The 13th International Conference on
Interactive Digital Storytelling
ICIDS 2020

3-6 November 2020, Bournemouth, UK

About The Conference and Key Dates

About ICIDS 2020

The International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) is the premier conference for researchers and practitioners in game narrative and interactive storytelling, including the theoretical, technological, and applied design practices. The annual conference is an interdisciplinary gathering that combines computational narratology, narrative systems, storytelling technology, and humanities-inspired theoretical inquiry, empirical research and artistic expression.

ICIDS 2020 will be hosted by the Department of Creative Technology of Bournemouth University (Bournemouth, UK) at the Hilton Bournemouth conference facilities.

ICIDS 2020 will include invited speakers, research and practitioner presentations, art exhibits, workshops, tutorials, and a doctoral consortium. This year’s conference will be built around the central theme of “Interactive Digital Narrative Scholarship” - this builds upon a recurrent issue in recent years of the conference which has sought to define the methodologies, scholarly, and scientific basis of Interactive Digital Narrative as an academic discipline. We hope to build upon this discussion as we continue to define the discipline of interactive digital narrative scholarship, anchor the community around it, and rigorously refine the terminology, theory, and methodologies within our field.

Update March 9th - Calls for Papers/Submissions now Live!:

Key Dates

Workshop Proposal Submission DeadlineMay 8th
Main Submission Deadline
Research Papers, Exhibition Submissions, Posters, Demos
June 12th
Main Submission NotificationAugust 7th
Doctoral Consortium Submission Deadlinetbc
Workshops3rd November 2020
Conference4th November - 6th November 2020


ICIDS 2020 will have a keynote speakers opening each of the 3 days of the main conference with a talk from a leader in our field:

November 4th

Ian Livingstone

Ian Livingstone CBE

Chairman Sumo Group plc

November 5th

Kate Pullinger

Kate Pullinger

Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University

November 6th

Mark Bernstein

Mark Bernstein

Eastgate Systems Chief Scientist

Call for Papers

Interactive Digital Narrative Scholarship

ICIDS is the premier conference for researchers and practitioners concerned with studying digital interactive forms of narrative from a variety of perspectives, including theoretical, technological, and applied design lenses. The annual conference is an interdisciplinary gathering that combines technology-focused approaches with humanities-inspired theoretical inquiry, empirical research and artistic expression.

A recurring theme has emerged in recent editions, as the community has sought to define the methodologies, scholarly, and scientific basis of Interactive Digital Narrative as an academic discipline. For this 13th edition, the special theme of the conference will therefore be: Interactive Digital Narrative Scholarship

The main research track of ICIDS 2020 will cover research from 4 areas:

  1. Narrative Systems: covering technological research from narrative AI to authoring tools.
  2. Interactive Narrative Theory: exploring narratological models and literary approaches.
  3. Interactive Narrative Impact and Applications: describing the impact of interactive narrative of society and novel applications
  4. The Interactive Narrative Research Discipline and Contemporary Practice: presenting new philosophies and methodologies.

ICIDS 2020 main track will be accepting relevant research submissions (in Springer LNCS format) of:

  • Full Papers: 9-12 pages describing interesting, novel results or completed work in all topics of this call.
  • Short Papers: 6-8 presenting exciting preliminary work or novel, thought-provoking, ideas in their early stages.
  • Posters: 4 pages describing working, presentable systems or brief explanations of a research project.
  • Blue Skies Papers: 4 pages presenting visionary ideas, long term challenges, and opportunities in research that are outside of the current mainstream topics of the conference.

Submissions should be made by June 12th via the ICIDS 2020 EasyChair Site

Specific details on the topics covered in the four areas, submission types, and the submission process can be found in the full Call for Papers document.

Creative Exhibition

Texts of Discomfort

Updated with submission web form 10th March

The ICIDS 2020 Art Exhibition opens its call for interactive digital artworks that explore this year’s curatorial theme Texts of Discomfort. The guideline for art works follows Barthes's concept Text of Bliss, “the text that imposes a state of loss, the text that discomforts… unsettles the reader’s historical, cultural, psychological assumptions” (Barthes 1973, p12). Interactive digital art works that generate discomfort through their form and/or their content may actually inspire radical changes in the way we perceive the world.

