DAC is digital arts and culture and it is a conference series that was initiated by Espen Aarseth in 1998. first one without external funding, so this is the one that probably makes or breaks the conference as an ongoing series.
The conference is serious about being a collaborative and interdisciplinary event where the papers are intended to be precursors to serious conversation. DAC specifically seeks to bring together a diverse range of theoretical views and practices, addressing a range of new media, because I believe that interdisciplinary and collaborative work is the basis for moving forward on key theoretical and practitioner based problems in digital arts and culture.
Too many conferences are simply 'talk and walk' events where you present work that you treat as finished, closed, and more or less outside of criticism. You answer a few questions, say hello to people you already know and possibly meet a few new people. You attend sessions that pretty much reinforce what you think you're already interested in, here more papers that think they've got the answer, and perhaps ask a question. This is not going to happen at DAC. A parody? OK, but if you're into computer games and there's a session on games on one on interactive fiction which one will you go to?
At DAC all papers are available to all participants prior to the conference, and co-session speakers are expected to have read each others papers, and to have prepared open questions about each others work. These questions are not of the "good paper but you're wrong and if you have done x, y, and z (ie. written like I would have) then you'd be right." The questions will be specifically framed to draw out what is useful, productive, problematic, and innovative in each others papers. This is because the most valuable work of the conference will be in the dialogue that the papers begin, and if it doesn't do that, then it would be just easier to send everyone the proceedings and to stay at home!