Stef Aupers is an Associate Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, a member of the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research (ASSR), and is an editor of the Dutch journal Sociologie. Aupers published various articles in national and international journals on manifestations of ‘posttraditional religion’ in a supposedly secular, rationalized and ‘disenchanted’ world. Several of these are published in collaboration with Dick Houtman (Erasmus University Rotterdam). With Anneke van Otterloo (University of Amsterdam) he wrote the book New Age. Een godsdiensthistorische en sociolologische benadering (New Age. A historical and sociological approach; Kok, 2000). In February 2004 he defended his Ph.D.-thesis In de ban van moderniteit. De sacralisering van het zelf en computertechnologie (Amsterdam: Aksant (Under the Spell of Modernity. The Sacralization of Self and Computer Technology)). For doing research on the enchantment of computer technology in Silicon Valley, he received a Fulbright Scholarship from the Netherlands America Commission for Educational Exchange. His current research on online gaming is part of the research program Cyberspacesalvations. Computer Technology, Simulation, and Modern Gnosis. It started in April 2004 and is funded by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO) (main applicant: Peter Pels (Leiden University); co-applicants: Stef Aupers and Dick Houtman). The provisional title for his new book on online gaming is Gaming Together. Community, Identity and Spiritual Meaning in Online Computer Games and will be finished in 2010. For more information: http://www.eur.nl/fsw/staff/homepages/aupers/.

Gordon Calleja is Assistant Professor and the Head of the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen and Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Malta. Gordon has a background in Game Studies, Literary Theory and Media Studies. His current research focuses on digital games and addresses three broad areas: game ontology, narrative in game environments and player experience.  The latter is the focus of his upcoming book coming out from MIT in Spring 2011 titled: In-Game : From Immersion to Incorporation which investigates what makes digital games engaging to players and a re-examination of the concept of “immersion”.

Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath is a Lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Unit at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. For several years he has been teaching courses on computer games, tangible interaction, and media theory at different Universities. In his dissertation thesis he thought about play as a perspective for the everyday interaction with the computer. He is interested in theories of play, game design, art and play, and new interfaces. More info at  www.dace.de.

Patrick Crogan is an Australian researcher who has worked in the Department of Culture, Media and Drama at University of the West of England since 2008. Patrick has expertise across the fields of film and digital media, informed by a strong engagement in critical theories of technology and media. He has worked a lot on videogames and is a member of UWE’s Play Research Group as well the Film Studies Research Group. He is represented in journals such as Angelaki, Film and Philosophy   and Games and Culture, and is on the editorial board of the latter as well as Convergence and Scan (www.scan.net.au). He is also an Executive Board member of the Digital Games Research Organisation (www.digra.org). He recently edited a special issue of Cultural Politics on the work of French philosopher and activist, Bernard Stiegler.

Leopoldina Fortunati is Professor of Sociology of Communication at the Faculty of Education of the University of Udine. She has conducted several research in the field of gender studies, cultural processes and communication and information technologies. She is the author of many books and is the editor with J. Katz and R. Riccini of Mediating the Human Body. Technology, Communication and Fashion (2003), with P. Law and S. Yang of  New Technologies in Global Societies (2006) and with Jane Vincent of Electronic Emotion. The Mediation of Emotion via Information and Communication Technologies (2009). She is very active at European level especially in COST networks and is the Italian representative in the COST Domain Committee (ISCH, Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health). She is associate editor of the journal The Information Society and serves as referee for many outstanding journals. Her works have been published in eleven languages: Bulgarian, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish.

Valerie Frissen is working as senior strategist at TNO, a  R&D organisation based in the Netherlands and as professor  at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Faculty of Philosophy, where she holds a chair on 'ICT and Social Change. Before she started working at TNO in 1999, she was researcher and lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, Department of Communication Studies/Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCOR). She holds a PhD in Social Sciences (1992) MA in Communication Studies (1987)and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Nijmegen. Her work focuses on the social impacts of media and ICT. She is often asked as a national and international expert for high level advice on issues concerning the future of the information society and as invited speaker.

