Totally out of my academic purview, but it's a really neat sounding conference: The research group Ludiciné (University of Montreal), the Research Group on the Creation and Formation of Cinematographic and Theatrical Institutions (GRAFICS) (also from the University of Montreal) and the NT2 Laboratory on Hypermedia Art and Literature (University of Quebec) are hosting a conference next year (in — surprise! — Montréal) on horror games. Proposals are due by January 15, 2009, and the conference will be held from April 23 to 25, 2009. So if you're incubating a great paper topic on horror games, or are sitting on a paper that you haven't had an academic outlet for, here's your chance. Sounds pretty fun! More information can be found at the website, and the full call for papers can be found beneath the jump. [via GameSetWatch] Call for Papers As fear is the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind (Lovecraft), human beings have always taken a malicious pleasure in frightening themselves. If literature and cinema were and still represent good means for the expression of horror, nowadays, the experience of fear is as intense in video games. While academia has been studying horrific literature and films for a few decades, such an interest for the videoludic side of horror has not, until now, showed up. Yet, since the cinematic staging of fear in Alone in the Dark in 1992, the "Survival Horror" has become a prolific genre offering a wide selection of significant games such as the Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Fatal Frame series. Because it is at the crossroads of diverse cultural heritages and the latest technological developments, and because it exhibits the ins and outs of the matrix that governs all but a few games (spatial navigation and survival), horror video games require a deeper study. This international conference wishes to study horror video games (not necessarily labeled survival horror) from an eclectic range of critical and theoretical perspectives. It aims to fill a gap in game studies between general theory and analysis of particular genres and games. Possible Topics Here are some examples of relevant themes we wish to explore in this conference: Historical approach Origins and history of horror video games Impact of the technological evolution on horror video games Theoretical approach Simulation of horror, fear, terror Narratives and themes of horror video games Interpretation of individual works and series Transmedial approach Transmedial study of horror video games (game/film/literature) Remediation in films, literature and video games Socio-cultural approach Transnational analysis of horror video games (United States/Japan) Social and cultural meanings of horror video games Horror video games and censorship Analytical approach Aesthetics of horror video games (lighting, sound, editing, 1st/3rd person perspective) Study of specific games or series (Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, Fatal Frame, etc.) The organizing committee remains open to proposals that respect the general spirit of this call for papers. Please submit your proposals before January 15, 2009 via email to the following address: email@example.com. Your proposal must include: 1. The title of your paper and an abstract (no more that 500 words). 2. Your academic status, your institutional affiliation, your department and your contact information (mailing address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address). 3. A short biography underlining your work related to the themes of the conference (no more than 250 words). A selection of papers will be published in a special issue of Loading…, the journal of the Canadian Game Studies Association (CGSA). ———- Looking forward to meeting you in Montréal next April, The organizing committee.