Frequently Asked Questions
General Conference Questions
How big is the GLS conference?
Attendence is limited to 325 participants. Attendees will consist of academic researchers, game designers/developers, and PK-12 teachers. We have had a waiting list every year, so please register early!
What is the dress code for the conference?
Since the conference will be a mix of academics, designers, and teachers, dress will be casual/business casual. It might get chilly inside the Monona Terrace facility so it is recommended that you bring a light jacket or sweater.
What if I have special needs requirements? Who should I contact?
We are glad to make any arrangements as needed. Please contact us at [email protected] and we will assign someone to help you get answers to your questions.
Will wireless Internet service be available inside the conference facility?
Yes! Free wireless Internet service will be available for conference attendees.
What is the GLS Lounge?
The GLS Lounge is our attempt to forgo the standard Exhibit Hall and do something a bit more interesting and engaging. We've taken one of the Ballrooms and carved it up into four main areas:
- Movie Room · The Movie Room provides a space for conference participants to view webcasts of selected sessions as they happen. A great place to see sessions that have filled up. Or just to multitask.
- Dorm Room · Take a load off in the dorm room, equipped with gaming consoles and computers, dorm fridge, used furniture, everything today's gameroom might provide except perhaps the smell.
- Fireside Chats · Informal sessions that enable informal discussion among smaller groups of attendees on specific topics of interest. Oftentimes at conferences, attendees have little chance to personally interact with key participants and/or colleagues with shared interests. Our goal of hosting fireside chats is to enable just such informal sociability.
- Chat ’n’ Frag sessions · Hands-on gaming sessions with selected game researchers, designers, and players. These informal sessions give presenters a chance to engage attendees in their selected game (off-the-shelf titles or grassroots designed), providing activities or walk-throughs related to key questions and ideas chosen by the session host.
Presenting at the Conference
I am presenting at the GLS conference. What technology will be available for me to use?
Each session room at the GLS conference will be equipped with an LCD projector, screen, and audio support. Presenters are expected to bring their own laptops. Additional technology can be rented from the Monona Terrace but only at an additional expense to the presenters themselves. (see next question for more information). Equipment for the GLS Lounge will vary depending on the requests of the participants (again, see next question for more information).
I have materials that I would like to send ahead to arrive the day before the conference begins. How do I do that? Will I be able to post handouts/materials online?
Yes, contact us at [email protected] with the request for distribution of materials and we will do whatever we can to post your materials both online via the conference website and to have them available for distribution they days of the event.
What opportunities are available for sponsors? Who should I contact?
We are currently looking for sponsors for the conference to help mitigate the registration costs for both teachers and students. If your organization is interested, please contact Sean Michael Dargan, GLS conference coordinator([email protected], t:608-213-9271).
I am signed up to be a Respondent and/or Chair? What do I need to do?
Each session needs a chair or respondent to host/guide the session. Symposia have chairs, individual paper sessions have respondents. Both are expected to introduce the talks and the speakers, so it’s a good idea to get there early and introduce yourself to the speakers. If you don’t know who the speakers are, you might get online beforehand to match names with faces.
Chairs are also responsible for moderating the Q&A after the session. You shouldn’t have to do any real moderating - although you should have a question or two ready if the audience is slow to ask questions.
Respondents have a more active role in generating content for the session. Respondents’ primary role is to pull together themes from the papers, and offer some ideas to start the discussion. The best discussants are able to help the audience see “the big picture”. In theory, symposiums already cohere because they are being organized according to a theme and therefore don’t need a discussant.
Accommodations and Transportation
Will there be parking available at Monona Terrace? Do I need a car in Madison?
If you are driving to Madison, there are 600 on-site parking spaces in a cashier-operated parking structure at Monona Terrace, accessible via East Wilson Street and the eastbound lanes of John Nolen Drive. Monona Terrace is also walking distance from nearly all downtown hotels, so a car will not likely be necessary while you’re here. Parking can be difficult in Madison, especially downtown during the daytime, so conference participants are encouraged to use public transportation and leave their cars at their hotels during the day. Transportation will be provided by conference organizers to the Thursday night excursion.
So that I can book my travel, what are the official start/end times for the conference?
The conference program will begin at 9:00am Thursday morning (8:30 am for early check-in), July 10th, with a small informal reception the night before, Wednesday, July 9th at the Hilton. The conference will officially close on Friday evening, July 11th, at approximately 5:00 pm.
