GLITS conference 2012

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Goldsmiths Literature Seminar presents the Annual GLITS Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference:

Ludus: The Narrative of Games and the Art of Play

Friday 22 June 2012

Plenary speaker: Grethe Mitchell

Poetry readings by George Chopping

Conference Details

Conference Organisers: Alice Condé, Johanna Franklin, Emma Grundy Haigh and Jasmine Richards

Dept of English & Creative Writing
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
London, SE14 6NW

Attendance is free of charge.

The Latin word 'Ludus' (a play, a game, a pastime) embodies a semantic play of language that is suggestive of the importance of the concepts of play and games to cultural products. Ludus can also refer to a school for elementary instruction, 'Ludi' to public shows or spectacles. Latin poetry often explores and celebrates Ludus as the creative play of writing, as in Ludic verse. Games are a means by which we interact with the world, and one another. From our earliest infancy we play games with others, or by ourselves, with toys or imaginary playmates. Our understanding of verbal expression, too, is formulated by so-called 'language games', according to Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigations, 1953). The pastimes of our childhood endure into many forms as we grow: physical sports, board games, crosswords or Sudoku, videogames or 'role-play games', and the acts of reading and writing as/about games.

This interdisciplinary research conference seeks to explore the ways in which games are treated in literature, the visual arts, music, media, sociological, philosophical and psychological studies. How have games been incorporated into literature - both fiction and non-fiction - throughout the ages? Is narrative itself a 'game'? How are games represented or replicated in the arts? In the wake of postmodernism, and with the twenty-first century advances in technology and communication, is the concept of game itself 'played with'?

  • Wordplay and punning
  • Competition Solitary or group play
  • Games in children’s fiction
  • Representations of gameplay in prose, poetry or plays
  • Narrative-focused games (video games, RPGs)
  • Games in science fiction and speculative fiction
  • Role-play and masking
  • Games through the ages
  • Violent and peaceful play
  • Game as metaphor or analogy
  • Games and questions of gender, race, disability, religion
  • Creative writing on the theme of games
  • Videogames and game technology
  • Writers' essays on games or play
  • Literary narrative itself as a 'game'
  • The psychology of games