G|A|M|E – Call For Papers N.8 – ‘Would you kindly?’

‘Would you kindly?’: Claiming Video Game Agency as Interdisciplinary Concept

The new issue of G|A|M|E proposes a re-examination of the concept of agency in games. They welcome contributions that address the idea of agency from a variety of academic perspectives, taking into account its interdisciplinary history and application, in order to expand our critical understanding of the concept more broadly. They therefore invite scholars from all fields to reflect on different notions of agency, not only in relation to physical and digital games, but also to other media and art forms as they impact on games and game studies. At the end of the influential first-person shooter Bioshock (2K Games, 2007), its critique of the rhetoric of choice and freedom emerges from the dialogue between the protagonist Jack and the visionary despot of Rapture, Andrew Rayan. Rayan’s seemingly innocent question ‘Would You Kindly?’ conceals a cognitive trigger that casts a shadow over the protagonist’s actions. By shattering the illusion of free will for both character and player, the game breaks the fourth wall and confronts the user with the question: who is being/has been controlled?

Already central to the fields of Human-Computer Interaction as well as that of design (e.g. Sherry Turkle, 1984; Brenda Laurel, 1991), agency was redefined more than twenty years ago in Janet Murray’s seminal volume Hamlet on the Holodeck (1996, p. 123) as ‘the satisfying power to take meaningful action and see the results of our decisions and choices’. To this day, the concept of agency is still prominent in scholarly debates on video game and game design: to describe a key ontological category that delineates the multiplicity of paths as well as the breadth of choices made available by interactive texts; and also –closer to Murray’s acceptation– to define a primary category of video game aesthetics, a textual effect attached to the pleasure of taking meaningful decisions within virtual environments.

On one level, agency informs media objects, texts and devices. Agency can be observed in relation to old and new game genres (adventure games with branching narratives, interactive movies, sandbox and open-world games); degrees of agency are provided by the affordances of VR/AR and mixed reality technologies (Oculus, PlayStationVR, HoloLens etc.); forms of agency are conceptualised across diverse media and art forms (interactive design, experimental film, on- demand TV, experiential theatre, museum installations) as well as in physical and digital hypertexts (Choose You Own Adventure books); agency is reallocated through new modes of distribution and fruition (VoD, streaming platforms and digital piracy); and agency is also embedded in sub-cultural practices and products (machinima, fan-fiction etc.).

On another level, agency is crucial to debating conceptual categories relevant to interactive digital media. Digital artefacts are immersed in a cross- and trans-media landscape, in which the interface constantly brings into question the relationship between objects, developers and users, blurring the boundaries between authors and audiences and questioning the sovereignty over these objects on multiple fronts. Here, agency provides an opening to explore aesthetic, social and political tensions (gender, race, class), and can be used to analyse discourses that challenge the role of the spectator/reader/player in relation to media object and their creators (art and exhibition, authorship, fandom, prosumer culture).

With its eighth issue, G|A|M|E wants to investigate the agency afforded by games, software and interfaces, as well as the agency claimed by players, users and spectators. Exceeding Murray’s original aesthetic understanding of the term, they intend to expand their examination of agency within and beyond the virtual borders of game studies. Agency is, in fact, a pivotal concept in philosophy, adopted to address relations of intentionality and causality between actors and actions (e.g. Anscombe, 1957; Davidson, 1963); as well as in social sciences, which locate agency within material and immaterial networks between human and non-human agents (Latour, 2005). In light of the vast interdisciplinary history of this concept, they seek contributions that can productively inform and renew our understandings of agency in gaming and play, while also using game agency to inform larger political, philosophical and cultural issues, developing current critical debates in game studies and in other disciplines.

