Call for Papers: Co-Creation and Community

The Ropecon 2022 Academic Seminar
July 29, 2022, Helsinki, Finland
Keynote Speaker: Gary Alan Fine

Important Dates:
Abstract deadline: May 24, 2022
Notification of acceptance: May 31, 2022
Full paper deadline: July 16, 2022

Role-playing games, larps, and board games are typically played, created, and experienced together. Within and without the magic circle of play, players create communities both temporary and lasting. The diversity of such communities holds potential for a vivid variety of social interaction, playful activities and creative collaboration. The same diversity also poses challenges when varying interests, motivations and understandings of play and games are negotiated within the ludic communities and co-creation pursuits.   

Communities set the stage for game design and development, creation of collective experience, scholarship and friendships. Most games are co-created by several contributors within hobby communities or game studios. The aim is to create coherent frames for a number of ludic experiences from weekly board game nights to immersive weekends in larps, and beyond. The play situation in itself is an act of co-creation. In them members of the group contribute to a shared experience that is consistent within the chosen ludic frames, yet answering to the diverse needs and wishes within the community. In academia, the multidisciplinary communities studying games and play negotiate the conflicting epistemological standpoints, ontological understandings and methodological challenges in order to co-create coherent scientific understanding. 

The move from in-person events to increased playing online during the pandemic has highlighted how co-creation is facilitated by co-location and corporeality. Reading body-language, bodily presentation and other phenomena related to physical play is harder, when the participants do not share a space and adds complications to forming persistent communities. The Ropecon 2022 Academic Seminar invites you to examine these challenges through original research, regardless of scientific background.

We invite you to present on topics related to the theme “Co-Creation and Community”. The list of possible topics includes but is not limited to:

  • Gamer communities and subcultures
  • The shared negotiation of diegesis
  • Homebrews and house rules
  • Community content programs
  • Participatory Game Design Practices
  • Social frames of gameplay situations
  • Game jams and other forms of collaborative creation of non-digital games
  • The corporeality of in-person gaming
  • Challenges presented by remote play
  • Tools for bringing corporeality to online play
  • And other topics related to role-playing games, larp and board games

Co-Creation and Community is the 5th annual Ropecon academic seminar, organized as a collaboration between Ropecon ry and the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (2018–2025), with the support of Finnish Cultural Foundation and Game in Lab. The emphasis of the event is on multiplayer games that players engage in while being physically co-located as that is also the focus of Ropecon. Ropecon is a large, independent, convention devoted to role-playing games, larps, board games, miniature wargames, collectible card games, cosplay, and the like. The convention has been running annually since 1994. 

The seminar focus is on working papers, and the presentations should encourage discussion. We want to encourage peer-to-peer discussion to refine and develop the papers further. Every paper will be presented for 10 minutes and discussed for 20 minutes. The seminar presentations should encourage discussion, instead of repeating the information presented in the papers. The sessions will be open for all Academic Ropecon ticket holders, but the presentations should be drafted with an academic audience in mind. We warmly welcome submissions from younger scholars and PhD candidates, as well as from more established researchers. Articles that have undergone successful review through Ropecon will be eligible for consideration for publication in the International Journal of Role-playing.

Submission guidelines

The papers to be presented will be chosen based on extended abstract review. The abstracts should be 500–1000 words (plus references). Abstracts should be delivered in PDF format. Full papers are distributed prior to the event to all participants, in order to facilitate discussion. 

Our aim is that all participants can familiarise themselves with the papers in advance. Therefore, the maximum length for a full working paper is 5000 words (plus references). 

Submissions should be sent to:

The seminar ticket costs 55€, which includes the Friday’s day ticket to Ropecon, or 67€ for the seminar and the entire Ropecon weekend.


General Chair: Mr. Jukka Särkijärvi, Tampere University Game Research Lab, Ropecon Program Team

Program Chair: Dr. Jonne Arjoranta, Center of Excellence in Game Culture Studies
Further information and inquiries: