CfP: Chapters for “Video Games and Religion: Methods and Approaches”

Video games pervade much of society regardless of age or gender and
open new forms of representation, entangling narrative, audiovisuals,
spatiality, game mechanics and code into dynamic and interactive
cultural artifacts. Video games increasingly refer to religious
mythologies and belief systems but also, video games with an
explicitly religious content appear on the market, coming from diverse
religious traditions and multifaceted backgrounds, ranging from
proselytization to education and cultural dialogue. Nevertheless, do
gamers actually apprehend and discuss these religious or religion
influenced game-immanent narratives as they play.

In the last decade, the research on video games and religion has
proliferated, yielding a number of monographs and edited volumes, as
well as numerous book chapters, journal articles and conference
presentations. Despite the importance of these studies, the existing
research provides rather anecdotal evidence on the subject matter and
varies greatly in aims, subjects, and methods.

Video Games and Religion: Methods and Approaches
Proposals Submission Deadline: January 15, 2015
Full Chapters Due: May 30, 2015
Editors: Vit Sisler (Charles University in Prague), Kerstin
Radde-Antweiler (University of Bremen), Xenia Zeiler (University of

The Edited Volume’s Objective
As the field of religion and video game studies expands, the need
grows to develop and systematize scholarly work on methodological
issues. This Edited Volume attempts to fill that void, theoretically
as well as empirically, by bringing together scholars in the field and
investigating the possible methodological ways in which the
intersections of religion and video games can be studied.
As stated above, many video games “play” with religious symbols or
construct symbolic social and religious universes. Therefore, most of
the previous analysis focused on game-immanent religious narratives
and applied the respectively necessary methods. This Edited Volume
aims at transcending this media-centered logic and at also including
an actor-centered research, discussing the role and impact of
religious narratives within video games on the people playing and
discussing them.

The Edited Volume’s and Chapter’s Structure
Video games when researched must be understood as comprising of
different levels, such as the game itself, the games designers, the
gamers’ performance, the user generated contents on the games (You
Tube, Let’s Plays, Forums), and the gamers themselves in their
mediatized worlds. Therefore, we deal with diverse research materials
that require different methodical approaches.
The aim of this Edited Volume is to collect and systematize the
various multidisciplinary methods and approaches and to discuss the
application (including advantages and limits) of the respective
methods. Each chapter should therefore focus
on a specific method or methodology. Each chapter must discuss the
theoretical background, summarize the existing research, and describe
the methodology, as well as it needs to provide a practical case study
illuminating how the described methodology directly contributes to the
study of religion and video games.

Recommended Topics
Topics include, but are not limited to:
* discourse analysis of religious content in video games,
* analysis of religious symbols in video games,
* analyzing of representation of religion through rule system,
* reception and audience studies, e.g. network analysis
* ethnographic research of gamers or games designer, e.g. online
participant observation and interviews
* quantitative methods, e.g. market research on customer behaviour

The manuscript will be submitted in the Routledge Studies in Religion
and Digital Culture series, edited by Gregory Price Grieve, Heidi
Campbell and Mia Lövheim. We anticipate the book to be published in
Submission Procedure

Authors are invited to submit latest by January 15, 2015, a max. 1,000
words long chapter proposal clearly explaining the aim and
methodological background of his or her proposed chapter, including
the proposed case studies. Authors of accepted proposals will be sent
chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by May
30, 2015. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind
review basis.

January 15, 2015: Proposal Submission Deadline
January 31, 2015: Authors will be notified upon acceptance
May 30, 2015: Full Chapter Submission
July 30, 2015: Review Results Returned
October 15, 2015: Revised Chapter Submission

Vit Sisler (, Kerstin Radde-Antweiler
(, Xenia Zeiler (


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