CfP: Transmissions (Journal of Film and Media Studies): Game Studies at the crossroads

Call for Papers for 2017 vol.2, issue 2

Game Studies at the crossroads
Investigating troublesome lines of the intersection between videogame studies and other disciplines.
Edited by: Jan K. Argasinski (Jagiellonian University, Poland)

Studying computer games is an area which has become autonomous for some time now. Emerged from traditional media and literary studies, anthropology, sociology, psychology and computer science, it has established enfranchised methodology, an autonomic set of fundamental problems, its own debates about principles and literature that is considered classical and representative[i].

One of the events that are now weighed as foundational to the field is the so-called “ludology-narratology debate”. It dates back to 1998 article by Gonzalo Frasca[ii] where he recalled the term ludology: “to describe a yet non-existent discipline that would focus on the study of games in general and videogames in particular. It was a call for a set of theoretical tools that would be for gaming what narratology was for narrative.”[iii] Discussion that involved such researchers as Espen Aarseth, Markku Eskelinen or Henry Jenkins has weakened with time and today is considered a historical fact rather than a real source of controversy.[iv] It showed, however, that a relatively new discipline, born at the intersection of several well-established domains, is likely to become a training ground where many scholars are willing to test their theoretical toolkits.

Today game studies are, as it has already been stated, an independent field of knowledge. However, despite the fact that many universities have established research positions and institutional centres dealing mainly with the subject of video games – the domain continues to be practised by people who come out of the traditionally partitioned theoretical background. It leads to the emergence of numerous complications at the intersection of the traditionally enrolled fields and study of games.

In the next issue of “TransMissions”, we would like to address this problem. We are particularly interested in “inflammatory lines” between such disciplines as classically understood literary studies, film studies, media studies, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, psychology, computer science and game studies. Specifically, our concern is on border issues, extremes and ever increasing disagreements. We will be delighted to receive academic as well as research-based papers covering topics such as:

– recent directions, open problems in games studies; What are currently most interesting problems in the area? How do contemporary media studies and philosophy influence transformations in game related thought?
– new methodologies in games research; Big data, data mining, digital humanities, cultural analytics, performative access, software/platform studies, the culture of remix, locative investigation and others.
– fringe, peripheral theories regarding the practice of play;
– testing theoretical concepts in practice; polemics; We are particularly interested in “field reports” from conducted studies, reports on failed experiments, new looks on commonly known thought experiments and in polemics with existing literature.
– “inflammatory lines” between various digital media and video games (both theoretical and applied);
– video games as/and art;
– the subversive and transgressive capacity of games;
– games and management; gamification; Corporate exploitation of gamification. Hype and controversies (i.e. [4]).
– games and disability – accessibility, representation;
– games as war technologies;
– serious games;
– games and identity studies – women, ethnic and sexual minorities in games production, distribution, reception; gamergate;

We are open to suggestions from researchers as to their own topics within the subject matter.

We expect 300-500 word abstracts to be sent to magda.zdrodowska@uj.edu.pl till 15 June 2017.
Publication schedule:
Submission of abstracts: 15 June 2017
Notification of abstract acceptance: 30 June 2017
Submission of full papers:  31 August 2017
Notification of papers acceptance: 15 October 2017
Publication date: Winter 2017

[i] Mayra F., An Introduction to Game Studies, SAGE 2008.
[ii] Frasca G., Ludology Meets Narratology: Similitude and differences between (video)games and narrative, http://ludology.org/articles/ludology.htm
[iii] Frasca G., Ludologists love stories, too: notes from a debate that never took place, http://www.ludology.org/articles/Frasca_LevelUp2003.pdf
[iv] Bogost I., Why Gamification is Bullshit, [in:] Waltz S., Deterding S., [eds], The Gameful World, MIT Press 2014.

call for papers

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