoria Williams: Contradictory depictions of embodiment, space and the broadening of experiential horizons in discourses of VR Gareth W. Young & Oliver Dawkins: Immersive geographies: mixed reality technologies applied in urban data visualization projects.
Clancy Wilmott: Indeterminancy, situated analysis and radical feminist politics in digital geographies Adam Brown: Generative Photography: negotiating between representation, location and behaviour


Workshop Sessions 1415-1500

Workshop 1 (JB Priestley Room) Workshop 2 (Osbert Lancaster Room)
Gary’s mod: led by Peter Nelson Walking sims: led by Jack Lowe


Workshop Sessions 1515-1600

Workshop 1 (JB Priestley Room) Workshop 2 (Osbert Lancaster Room)
Experiencing VR: led by Phil Jones LITCRAFT demonstration: led by Sally Bushell


Organising Committee: Hannah Awcock, Jack Lowe, Peter Nelson, Phil Jones, Natasha Keen, Clancy Wilmott, Emma Fraser.

Bursaries are available (download the application form here).  We will also be offering online-only attendance for those unable to travel in person.