Topics may include:

  • agency in game studies
  • agency and gaming technologies (VR, AR, mixed reality)
  • agency and interactivity
  • agency in video game criticism
  • close textual analysis of games in relation to agency
  • player reception and agency: modding, fandom etc.
  • agency in traditional games: board games, sports etc.
  • video game agency and issues of authorship
  • agency as interdisciplinary concept, from games to: arts, social sciences, law and philosophy
  • game agency in relation to other cultural forms (experimental film, cinema, art, architecture, design)
  • agency and non-linear textuality
  • politics (race, class, sexuality, gender, geopolitics) and video game agency
  • agency and media ecologies

Scholars are invited to submit an extended abstract (between 500-1,000 words excluding references) or full papers by Friday the 19th of July, 2019 to editors@gamejournal.it

Extended Abstract deadline: 19th of July 2019; Notification of acceptance: 25th of July 2019

All accepted authors will be asked to submit the full paper by the 15th of October 2019. We expect to release this issue in Winter 2019

Editors: Ivan Girina (Brunel University London), Berenike Jung (University of Tübingen)

CfP: Special Issue – Intergenerational Gaming, Accessibility, Motivation, and Engagement (iGAME)

The CGJ is pleased to announce a CFP for the forthcoming special issue: iGAME (intergenerational: Gaming, Accessibility, Motivation, and Engagement).

The field of Games Studies has received a vast amount of interest and investigation over the last 50 years, ranging from game addiction, gender, engagement/interaction, to health rehabilitation and cohorts (i.e. baby boomers). However, intergenerational gaming has received less attention, with the exception of works by Voida and Greenberg (2009;2010), de Schutter et al. (2017), and Wang et al. (2018).

Given the nature of play and the developments of game technologies over the last couple of decades, intergenerational gaming offers a myriad of experiences for both gamers and nongamers, novice and expert gamers alike. Intergenerational gaming can facilitate several motivations in a milieu of domains from health and rehabilitation, to co-op and online gaming.

They invite submissions for this special issue of TCGJ, which focus on cutting edge research and perspectives in relation to intergenerational gaming. They welcome contributions from academics, industry professionals, students, and those with direct experience of intergenerational gaming. They will also consider papers concerning non-computing related intergenerational gaming, which reflect the intersectional and interlinked nature of intergenerational gaming.


Please see below for all important submission dates:

  • Title and abstract of proposed paper 30th June 2019
  • Draft paper for peer review 30th September 2019
  • Revised paper 10th December 2019

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Flow/immersion
  • Design
  • Usability, accessibility
  • Player experiences
  • Multi-methods
  • Health and rehabilitation
  • Culture and/or Environment
  • Multi-disciplinary
  • Player modelling
  • Predictive analysis

For queries regarding scope and applicability, please contact the guest editor, Dr Hannah R. Marston, by sending an email to: Hannah.Marston@open.ac.uk

For submission enquiries, please contact Drs John Sutherland (Editor-in-chief) or Malcolm Sutherland (Assistant Editor-in-chief) at: thecomputergamesjournal@gmail.com

Abstract & Proposed Title – Submission Instructions
Please submit your abstract & proposed title to: Hannah.Marston@open.ac.uk

Paper Submission Instructions
1. All submissions should be emailed to: Hannah.Marston@open.ac.uk.
2. All submissions should follow the Journal formatting and guidelines https://www.springer.com/computer/journal/40869
3. In your email, please add <Paper Submission – Title for Intergen Special Issue> in the subject box

Special issue of GAME on digital entertainment and special needs

A new special issue of GAME has been released with a focus on Digital Entertainment and Special Needs.  Edited by Enrico Gandolfi, Kaybeth Calabria, and Richard E. Ferdig, it includes 5 peer-reviewed articles that address different aspects of the relationship between video games and special needs (e.g., spanning universal interfaces, empathy through games, ludic mechanics for visually impaired players, and haptic media as inclusion drivers). Implications for design and development are included along with best practices for using video games to address biases.

To download the free and open-access special issue visit:


Press Start Journal latest issue published!

Press Start Journal is pleased to announce that our latest issue is now published!