Submitting artists are encouraged to mix technologies, narratives, points of view, to create interactive digital artworks that unsettle interactors’ assumptions by tackling the world’s global issues; and/or to create artworks that bring to a crisis interactors’ relation with language, that innovate in their way to intertwine narrative and technology.

Artworks can include, but are not limited to:

  • AR, MR and VR works
  • Computer games
  • Interactive installations
  • Mobile and location-based works
  • Screen-based computational works
  • Web-based works
  • Webdocs and interactive films
  • Transmedia works

Submissions to the exhibition should be made using this form by June 12th. Any questions on the submission process should be sent to

Full details on the exhibition theme, review process, and submission are available in the full Call for Submissions document.

Workshops and Demos

ICIDS 2020 will host proposed workshops related to the field on the 3rd of November and is also calling for proposals for technical demos to be hosted alongside the conference.

Workshop proposals should detail in 4 pages (Springer LNCS format) a half or full day event of relevance to the interactive digital narrative community to be held alongside the conference. Workshop proposals should be submitted via email to by May 8th. Further details on the workshop proposal process and the required content of the proposal can be found in the full call for workshop proposals document.

Demos presenting working, presentable systems that may be installed as part of the conference demo session of relevance to the interactive digital narrative research community should be submitted as a 4 page (Springer LNCS format) proposal describing the system and its significance which may or may not also include a link to a working prototype. Submissions should be made by email to by June 12th. Further details on the proposal process and the required content of the proposal can be found in the full call for demos document.

Doctoral Consortium

Call for doctoral consortium submissions tbc.


Prizes details tbc.

Conference Schedule

Schedule of events for ICIDS 2020

Event Schedule TBC


ICIDS 2020 will be hosted at the Hilton Hotel in Bournemouth's conference facilities.

The conference will also host a gala dinner on the evening of the 5th of November in the Purbeck room at Haven situated on the scenic sandbanks area of Poole harbour.

Conference: Hilton, Bournemouth

The Hilton hotel in Bournemouth is situated in the center of Bournemouth, mere minutes from the beach and the restaurants and bars in the center of town. ICIDS will be hosted in the Bournemouth Hilton conference facilities with the creative exhibition in the Phox room and the main conference in the Trott room (collectively the Phoxtrott suite). The conference facilities include include a range of rooms which will be used for workshops, tutorials, and the doctoral consortium. Lunch, coffee, and breakfast will be served to delegates on site, and the sky bar on the top floor provides drinks and stunning views of the surrounding area.

The Hilton is a 5-10 minute taxi journey (or a 20 minute walk) from Bournemouth station. Accomodation is available on site, or the Hilton is a 5 minute taxi (15 minute walk) from the hotels in the east cliff area. On arrival in the main entrance follow signage for ICIDS or take the staircase immediately to your right where the conference registration desk will be one floor up and on the right.

Gala Dinner: Haven, Bournemouth

The conference will host a gala dinner on the evening of the 5th of November at Haven on the scenic sandbanks area of Poole. Dinner and drinks will be served, conference awards will be made, are we will collectively celebrate the achievements of the conference. The sandbanks is an area of natural beauty to the west of Bournemouth and a coach will be provided to take delegates to and from the Hilton to Haven.


Advice for travel to ICIDS 2020, accomodation, and on staying in Bournemouth and the local area.


Attendees traveling to Bournemouth may wish to consider the following options:

By Air

Attendees traveling from abroad will, in a majority of cases, fly in to Bournemouth, Southampton, or London Heathrow airports. Travel from outside of Europe will need to go through Heathrow, those within Europe will normally need to fly in to Southampton but may be able to fly in the Bournemouth in some cases.

Bournemouth Airport (BOH)

Bournemouth has a small international airport which serves a limited number of european destinations. Travel from the aiport to the town is a short 15-20 minute taxi journey.

