Academic Seminar

Abstract deadline and Notification of acceptance has been extended with a week!

New Abstract deadline – May 12, 2019
Notification of acceptance – May 26, 2019
Full Paper deadline — July 15, 2019

The Many Meanings of Characters and Figurines

What is the connection between a player and their character in a role-playing game? How do figurines generate social capital? Why do adults play with dolls?

The focus of the 2nd annual Academic Seminar of Ropecon is research on characters and figurines.  The seminar explores the many ways in which characters and figurines are utilised in games and during play, as well as how they generate meaning.  The seminar is organised in collaboration with Center of Excellence: Game Culture Studies (2018-2025) coordinated by the Tampere University Game Research Lab. Academic Seminar is held mostly in English. Similar to last year, academic program track will start in the morning of Friday 26th of July, whereas the rest of Ropecon will open its doors at 3 pm.

If you wish to participate in the Academic Seminar as a speaker, please see Call for Papers below. Both junior researchers and doctoral students as well as more established researchers are welcome!

Call for Papers

We invite you to present on topics related to characters and figurines. More information will be found in Call for Papers below.

Call for Papers

Important dates

Abstract deadline – May 12, 2019
Notification of acceptance – May 26, 2019
Full Paper deadline — July 15, 2019


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 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 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.

Submissions should be sent to: academic.program@ropecon.fi


To attend the academic program track, you must register online and pre-purchase a ticket for the Academic Seminar. The Academic Seminar ticket also allows you to attend the program in Ropecon during the Friday. The ticket can also be upgraded to a Ropecon weekend pass in any of the Ropecon ticket counters by paying 12 euros. Links to the registration form and Ropecon online ticket store below:

Registration form

Keynote Speaker: Jon Peterson

Thanks to the funding provided by Finnish Cultural Foundation, we are happy to announce that Ropecon 2019 Academic Seminar will have Mr. Jon Peterson as the keynote speaker.

Peterson is widely recognized as an authority on the history of games. His book Playing at the World revolutionized games scholarship with its rigorous source-driven methodology. Frank Lantz, director of NYU’s Game Labs, called Playing at the World “the best book that’s ever been written about one game.” The Village Voice called it “the first serious history of the development of Dungeons & Dragons.” It is frequently taught at a university level, and Jon often lectures on games history at universities, conferences, and conventions.

His personal collection of game material includes drafts and ephemera that shed a unique light on development of Dungeons & Dragons. His continuing work on the uncovering the history of the game led him to join the author team of Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana. He also has contributed to academic anthologies on games for MIT Press, Routledge and others, and he has written for various games and geek culture websites, including Boing Boing, the Escapist, and Gamasutra, as well as maintaining his own blog.


The Academic Seminar of 2019 will be held with the support of The Finnish Cultural Foundation, which provides grants from a central fund and 17 regional funds. For more information, visit the website of The Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Get in touch!