Over the past year, they’ve had a change of hands from our founder, Matt Barr, to their new editor-in-chief, Mahli-Ann Butt. They’ve taken some extra time to put together this issue with great pride and care.
Through a friendly double-open peer-reviewing process, for this open-call issue they’ve published 7 excellent game studies student articles:
Dennis Jansen’s ‘The Environment at Play: Confronting Nature in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the “Frostfall” Mod,’ argues that the natural environment in the base game of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) is devoid of agency and power in the face of the player’s colonialist endeavours to explore, conquer and master that environment. Jansen thus discusses how the “Frostfall” counteracts the destructive and oppositional relationship between the player and nature in Skyrim.
Brianna Dym’s ‘The Burden of Queer Love,’ explores attempts by game development studio Bioware to create video games that are inclusive of gay, lesbian, and bisexual players by writing in queer romantic narrative subplots into their games. While Bioware’s attempts are certainly not malicious, they fail time and time again, game after game, to break free of the hypermasculine and heterocentric culture dominant in the gaming industry. Instead, Bioware appropriates queer experiences and construes them as a burden to the player so as not to displace the fantasies of male, heterosexual gamers.
Chris Alton’s ‘Aya of the Beholder: An Examination of the Construction of Real-World Locations in Parasite Eve,’ uses the foundational example of Square’s Parasite Eve (1997) to examine the ways in which real-world locations and approximations of such are represented within video game worlds. Alton examines the methods through which videogames can create spaces which evoke the conceptual idea of a given place, both through audio/visual and interactive means, without constructing a one-to-one simulacrum of the location. Thus, the player actively contributes in the transformation of an actionable virtual space into an actualized lived place.
Anna Maria Kalinowski’s ‘Silent Halls: P.T., Freud, and Psychological Horror,’ draws from Sigmund Freud’s concept of the uncanny to address how the psychological concepts surface within the never-ending hallway of P.T. (2014) and create a deeply psychologically horrifying experience.
Sean Pellegrini’s ‘And How Does That Make You Feel?: A Psychological Approach to a Classic Game Studies Debate – Violent Video Games and Aggression,’ investigates the claim that violent video games can cause aggression. The findings of this study suggest that people highly correlated with the Dark Triad of personality are a high-risk group for aggression, but that this aggression is unrelated to video games.
Daniel Odin Shaw’s ‘Ideology in BioShock: A Critical Analysis,’ analyses the Bioshock series, with a particular focus on the treatment of ideology. By examining the games, with a particular reference the use of procedural rhetoric, this paper argues that this series presents a critique of extreme ideology itself.
Hayley McCullough’s ‘“Hey! Listen!”: Video Game Dialogue, Integrative Complexity and the Perception of Quality,’ explores potential complexity differences between winning and losing video games at the Spike Video Game Awards. It compared the integrative complexity of a sample of video game dialogue for three categories (Best Shooter, Best RPG and Best Action/Adventure). Across all analyses a consistent mean pattern emerged: The winning games averaged lower complexity scores than the losing games. These findings suggest a general association between simplistic dialogue and high-quality video games, providing keen insight into the underlying psychology of video games, and establishes a strong foundation for future research.
As this issue demonstrates, Press Start is always delighted to be publishing the best new work by early career researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary fields.
The Press Start Journal team also welcomed many new members to our editorial board. During this transition period, they’ve begun a mentoring program for our senior members to share their knowledge of the editorial process. This spirit of mentorship, guidance, and support is something we hope to continue into their journal’s future as it reflects our larger goal of encouraging game studies students to share their work and take part in a lively, academic community.
Once again, they’re seeking new members to replace their outgoing board, who are graduating and moving on to other things. Board members of Press Start serve as key stakeholders and decision-makers for developing the journal and actively work to support student scholarship in game studies. Current students and graduates within one year of their graduation date are eligible to apply. Our deadline to apply to be on the editorial board this year has just past, but if you are interested in working with Press Start in the future, you can find more information on the responsibilities of an editor here (https://press-start.gla.ac.uk/index.php/press-start/announcement/view/19).
As students and emerging academics, they believe Press Start should embody the kinds of practices that we want to see become standards for academia. Thus, in order to see a greater diversity in game studies scholarship, they have introduced an initiative to translate our calls for papers into as many languages as they can find volunteers: http://tinyurl.com/yblfxkk4. Press Start encourages submissions from ESL writers, especially if they are not yet fully confident of their ability to write academically in English but want to learn and improve.

