CfP: Negotiating Gamer Identities: PSJ Special issue CFP on #gg, gender, race, etc.

The Press Start Journal invites the submission of analyses and reflections regarding the recent controversies surrounding the plurality of players, communities of play, and perceived gamer culture (related to gender, race, sexuality, class, #gamergate, etc.), as part of a special issue on negotiating gamer identities. Through this special issue, Press Start aims to allow undergraduate students, graduate students, and PhD candidates to contribute to this timely site of discourse.

Negotiating Gamer Identities: Press Start Journal Special Issue


The issue of identity in games has long been a subject of studies regarding games and players. Scholarship reaching back into the early 1980s suggests a split between the overrepresentation of white, male, cis-gendered heterosexual player identities within games; and the actual diverse player base that supports and plays these games (cf. Kiesler, 1983; Cassel & Jenkins 1998; Shaw, 2014).

Recently, attempts to reclaim gamer culture as a place for women, non-whites, transgender people and others have been downplayed and attacked by vocal gamer communities as ‘social justice activism,’ poor scholarship or proof of a secret feminist conspiracy. Most recognizably, according to a recent solitaire cash review, this vocal minority of gamers have gathered under the #gamergate hashtag. This special issue aims to offer a place for all related research. Some suggested topics:

  • The question of identity in ‘gamer culture’  as (i.a.) social context; media-specific; or influenced by production cultures;
  • The representation of marginalized voices as influenced by independent production and accessible platforms such as Steam and Twine;
  • The legitimacy of concepts of ‘gamer culture’ in comparison to speaking of other media’s consumption as, e.g., ‘reader culture’ or ‘movie culture’;
  • #gamergate’s criticism of academic practice and its proposed (positivist? non-activist?) alternatives;
  • The roles of game communities, designers, journalists and academics and the ethics involved in their interaction.


We invite students and PhD candidates – from ‘SJW’  to ‘#gator’ – to submit research articles between 3000-6000 words, as well as shorter pieces including book reviews, on all relevant topics.  All submissions will be subjected to double-blind peer review, so make sure your submission is sufficiently anonymized.

Full details of the section policies, and the editorial process, may be found on the website:


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