Generation BioWare. Story-Driven Games in Contemporary Humanities

Jakub Krogulec's picture
Call for Papers
December 5, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Anthropology, Digital Humanities, Humanities, Journalism and Media Studies

American Literature and Culture Secton (Department of English Studies, University of Wrocław) and New Media and Popular Literature Secton (Department of Polish Studies, University of Wrocław) invite paper abstracts for “Generaton BioWare,” a conference focused exclusively on the Canadian developer and their games.

Founded in 1995, BioWare have been responsible for some of the most acclaimed ttles in the history of the industry. The studio’s games are famous for mult-layered narratves and complex characters, both of which originated in ttles set in the well-established worlds: Faerûn from the Dungeon and Dragons pen-and-paper RPG system and the Star Wars universe. Since their release, Baldur’s Gate (1998), Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000), and Knights of the Old Republic (2003) have enjoyed critcal and commercial success and the two franchises have enabled the studio to create its own proprietary worlds in Jade Empire (2005), Mass Effect (2007), and Dragon Age: Origins (2009) as well as to further refne story-telling structures, character writng, karmic mechanics, and worldbuilding techniques.

The positve recepton of BioWare ttles has been accompanied by the development of a dedicated fanbase, whose general video game literacy was centrally shaped by BioWare’s design decisions and techniques. As a result, BioWare games have come to be regarded as templates for many western RPGs: the recent Kickstarter success of Divinity Original Sin (2014), Pillars of Eternity (2015), and Tyranny (2016) can be partly ascribed to the impact the Baldur’s Gate series had on these ttles.

Consequently, BioWare’s impact on the medium as well as the industry can be perceived as nothing short of critcal. To address this influence, we would like to create a platorm for academic exchange and invite submissions from scholars and researchers across disciplines, including game studies, literary studies, linguistcs, fan studies, media studies, sociology, and cultural studies. 

Suggested areas of research include but are not limited to:

narratology and character research,
literary and ludological dimensions,
sociology of BioWare games and their fan communites,
BioWare games and classic RPGs,
worldbuilding techniques,
narratve techniques,
gameplay design,
poetcs of BioWare games,
ethical and moral issues in BioWare games,
localizaton and adaptaton,
paratextuality and transmediality,
video game market and the evoluton of BioWare as a studio,
Interplay, BlackIsle, Troika, and Obsidian as compettors and creators of alternatve worldbuilding
and narratve techniques,

narratve and character design methods,
visuality and sound in BioWare games.

Abstracts not exceeding 600 words can be sent via the form available on our conference blog

Abstract submission deadline: 30.09.2017
Notfcaton of acceptance: 10.10.2017
Conference registraton due: 15.11.2017

Conference fee: 100 EUR (fee transfer details will be provided with the notfcaton of acceptance)
Main event: 5-7.12.2017
All questons regarding the event should be sent to: or

The event is organized by the American Literature and Culture Secton (Insttute of English Studies, University of Wrocław), the New Media and Popular Literature Secton (Insttute of Polish Studies, University of Wrocław), “Trickster” Associaton, and the PGW initatve.

The conference will be held at the University of Wrocław, pl. Uniwersytecki 1, in Oratorium Marianum.