CfP: Video Game Art Reader

Video Game Art Reader Issue 3
Call for Papers


This issue proposes overclocking as a foundational metaphor for how games are produced and experienced today, and the temporal compressions and extensions of the many historical lineages that have shaped game art and culture. In the same way that a computer user might overclock the processor of their machine to achieve results beyond its intended use, how can video game art studies overclock its received historical boundaries and intervene on current video game practices that are accelerating past their limits? Might overclocking practices also produce strain and wear on video games and their stakeholders in a variety of ways that need to be identified and understood?

The Video Game Art Reader (VGAR) is currently accepting submissions that critically analyze video game art at the limits of temporality: through long historical vectors, across significant investments of lived human experience, and in terms of other considerations of time.

Though digital gaming emerged in the last half of the 20th century, papers in this issue can draw connections between games and a wide variety of transhistorical and transmedia influences. Papers may ask: Do the deep histories in which video games can be framed serve as resources for the equally deep contributions of video game laborers and video game audiences to our current epoch? How do video games spread themselves–through the labor of production or the experience of gameplay–over excessive amounts of time? If we interrogate the materials, conventions, and aesthetics of video games of the past and present, what kind of deep history might emerge? If we look at the aggregate amount of time spent producing video games, what kind of systemic practices emerge? If we look at the amount of time a player base applies to a single game title, what can we learn about the game as well as the lives of those who play it?

Possible topics and questions include but are not limited to:

- Expansions of, or interventions into, theories of media archaeology. How might we expand a media archaeology of video game aesthetics, genres, or modes of play, and what do these histories help us understand about the present?
- As cultural critics, how do we respond to the overclocked demands of video game labor across all levels of production, from art games to indie to AAA?
- How do we reconcile the extensive amount of play time demanded by certain games, and the overwhelming volume of games available, with the limited attention (or life) spans of audiences?
- What kinds of historical grounding can be identified in the visual culture that precedes and informs the current video game epoch, and what are the conceptual underpinnings of these choices?
- How are the conventions of contemporary video game art distributed across digital and non-digital media?

Deadline for Submissions is March 29th, 2019

All submissions should be sent to: tfunk (at) vgagallery (dot) org.


The VGA Reader is a scholarly electronic and print journal. It is blind peer-reviewed, invitational, and open to submissions in the form of theoretical papers, interviews, practitioner statements, and reviews on video games and video game-related events. The journal is published annually as a singular summer edition. The electronic and print versions differ in format but are similar in content.

There are four types of articles the VGA Reader publishes. Each have a distinct focus and designated word count:
1) Essays
2) 500 to 5,000 words

The VGA Reader welcomes essays pertaining to any investigation of video games, be they historical, theoretical, instructional (dealing with the hardware or software involved in creating games), or experimental in nature (manifestos, essays proposing new kinds of games, equipment, or approach to gaming in general, etc.). We welcome writers of all kinds, be they practitioners (game designers, writers, etc.), academics, or enthusiastic gamers with novel ideas and information to share. Manuscripts must be under the 5,000-word count limit (including references and figure captions) before it will be considered for review. Because of the length of these essays, they must be accompanied by a 100-word abstract.

2) Practitioner (Artist/Designer/Writer) Statements fewer than 2,000 words

The VGA Reader welcomes practitioner statements, constituting articles detailing the video game-related work of the author, be it a video game, video game-themed artwork/performance, multimedia work/event, etc. These essays can take the form of longer artist statements about conceptual and narrative-driven concerns, but we also encourage details regarding issues of game play, troubleshooting during production, user testing, and anecdotes about the creative production process.

3) Reviews of video game-related events (gallery shows, multimedia events, etc.) fewer than 2,000 words

The VGA Reader welcomes reviews, selected by the VGA Reader’s Editor and Editorial staff. This section of the journal offers opportunities for authors to report on a variety of video game-related events in brief, exploratory essays detailing the experience. These essays must be accompanied by media (images, video) of the event as illustration, provided by the author.