Kenneth J. Gergen is an American psychologist and Professor at Swarthmore College. He obtained his B.A. at Yale University in 1957 and his Ph.D. at Duke University in 1962. Gergen went on to become an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard University, where he also became the Chairman of the Board of Tutors and Advisors for the department and representative to the university’s Council on Educational Policy. During his tenure at Harvard, Gergen served on review panels of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health; he also collaborated with Raymond Bauer at the Harvard Business School, and served as a consultant. In 1967 Gergen took a position as Chair of the Department of Psychology at Swarthmore College, a position he held for ten years. At various intervals he served as visiting professor at the University of Heidelberg, the University of Marburg, the Sorbonne, the University of Rome, Kyoto University, and Adolfo Ibanez University. At Swarthmore he spearheaded the development of the academic concentration in Interpretation Theory. In an attempt to link his academic work to societal practices he collaborated with colleagues to create the Taos Institute in 1996. He is currently a Senior Research Professor at Swarthmore, the Chairman of the Board of the Taos Institute, and an adjunct professor at Tilburg University. For more information: http://www.swarthmore.edu/kennethjgergen.xml.

Jeroen Jansz is a Special Professor at the Department of Media and Communication and ERMeCC (Erasmus Research Center for Media, Communication and Culture), Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His research is about the reception of new media. His earlier work at the Amsterdam School of Communications Research was about (young) players of (violent) video games. At ERMeCC he focuses on user created content on the Internet and the convergence of the roles of users and producers. His research has been published in international academic journals. He was co-founder of the Game Studies group in the International Communication Association, and of DiGRA’s Dutch chapter. He often participates in public discussions about new media use, for example as board member of PEGI, the Pan European Game Information system. More information about his research and publications: http://www.fhk.eur.nl/personal/jeroen_jansz/bio/ See also @jj58 on Twitter.

Julian Raul Kücklich is an independent media researcher based in Berlin. Until recently, he was Professor for Game design at Media Design Hochschule Berlin. He has published numerous articles on the aesthetics, politics, and culture of digital games, and he is also the author of the monograph Playability (VDM, 2008). More information at http://playability.de.

Sybille Lammes is Assistant Professor at the Department of Media and Culture Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University.  She has published on SF film, games and digital cartography. In recent years her main research subjects have been related to the new media and digital culture. Her research programme in computer games examines how games can function as cultural spaces for new spatial and postcolonial practices. Her latest research programme in digital cartography looks at to what extent and how digital maps have altered meanings of media and cartography.

Rich Ling (PhD, University of Colorado in 1984) is a Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen. He is the author of the book: New Tech, New Ties (MIT).  He is also the author of a book on the social consequences of mobile telephony entitled The Mobile Connection (Morgan Kaufmann) and along with Jonathan Donner he has written the book Mobile Phones and Mobile Communication. Along with Scott Campbell he is the editor of The Mobile Communication Research Series and  with Heather Horst he is a Guest Editor of an issue of New Media & Society. He is an associate editor for The Information Society, Information Technologies & International Development and Norsk Medietidsskrift. Ling has received recognition as an outstanding scholar from the International Communications Association (The 2010 CROF Award), Rutgers University, the 2009 Erving Goffman Award from the Media Ecology Association and the Telenor Research Award in 2009.

Frans Mäyrä is the Professor of Hypermedia, Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland. He is the head of University of Tampere Games Research Lab, and has taught and studied digital culture and games from the early 1990s. His research interests include game cultures, meaning making through playful interaction, online social play, borderlines, identity, as well as transmedial fantasy and science fiction.

Jos de Mul is Full Professor Philosophy of Man and Culture at the Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and scientific director of the Research Institute Philosophy of Information and Communication Technology (φICT). He has also taught at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Fudan University (Shanghai). From 2007-2010 he was president of the International Association for Aesthetics. Among his book publications are: Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy (State University of New York Press, 1999), The Tragedy of Finitude. Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life (Yale University Press, 2004), Cyberspace Odyssey. Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010). A relevant publication within the context of this conference is: ‘The Game of Life: Narrative and Ludic Identity Formation in Computer Games’ in J. Raessens & Jeffrey Goldstein (eds.), Handbook of Computer Games Studies (Cambridge: MIT, 2005). See for an extended CV and a list of publications: www.demul.nl.

