CfP: Video Game Policy: Rules of Play (Edited Book)

Digital games as cultural artifacts are some of the most technically complex, intellectual provocative, ethically challenging and politically contentious products in contemporary society. Yet we often overlook the abstract, seemingly invisible forces that govern so many aspects of the medium’s production and consumption, summarized aptly in one word: policy. The answers to such pivotal questions as “is this game suitable for our society?”, “what role do games have in society?”, “who is allowed to play games?”, “do people own what they create in games?”, and “what kind of games do people want?” are all mediated by governmental, industrial and corporate policies. Such codification has an inescapable effect upon the most popular entertainment medium of the 21st century, yet the codes themselves remain largely unexamined. This book aims to change this through a provocative and insightful analysis of all kinds of policies that impact digital games.

The editors of this collection are soliciting book chapters (approx. 6000-8000 words) that engage with video game policies. Questions that might guide authors are:

  • What are the national policies affecting video game production, circulation, or consumption?
  • What are the local politics and policies and how do these affect the computer game complex?
  • How does the multinational or international market affect video games and policies?
  • What are the policies that govern what people have access to and play? (Consider distribution policies, social network policies such as Facebook, or store policies such as what Game Stop stocks and why.)
  • What are key court cases and how have they created policy? How are those policies enforced?
  • How do rating systems enact industry or government policies? How do these systems affect the production, circulation, and consumption of games
  • What are the policies that dictate intellectual property and ownership? How do companies and consumers navigate this or are affected by this?

The above is not an exhaustive list; however, the questions point to the power that the policies of government, local law agencies, industries, and distribution channels have in affecting the production and consumption of computer games.

If you are interested in contributing to this collection, please submit a 300-500 word abstract by September 15th, 2013 to either Steven Conway at sconway@swin.edu.au or Jennifer deWinter at jdewinter@wpi.edu. Final drafts due March 15th, 2014.

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