4) The VGA Reader will also publish selected interviews; however, these submissions will be by invitation only.


All submissions must be formatted as follows:
- In Microsoft Word .doc or .docx
- Font: Times New Roman
- Size: 12
- Styles: Normal
- Alignment and Spacing: Horizontal, Left aligned, Single space
- Endnotes: Do not use automatic formatting. Place any endnotes after the main text of your essay but before your Reference/Bibliography list. Place the endnote number reference in parentheses in the left margin, using the same number as in the text of the paper. All references/citations are written in the format of the Chicago Manual of Style. For more information, see: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html.
- Media (images, video, and/or sound files) should be submitted as attachments via email. DO NOT embed images onto your Word doc. After acceptance, the editor will send copyright permissions documents.

Submissions should contain the following information, in this particular order:

1. Essay title
2. Author’s name
3. Author’s affiliation/academic position/affiliation/ etc.: (e.g.: Collective/company name, independent designer/artist, researcher / Assistant Professor / Professor)
4. The body of the essay
5. References (in Chicago Manual of Style format)
6. Author’s Bio – 50-word count. Email and/or www. can be included at the end of the bio.


Keeping articles accessible to a large, but interested audience is a primary goal of the VGA Reader. While general “good-writing” practices demand attention in your use of language, style, and organization, writing video game scholarship and practitioner statements should also avoid too-specific jargon, acronyms, and other specialized language, unless defined specifically in the article. Include subheadings and bullet points along with section introductions when necessary for organization purposes. Paying attention to these tenets will ensure a fair critique of the work, and will greatly improve your chances of publication.

For more information visit:

CfP: Games of Empire 10 Years Later Special Issue in Games & Culture

Call for Papers: Games of Empire 10 Years Later – Special Issue in Games & Culture

2019 marks ten years since the publication of Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter’s seminal Games of Empire. Adopting the concept of Empire from Italian autonomous Marxist authors Michael Negri & Antonio Hardt, the book is considered one of the hallmarks of videogame cultural criticism. Situated within Western video game scholarship of the early 2000’s, the book reminded many that critical analysis informed by social theory is vital to capturing the phenomena of videogame production processes, and the power hierarchies they derive from and reproduce.

Ten years later, today, it is impossible to ignore the significance that the book – despite its flaws – has shown in addressing the under-researched political aspects of the global videogame industry and cultures. At the same time, it is impossible to ignore the ever-pressing need for cultural and materialist criticism within game studies. There are many elephants in the room – the inequities of the global games labour market, the growing Game Workers unionization and the international solidarity necessary for it, the games industry’s contribution to the expansion and consolidation of global corporate interests, the revitalization of fascism in and around games, and the reproduction of colonialism under conditions of globalised supply chains and markets. In light of this, many researchers are returning to the question of how conditions of production highlight the inherently politicized nature of videogames as a global 21st century cultural industry, prompting them to explore how it can be subjected to critical analysis, to inform interventions both by scholars and by workers in the sector. Games of Empire, specifically, while an opportune starting point for critical analysis everywhere, is not without its limits. Indeed, while Dyer-Witheford and de Peuter and others (e.g., Banks & Cunningham, 2013; Nieborg, 2011; O’Donnell, 2014; Deuze, 2007), have shown that it is possible (and publishable) to inspect and critique the role of the videogames industry in the world, much remains to be said about both.