When I called to reserve a room at the Hilton, I was told that it’s full. Where should I stay?
If the Hilton is full or you would like to stay somewhere else near the conference, we recommend the following hotels near the event. The Best Western Inn on the Park is located just a few blocks away on the Capitol Square. The Madison Concourse Hotel is also on the Capitol Square, on the opposite side of the Capitol building. The Edgewater Hotel is about a mile north of the conference facility, across the isthmus on the shore of Lake Mendota (and closer to the University campus) but is still within walking distance from the event. The Doubletree Hotel is also within walking distance and is located about a mile northwest of Monona Terrace just off bustling State Street and campus. Madison also offers several top-notch bed & breakfast options, including the Hotel Ruby Marie just down the hill from the Capitol Square, and the historic Mansion Hill Inn near campus.
Can I register for just one day of the conference?
We will not be offering one-day registration unfortunately, though you are still invited to participate in the event for one day at the full conference rate.
I wish to bring an extra guest(s) to the Thursday night dinner. Is this possible?
Yes, additional guests may be brought for a fee of $55 each. You may request extra tickets when registering for the conference. If you have already registered, please contact [email protected] with your additional requests.
What’s the weather like in Madison in mid-July?
Madison is generally gorgeous in the summertime, with daytime highs in the upper 70s to mid 80s, nighttime lows in the 50s and 60s. Because of the range in temperatures, winds off the lake, and variability of air conditioning, wearing layers and carrying an umbrella are your best bet.
Where can I play games while I’m in Madison?
There will be games available to play at the GLS conference itself.
I’m arriving a day (or more) early and/or leaving late. Any recommendations for what to do with my free time?
There’s lots to do, depending on your interests and whether you’ll have a car.
Within walking distance of the Hilton and Monona Terrace, every Saturday morning around the state capitol, there is a fabulous farmers’ market, the biggest in the country, in a stunning setting. Even if you’re not looking to buy a dozen ears of sweet corn, you’ll have fun joining the thousands of Madisonians who walk counter-clockwise round the market. If you like architecture, be sure to visit the State Capitol. You’ll enjoy shopping, dining, and people-watching on State Street, which connects the University campus and the capitol. At the Hilton and Monona Terrace, you’ll be right on one of the best bike/jog/walk paths in the city, which curves around Lake Monona to a great park on the other side. You can even rent a bicycle at the bike shop on the corner of John Nolen Drive and Williamson streets, which are just northeast of Monona Terrace.
If you wander down State Street toward the University campus, be sure to make your way over to Lake Mendota, the larger of Madison’s two major lakes. Once there, stop at the Memorial Union (the student union) to buy an ice cream cone (the famous ice cream is made on campus) or a beer (Gray’s Rathskeller Ale is only available here) and sit on the terrace overlooking the lake at the back of the union; many nights during the summer, there’s great live music (free) on the Union terrace. (Be warned: to buy a beer at the Union, you’ll need to bring a student with you or purchase a guest pass.) You might want to take a stroll or jog or bike on the lakeshore path, which runs west for a couple miles from the Memorial Union. The Elvehjem Museum of Art on campus is well worth a visit. There are many public golf courses in the city — the most challenging is University Ridge.
A short drive away from the University is the Henry Vilas Zoo, a small but attractive and varied zoo. Best of all, it’s free. At the west end of campus is the famous Frank-Lloyd-Wright designed Unitarian Meeting House, well worth a look and tour. And if you’re a Wright fan, you’ll want to visit his home, studio, and school at Taliesen, in Spring Green, Wisconsin, an hour west of Madison. If you’ll have children with you who like water parks, an hour north of Madison is Wisconsin Dells, filled with more (outdoor and indoor) water parks than you can count, including one that’s touted as the largest in the country, Noah’s Ark.
If you’re looking for the truly bizarre, you might want to tour the House on the Rock, in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, an hour west of Madison — a madman’s endless collection of things, from rare and beautiful to pure kitsch.
Just southwest of Madison, in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, is Cave of the Mounds. Devil’s Lake State Park, in Baraboo, Wisconsin, 45 minutes north of Madison, features a beautiful lake, hiking trails, and striking cliffs (well, striking for the mountainless-Midwest).
Also in Baraboo is the International Crane Foundation, a fascinating place to tour if you’re interested in the restoration of endangered species.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an hour and a half east of Madison, offers great culture, history, dining, and neighborhoods. On the shore of Lake Michigan, the new addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is a stunning piece of architecture.