Southampton Airport (SOU)

Southampton international airport serves a large number of EU countries. It has its own dedicated rail station just outside of arrivals which has a regular direct line traveling to Bournemouth which takes 30-40 minutes. Tickets for the rail link can be purchased at the station.

London Heathrow (LHR)

Heathrow is a major international airport servicing a majority of destinations. If flying in to Heathrow you can then expect an 120 to 140 minute journey to Bournemouth from the airport. This can be done by rail, but we recommend the national express coach service which operates a direct line from Heathrow's bus station to Bournemouth bus station (which is opposite the Bournemouth rail station) with multiple regular services a day. These tickets are purchasable at the Heathrow bus terminal or in advance through the national express website.

By Rail

UK visitors may travel in to Bournemouth rail station. The station is on the Southwest trains main London line meaning there are regular direct trains from London Waterloo, Southampton, and Weymouth. Travel from London Waterloo for those coming from the capital is approximately 120 minutes but varies. There is also a cross country direct line to Manchester. The station itself is somewhat outside the center of Bournemouth town in the Lansdowne district of town - but this is only a 20-25 minute walk or a 5-10 minute taxi to the center.

By Car

Those travelling by car to Bournemouth will often arrive from the M27 and A31 from the east of the town. Bournemouth town center has numerous car parks, and the conference venue, the Hilton, has a car park for use by attendees for free while spaces last.


A selection of hotels will be recommended by ICIDS 2020 and will be published here soon


Bournemouth is a coastal resort town on the south coast of the UK in the county of Dorset connected to the west with the town of Poole and the east with the town of Christchurch. Bournemouth is famous for its waterfront winning the Trip Advisor's best beach in the UK award for the last two years and with the scenic sandbanks and poole harbour which forms part of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The town is also flanked by two significant areas of UK natural beauty with the New Forest national park to the east, and the world heritage site of the Jurassic Coast to the west. Proximity to these sites makes Bournemouth a town popular with tourists and consequently the town is also exceptionally well served in bars, restaurants, and hotels. For those looking for something cultural and in town we can recommend the nearby Russell Cotes Museum and Art Gallery, and the Bournemouth Natural Science Society.

The map below details locations of interest for ICIDS 2020 attendees in the local area. If you require a taxi while traveling around Bournemouth we can recommend PRC Streamline on (+44) 01202 373737. Alternatively the town is well supported by a bus service with large bus interchanges at the square in the centre of town or at the station, where the number 3, 4, and 5 buses regularly travel between the centre of town and the station.

Conference Organization

Conference Chairs

Charlie Hargood

Charlie Hargood

General Chair

Anne-Gwenn Bosser

Anne-Gwenn Bosser

Co-Programme Chair

David Millard

David Millard

Co-Programme Chair

Jim Pope

Jim Pope

Co-Creative Chair

Maria Reyes

María Cecilia Reyes

Co-Creative Chair

Dene Grigar

Dene Grigar

Publicity Chair

Alex Mitchell

Alex Mitchell

Proceedings Chair

Sam Brooker

Sam Brooker

Workshop Chair

James Ryan

James Ryan

Demo Chair

Ulrike Spierling

Ulrike Spierling

Doctoral Consortium Chair

Christos Gatzidis

Christos Gatzidis

Special Issue Chair

Fred Charles

Fred Charles

Track Chair

Vedad Hulusic

Vedad Hulusic

Local Chair

Huiwen Zhao

Huiwen Zhao

Local Chair

Conference Programme Committee



Conference registration is not yet open.

Contact Us

For all queries regarding ICIDS 2020 please contact the following chairs

Research Paper queries
Co-Programme Chair
David Millard

Exhibition queries
Co-Creative Chair
Jim Pope

Workshop queries
Workshp Chair
Sam Brooker

Demo queries
Demo Chair
James Ryan

All other queries
General Chair
Charlie Hargood


ICIDS 2020 is endorsed and/or sponsored by the following organisations