Contemporary phenomena emblematic to videogames’ culture and industry require scholarly and critical addressing – issues such as the cultural and economic imperialism of global videogame companies; the platformization of culture (Nieborg & Poell, 2018); the privileging and problematization of indie and intersectional production (Martin & Deuze, 2009; Ruffino, 2012; Shaw, 2009); the consolidation of cultural and economic power via the dynamics of monopoly capitalism and imperialism, including the exploitative structure of platforms that turn players into workers and information into commodities capturing the cultural activity of play as seen in free-to-play and so-called lootbox business models (Joseph 2017); the mutually beneficial relationship between corporate grassroots movements such as Gamergate and multinational companies’ exploitation of their workers which they manage using a pay stub online (Keogh 2018; Polansky 2018); the material and ecological ramifications of always-online infrastructures, planned obsolescence, videostreaming, and so-called cloud-based gaming; the cultural and economic conditions that maintain and reproduce what Fron, Fullerton, Morie, & Pearce called “the Hegemony of Play” (2007) ; the game industry’s intersecting matrix of domination (Collins 2002) along racial, gendered, sexual, class, language, ethnic, and bodily dimensions; and so on. Even within the nebulous discipline of game studies itself, questions of Empire are in dire need of addressing (Russworm 2018), especially against the background of positionality , the politics of citation, academia as a colonial force, bourgeois conferences overrepresenting Western, privileged and tenure-track participants able to pay extravagant fees (Butt, et al., 2018), as well as the relationship between industry and research. As such, the initial discussions motivated by Dyer-Witheford and de Peuter’s research remain as, if not more, relevant than ever. It is crucial that similar critical investigations are contemporarily re-articulated to highlight paths and strategies to understand videogames today as symptoms of a deeply unjust state of the world, and perhaps to transform the structures that reproduce this state.

To do so, this special issue of Games & Culture invites authors in game studies, cultural studies, production studies, and related disciplines to engage in a dialogue with Games of Empire and the themes of global capitalism, videogame production as global cultural industry, and related themes of Empire, inequality, and hegemony. This dialogue can be based on contemporary and ongoing research, both theoretical and empirical, into videogame production today. Possible papers could include themes such as:

  • Empire and multitude in the contemporary games sector
  • Cognitive capitalism and work in the globalised production chain
  • Machinic subjects in the post-platform era
  • Social theory in game studies (post-Empire)
  • Platform capitalism
  • Working conditions in videogame production
  • Nomad game making
  • Major and minor subjectivity in game production
  • Making desiring subjects
  • 21st century imperialism and monopoly capitalism
  • Comparative production cultures: difference and continuity between (national) production cultures
  • Postcolonialism, empire, and emancipation
  • Cultural production in the margins: Games & workers of the so-called global south.
  • Unionization efforts among game workers (Game Workers Unite, #AsAGameWorker, etc.)
  • Empire through & within academia and game studies
  • The Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network, in and outside of the imperial core
  • The ecological and material aspects of the global games industry in the Age of the Capitalocene

These themes can be interpreted broadly. When submitting an extended abstract, please identify explicitly how your proposed submission responds to Games of Empire, including developing one of its concepts, critiquing its arguments, or reflecting back on its significance in contemporary research.


Extended abstracts should be submitted by March 1st 2019. Notification of abstract acceptance by April 1st 2019.

Full manuscripts (approximately 5.000 words) of accepted abstracts are due September 6th 2019. Notification of manuscript acceptance by November 4th 2019.

Final publications of 5-6 accepted articles in Games & Culture are expected around June 2020

Submission process

Submissions should comprise of

  • Extended abstracts between 800-1000 words (excluding bibliography).
  • Author information (short biographical statement of 200 words)

Please submit to Emil Hammar (emil.hammar@uit.no) by March 1st 2019.

CfP: ACM Special Issue on Culture Games

Special Issue on “Culture Games”

ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage

CALL FOR PAPERS – Deadline 15th December 2019

Industries, stakeholders, and the general public approach culture (both tangible and intangible) for a variety of purposes, and digital games can channel each of these purposes in different ways. In the context of a cultural experience, people may want to learn (with serious games) but also to have fun (with simple entertainment games), spend some spare time (with casual games), socialize (with social or multiplayer games), or create (with collaborative creation games). Similarly, cultural institutions wish not only to teach, but also to attract more visitors (promotional games or advergames). In the last decade, there have been substantial developments in the gaming technologies applied to cultural heritage purposes. Technologies like crowdsourcing and human computation have become more sophisticated. New game-oriented (but not only) media such as mixed-reality, virtual reality and natural interaction (e.g. motion-based gameplay) have become more prevalent.

Our goal in this special issue is twofold: a) to broaden the scope and explore gaming in cultural heritage across multiple genres used in real-life and b) to include the latest developed gaming technologies in the field of culture.

