CfP: Cinegames: Convergent Media and the Aesthetic Turn (special issue)

CFP – Cinegames: Convergent Media and the Aesthetic Turn
Issue editors: Stephen M. Norris (Miami University, Ohio, USA) and Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds, UK)

Deadline for submission: 1 September 2011

It is unquestionable that over the past few years the relationship between film and computer games has become increasingly complex. With advances in filming and editing technologies the convergence of two visual media is inevitable: cyber-narratives and cinematic narratives, both forms of visual narration and representation, have increasingly become blurred. Recent scholarship has highlighted the story-telling potential of computer games. An increasing number of computer games now tell historical, political and social stories that once were only in the purview of filmmakers. Popular films now frequently employ first-person shooter game techniques. Films have also served as the source of inspiration for popular video games while games have often provided the scripts for feature films. Thus, this special issue aims to explore the process of hybridisation of film and computer gaming in Russia, Eurasia and Central Europe, or what we can now call ‘cinegames’.

We are particularly interested in-but not limited by-the following questions: What are the historical, political and cultural factors that have created Cinegames in the region? How have video games transformed film spectatorship? What is the political potential of socio-cultural practices that involve both film and computer games? What is the new temporal economy of films that are based on computer games? How do films enrich the ludic experience of gamers? What is the role of fan activity in establishing links between films and games? What is the impact of film-game hybrids on the existing system of film genres? What is the critical perception of such films in the counties in the region? What is the role of such films and games in the processing of rebuilding national entertainment industries in the post-totalitarian countries? How do film-game products respond to global cultural trends and engage with national cultural traditions? Is it possible to apply the theoretical framework of transnational cinema to such films?

We invite submissions that explore the connection between film and computer gaming in a number of ways, for example: a) questions of promotion, marketing and consumption, i.e. exploring how film studios utilise websites that include games for promotion of their products and/or how video game companies work with filmmakers to market their products; b) as an issue of representation, i.e. examining the aesthetic potential of footage taken from computer games in such diverse films as Timur Bekmambetov’s blockbuster Night Watch (2004) and Aleksei Popogrebskii’s art house How I Ended This Summer (2010); c) as an issue of fandom and mediated communication, i.e. considering the role of blogs, social media and online games in constructing the imaginary environment; d) as cultural and historical phenomena, i.e. examining how games and films help commemorate the nation, such as the online project S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as well as computer games based on World War II and recycled imagery from Soviet war films; and e) as a theoretical issue looking at films such as Aleksandr Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2003) that effectively functions as a first person shooter in the interiors of the Hermitage.

Text-based academic entries in English, German or Russian, and/or submissions in other genres, styles and form, reflecting the nature of the medium, by scholars, politicians, artists and cultural practitioners are welcome and will be considered for publication. For more information please visit the journal’s website, or
write to the editor

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