Britta Neitzel is a scholarship holder at the University of Siegen (Germany) working on her habilitation on Media Places that scrutinises the relevance of the concept of place in respect to digital and non-digital media. Originally a film-scholar, she has been working in the field of Game Studies for 12 years, starting with research on the narrativity of computer games (PhD. Thesis 2000). In the last years Britta has been working on involvement in computer games. In 2000 she founded the AG-Games http://www.ag-games.de (a network of German speaking game researchers), which she manages since 2002 together with Rolf F. Nohr. She has co-edited several books on computer games (in German). Publications in English (extract): Metacommunication in (computer)games and play, in: Winfried Nöth & Nina Bishara (eds.): Self-Reference in the Media, Berlin, New York: De Gruyter 2007. Fluid Places. On Real, Virtual and Fictive Spaces and Places in Digital Games, in: Marko Turpeinen, (ed.): Mobile Content Communities, Helsinki: HIIT Publications 2006, S. 167-175. http://www.hiit.fi/node/86; Narrativity of Computer Games, in: Jeffrey Goldstein & Joost Raessens (eds.): Handbook of Computer Games Studies, Cambridge, Mass: MIT-Press 2005. http://www.britta-neitzel.de.

Joost Raessens is Full Professor of Media Theory at the Department of Media and Culture Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University. His research concerns the ‘ludification of culture,’ focusing in particular on playful identities, on learning through serious games and on the notion of play as a conceptual framework for the analysis of media use. He was visiting scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Raessens was the conference chair of the first Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference Level Up in Utrecht (2003) and is member of the editorial board of Games and Culture (SAGE). He is co-editor of Level Up. Digital Games Research Conference (Utrecht University, 2003), the Handbook of Computer Game Studies (MIT Press, 2005) and Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everyday Life and Technology (AUP, 2009). He is co-supervisor of the Playful Identities (NWO), the Mobile Learning and the Design Rules for Learning Through Simulated Worlds (both GATE) research programs. For more information: www.raessens.com.

Ben Schouten is Professor Playful Interactions at Eindhoven University of Technology as well as lector Serious Game Design at Fontys University of Applied Sciences. His group focuses on game design and open-ended play for education and social interaction. Ben Schouten graduated from the Rietveld Art Academy in 1983 and worked as a professional artist. He found himself interested in patterns and iconography, and after travelling in the Magreb and studying number theory he rediscovered his fascination for mathematics. He received his master's degree in mathematics, specializing in chaos theory, in August 1995. In 1996 Ben Schouten founded Desk.nl, an Application Software Provider (ASP), providing innovative internet related solutions to a wide range of customers. In the early state of internet, Desk developed e-commerce solutions. Together with the Dutch Design Institute (Vormgevings Instituut), Desk was internationally awarded with a webby award in gaming. In 2001 he received his PhD on content based image retrieval schemes and interfaces that express in an adaptive and intuitive way image similarities according to human perception. His thesis was awarded a Bronze World Medal for Design in the Category New Media, sub-category Information and Education. New York, USA. In the following years he headed a group in computer vision and human perception at the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI).  In the same years he resumed teaching at the Utrecht School of Art & Technology (HKU) in interaction design  and gaming. He is also an advisor for the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund (STIFO), responsible for E-culture.

Adriana de Souza e Silva is an Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen in the Digital Culture and Mobile Communication group. Dr. de Souza e Silva's research focuses on how mobile and locative interfaces shape people's interactions with public spaces and create new forms of sociability. She teaches classes on mobile technologies, location-based games and Internet studies. Dr. de Souza e Silva is the co-editor (with Daniel M. Sutko) of the book Digital Cityscapes—Merging digital and urban playspaces (2009), and the co-author (with Eric Gordon) of the forthcoming book Network Locality: How digital networks create a culture of location (2011). She holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dr. de Souza e Silva is also faculty at the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University (NCSU), affiliated faculty at the Digital Games Research Center (http://dgrc.ncsu.edu/), and a faculty member of the Science, Technology and Society Program at NCSU.

Caja Thimm is a Professor of Media Science and Intermediality at the University of Bonn and is head of the Media Science Department. She studied communication and political science at the Universities of Heidelberg, San Francisco State and UC Berkeley. After receiving her doctorate in German linguistics from the University of Heidelberg, she worked from 1991 to 1996 as a research assistant at the University of Heidelberg in the area of "language and situations". She was then contracted by the state of Baden-Württemberg to do her state doctorate, which was completed in 1999. She has been working as a professor at the University of Bonn since 2000. From 2005 to 2008, she was director of the IfK and was a guest professor at several universities (UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco State University, Liverpool University). Her focus for research is in the areas of online media, corporate communication, political communication and virtual worlds. She is the co-editor of the online journal "Virtual Worlds Research".