Authors are invited to submit papers on original and unpublished research and practical applications concerning games for a variety of purposes related to tangible and intangible heritage, including cultural sites, museums, art, mythology and natural heritage. As with the broader topics of JOCCH, we welcome submissions on Use-inspired Basic Research and on Applied Research ( https://jocch.acm.org/authors.cfm#type-of-papers ). Regular papers are expected to be 10-20 pages long (5,000-10,000 words), while other types of papers are possible (see the Author Guidelines at https://jocch.acm.org/authors.cfm ).

In particular, we welcome contributions on topics including, but not limited to:
* Game technologies for Culture Heritage (CH)
* Promotional games for CH
* Unusual game genres for CH (e.g. first person shooters, or side scrollers)
* Ubiquitous computing in games for CH (e.g. location-based games)
* Applications and case studies of games for CH
* Human computation, crowdsourcing, and artificial intelligence in CH game applications
* Game design for CH: user experience, interaction, game mechanics and rewards
* Transformation of tangible artifacts into virtual game environments
* Games that tell (culturally relevant) stories

As a final outcome, we wish to attract a broad set of researchers from the game studies and game research community, the HCI and AI communities, as well as the applied cultural heritage community, into a truly interdisciplinary and pertinent special issue.

Accepted papers will be published in the ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage. Please follow the format instructions for the journal ( https://www.acm.org/publications/authors/submissions ). When submitting, please select the option “Culture Games” as the manuscript type in the journal submission system: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jocch

===Important Dates===

Submission: 15 December 2019
First review: 15 April 2020
Revised papers: 30 June 2020
Final review: 30 July 2020
Final version: 15 October 2020

Publication: Issue 13:4 (final issue of 2020) or 14:1 (first issue of 2021)

===Guest Editors===

* George Lepouras (www.uop.gr/~gl/)
* Ioanna Lykourentzou (http://lykourentzou.com)
* Antonios Liapis (http://antoniosliapis.com)



Nation(alism), identity and video gaming

Guest Editors: Lisa Kienzl (kienzl@uni-bremen.de) and Kathrin Trattner (kathrin.trattner@uni-graz.at)

Although video games can be seen as a prime example of a globalized media culture, questions of nation and identity have been the subject of increasing scholarly as well as public discussion in recent years. In 2018, two games in particular sparked controversy around gaming and nationalism, though in very different ways: The US-American first-person-shooter, Far Cry 5, and the Czech role-playing game, Kingdom Come: Deliverance. The former caused debates by creating a dystopian vision of American ultra-nationalism and fanatic religiosity, the latter was critically discussed for consolidating narratives of national romanticism. Yet, such debates do not only concern game content: Entanglements between nation(alism), identity and gaming can also be found on the levels of video game production as well as gamer discourse.

To further explore the multilayered socio-cultural and political contexts of video games and gaming, the international peer-reviewed journal gamevironments is calling for submissions for a special issue on nation(alism), identity and video gaming. We encourage reflection on the socio-political contexts, as well as on cultural influences on different types and aspects of video games and gaming culture, including educational games, the gaming industry, esports, gaming communities, etc. We particularly invite non-Western perspectives and postcolonial approaches to questions of nation(alism), identity and video gaming, as well as the role of religion within this framework.

What are the specific relationships between national political contexts and game development? Do nation building and nationalism influence various forms of representation within video games? What is the relationship between national identity building processes and religious systems in video games? What socio-political discourses accompany such representations? (How) do national(ist) discourses influence gamers’ self-identification and in-game-choices?

In this issue, they want to approach these and other questions on the levels of video game production, in-game-representation, as well as negotiations through gamers. Topics for further investigation may include, but are not limited to, nation(alism), identity and gaming, in the specific contexts of / regarding:

  • theoretical approaches
  • postcolonial approaches
  • gender theoretical and queer perspectives
  • actor-centered approaches
  • constructions of identity/otherness
  • national video game cultures
  • identity building and nation(alism)
  • history and nation building
  • race and nation(alism)
  • cultural heritage
  • religion and nation(alism)
  • museum education and/or educational games
  • global and/or national aspects of esports, video game industries or game development

Submit a title and 300-word abstract to Lisa Kienzl (kienzl@uni-bremen.de) and Kathrin Trattner (kathrin.trattner@uni-graz.at) by 01.03.2019.

