DIGRA 2005 International Conference
At this year's upcoming DIGRA 2005 International Conference we noticed a few very interesting presentations (actually so interesting that we're thinking about going). First there's a presentation called 'Towards a Typology and Theory of Diegetic Audio in Videogames' by Mark Grimshaw. You can read a short summary of this presentation through this link. Although this might not appeal to everyone, I'd like to mention this presentation because the subject covers some (or much) of the same ground that Sander and I have been researching for the past two years (and among our visitors are quite a few researchers).
The other presentation might appeal more to some of you since it ís about audio games (although from a sighted gamers perspective, this time). The presentation is called 'Playing Audio-only Games: A compendium of interacting with virtual, auditory Worlds' and it is given by Niklas Röber and Maic Masuch. Here's a bit from the presentation summary:
"One of the main benefits of audio-only games is their excellent suitability for mobile gaming, as no visual information and hence, no screens are necessary. This allows to even play these games with the attention distracted to other activities. Technologically, audio-only games are relatively easy to build and, besides some additional hardware, which would allow a deeper immersion into the virtual environment, the equipment needed is simple, affordable and small in size. Another advantage is a, similar to reading books or listening to audiobooks, increased level of immersion with a much higher stimulation of the participants phantasy apposed to visual gaming. This results from the lack of information that is presented and causes the player to imagine the missing pieces and to "shape" the virtual environment through own experiences. For story based game genres, one could envision audio-only games as the unification of entertaining computer games and audiobooks."
Some good arguments for why a sighted gamers would also want to play audio games! You can read the full summary through this link. And if you're curious what these two German researchers are up to, why not have a look at their project website. Vancouver, here we come!