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IJRP5, pre-layout versions

Due to some very positive but time consuming events, the final format of issue 5 will be further delayed. As that is however no reason to prevent our authors’ work from being read, we here publish the four peer-reviewed articles and one reviewed book review that form most of the issue. They have not been layouted yet, and will be replaced later by properly formatted ones, but their content will no longer change. The editorial will be published later on, in the full issue.

Sarah Lynne Bowman and Anne Standiford: Educational Larp in the Middle School Classroom:
A Mixed Method Case Study

Mary Lynn Crow and Larry P. Nelson: The Effects of Using Academic Role-Playing in a Teacher Education
Service-Learning Course

Marjukka Lampo: Ecological Approach to the Performance of Larping

Michael Sangyeob Lee and Carrie Heeter: Cognitive Intervention and Reconciliation: NPC Believability in Single-Player RPGs

Mika Loponen and Jukka Särkijärvi: Review: Playing at the World

Role-Playing Seminar Call and Special Issue

The International Journal of Role-Playing will, in co-operation with the Role-Playing in Games Seminar, publish a special issue. Here is the call for papers:

Call for Papers: Role-Playing in Games Seminar

April 10-11, 2012, University of Tampere, FINLAND

Role-playing activities are characterized by involving participants in as-if, simulated and pretend play actions and circumstances. This element can be found in numerous contexts from child’s play to training and research. The most common recreational role-playing games include tabletop role-playing games, live action role-playing games (larps) and massively multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs). Different forms of role-playing, pretend-play, and make-believe can be traced throughout human history.

Role-Play in Games seminar brings together researchers of role-playing and role-playing games. Submissions from a wide variety of research fields are welcome, as long as the findings have relevance for role-playing in games.

The possible list of topics includes but is not limited to:

  • Theoretical analyses of role-playing in role-playing games, larps, online role-playing games, as well as of role-playing in any other types of games
  • Case studies
  • Typologies and ways of interpreting role-playing games and game cultures
  • Learning in and education through role-playing games
  • Playful role-playing in non-game contexts
  • History or development of role-playing in games
  • Role-playing games in the context of art, design or creativity
  • Industries relating to role-playing
  • Social psychology of role-playing in games
  • Design and structure of role-playing games

Role-Play in Games is the 8th in the annual series of game studies working paper seminars organized by the University of Tampere Game Research Lab. Due to the work-in-progress emphasis, we strongly encourage submitting late breaking results, working papers and submissions from graduate students. Early considerations from projects currently in progress are most welcome, as the purpose of the seminar is to have peer-to-peer discussions and thereby provide support in refining and improving research work in this area.

The seminar is partnered with the International Journal of Role-Playing (which was founded in the 2006 seminar Playing Roles), and the best papers will be invited to be further developed for potential publication in a special journal issue.
The papers to be presented will be chosen based on extended abstract review. Full papers are distributed prior the event to all participants, in order to facilitate discussion.

The two-day event consists of themed sessions that aim to introduce current research projects and discuss ongoing work. The seminar will be chaired by professor Frans Mäyrä (School of Information Sciences, University of Tampere). The seminar will also feature two invited paper commentators, to be confirmed later.

The seminar will be held in Tampere, Finland and will be free of charge; the number of participants will be restricted.

Important Dates

  • Abstract Deadline: January 23, 2012
  • Notification of Acceptance: February 7, 2012
  • Full Paper deadline: March 19, 2012
  • Seminar dates: April 10-11, 2012

Submission Guidelines

The papers will be selected for presentation based on extended abstracts of  500-1000 words (plus references). Abstracts should be sent to <roleplayingingames {at}> as plain text only (no attachments). Full paper guidelines will be provided with the notification of acceptance.

Our aim is that all participants can familiarize themselves with the papers in advance. Therefore, the maximum length for a full paper is 5000 words (plus references). The seminar presentations should encourage discussion, instead of repeating the information presented in the papers. Every paper will be presented for 10 minutes and discussed for 20 minutes.


The seminar is loosely connected to the Nordic role-playing convention Solmukohta 2012 (aka Knutepunkt). Since the first event, held in 1997, Solmukohta has evolved into the main meeting point between Nordic role-playing gamers, designers and researchers. The event features panels, lectures, workshops, games and parties. The annual event tours between Nordic capitals and in 2012 it is organized in near Helsinki (two hours on the train from Tampere) on April 12-15. It is very easy to combine attending Role-Playing in Games research seminar, and Solmukohta 2012.


2012 is a big year for the Game Research Lab as it marks the ten year anniversary of our first international academic conference on games, Computer Games and Digital Cultures held in 2002. Thus in addition to the traditional spring seminar we are hosting Nordic DiGRA 2012 on June 6-8. The conference hosts full paper tracks, keynotes, panels and workshops for PhD and MA students. The articles will be subjected to a double blind peer review and published in the DiGRA Digital Library.

Seminar website:
Organised by:
Solmukohta website:
International Journal of Role-Playing:
University of Tampere / SIS / Game Research Lab