Possible formats for submission include:
a) regular academic articles
b) interviews
c) research reports
d) book reviews
e) game reviews

All articles submitted will be subject to double-blind peer-review.

For more on submission formats and guidelines see:



Title and abstract submission: 01.03.2019
Full text submission: 01.07.2019
Review results returned: 01.09.2019
Revised text submission: 15.10.2019
Online publication: December 2019

Press Start Journal Call for 2019 Editorial Board

Press Start Journal is looking for up to eight new volunteer Editorial Board members. Board members are expected to:

  • Guide submissions made to Press Start through the editorial process. This will involve:
    • Assigning appropriate reviewers
    • Following up with reviewers as required
    • Providing authors with the results of the review process, including a summary of reviewers’ comments
    • Following up with accepted authors from whom reviewers have requested revisions
    • Completing all of the above tasks in a timely fashion to ensure publication deadlines set by the Editor are met
  • Review submissions to Press Start when necessary
  • Answer queries from authors and prospective authors via the Press Start Facebook Group
  • Communicate with other board members about submissions and Press Start matters in a group chat (Facebook/Discord)
  • Take part in Editorial Board conference calls e.g. by Skype/Discord (every few months/ usually no more than four times per year)
  • Promote the journal online, at your local institution, and at relevant events
  • Potentially take part (either in person or online) in academic conference panels/workshops (no more than once a year, if decided as a board to submit)
  • Mentor new editorial board members

Board members should possess good reading and writing skills (Press Start is published in English) and should be able to work independently and reliably to fulfill the duties outlined above in a timely manner.

Please also note that since game studies is a multi-discipline which is enriched by various approaches, board members do not have to identify as game studies researchers.

Eligibility criteria for appointment to the Board are identical to those that govern eligibility to publish in Press Start: Board members must be currently enrolled students, or be no more than one year post-graduation at time of appointment. Appointment to the Board is for at least one year (or the equivalent of at least two issues of the journal) in the first instance; however, we may ask eligible members to remain on the Board, to help ensure continuity and to facilitate knowledge sharing.

To be considered for a Board position, please email the Editor Mahli-Ann Butt at mahli-ann.butt@sydney.edu.au with a short biographical statement (up to 100 words) and a short explanation of what you think Press Start Journal can do for early career researchers starting out in game studies (300 words). Specifically, outlining what you see as valuable or what makes a good review, as well as what you would like Press Start be able to do for students – including people of colour, non-male students, and second-language writers needing to publish in English. We encourage nominations, references, and letters of support from supervisors. You may also submit your CV along with your statement.

Priority will be given to those who have previously reviewed for, or published with, Press Start. You can register as a reviewer here. We are aiming to have the new Board in place by April 2019. Please submit your statement and bio by March 1. If you have any queries, you can message our friendly Facebook group here, or please send Mahli-Ann an email at the above address. Do feel free to share this announcement.

For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a paid appointment! It is a voluntary position, which provides excellent experience of working on an inclusive peer-reviewed publication, should look great on any CV or resume, and will help build our academic community of early career games researchers.

Queerness & Video Games Special Issue of Game Studies

Amanda Phillips and Bo Ruberg are very proud to announce that the “Queerness & Video Games” special issue of Game Studies is now out! The issue includes eleven original peer-review articles on a variety of topics relating to queerness, gender, sexuality, games, and play, as well as an introduction from the special issue editors, Amanda and Bo. They hope that you will have the chance to read, teach, and share this wonderful and important collection of work:
- “Not Gay as in Happy: Queer Resistance and Video Games” (introduction), Bo Ruberg and Amanda Phillips
This issue has been a number of years in the making and represents the hard work of many, many people — including the authors, the reviewers, the Game Studies editors, and our supportive network of colleagues in queer game studies and queer game communities.