A number of great sessions have already been proposed, so the following is building on ideas from several other posts. I would be very interested in a session discussing different approaches to game analytics. What methods–both theoretical and pragmatic–do you use when studying games as cultural objects? Are there techniques to share in our approach to games, from embracing the play element (Why So Serious) to visualizing, unpacking, breaking, or decoding games (as suggested in sessions proposed by Amanda, Zack, and others)? How do we align (or not) techniques of “close playing” to software studies, and how do these different theoretical practices relate to — and change — more traditional domains of inquiry? Can we see ways to revise theories of narrative based on the introduction of formal feedback loops, adjust approaches to textual studies based on research in platform studies, or expand theories of cultural studies based on computational encoding practices (in short: how does studying games change broader theoretical frameworks)?
In addition to more theoretical concerns, it would be great to hear others talk about pragmatic approaches — what tools they use to get at things like source code, best practices in capturing and annotating game play sessions, or even potential projects in large-scale data-mining of everything from speed runs to after-action reports.
Looking forward to seeing everyone.