Gamevironments seeks to explore both established approaches and new frontiers of researching video games/gaming as related to religion, culture, and society. The journal encourages inter- and multidisciplinary works combining for example Cultural Studies, History, Religious studies, Theology, Ludology, and Psychology. There is one regular issue per year, which is published in summer. Additionally, gamevironments aims at publishing one special issue on a specific topic per year, in winter. Call for Papers for upcoming issues will be widely advertized. All submitted articles will be reviewed on a double-blind peer-review basis.

Please consult the Gamevironments submission style sheet before submitting your paper, as well as the Help Desk for some general principles.

All submitted articles will be reviewed on a double-blind peer-review basis.

CALL FOR PAPERS – REGULAR ISSUE 2022

Possible formats for submission include:
a) regular academic articles
b) interviews
c) research reports
d) book reviews
e) game reviews

If you are ready, please send your contribution as an RTF file to games2@uni-bremen.de.

Full Chapter Submission: 1. February 2022


CALL FOR PAPERS – SPECIAL ISSUE: 


SPECIAL ISSUE

This Time it’s for all the Marbles.
Towards Social Justice in Digital Gaming
edited by Patrick Prax

Digital games are a central element of contemporary media ecology both in terms of playing and making games, but also as an anchor point for communities and cultures. The impact games and gaming have on our societies is both hard to define and undeniable. They extend towards increased access to cultural production and creativity, allowing people to be social in isolation, and to expand the social imaginary. At the same time, they are related to exploitation and precarity, isolate people under the guise of sociability, and are connected to xenophobic and bigoted movements that threaten democratic values and civic liberties.

While these are not issues that are exclusive to game it can be argued that gaming as a culture, community, and environment warrant attention here because of their central role for contemporary culture, creative industries, and digital platforms. The gaming community has regrettably been the training ground for alt-right politics that are successfully being used globally to de-stabilize democratic discourses and it is still a central recruitment pool for said radical movements. This makes it important to investigate the environment of games and gaming for understanding the current political changes towards xenophobia, white supremacy, nationalism, and fascism where games and game communities are a puzzle piece that should not be left out of the picture. The issue does see games here as a part of contemporary political and cultural zeitgeist, but also as material media that is produced and consumed in specific socio-economic context. This means that also perspectives that center on the economic and political conditions of game production and marketing are seen as relevant to these questions. That said, games and game culture are also spaces that brim with potential for critical and inclusive work. Game workers as well as the communities around games can be the creative anchor-point, the ground zero, or the staging area for organizing towards collective action towards more respectful and equitable futures.

This special issue aims to examine the ways in which games and gaming are connected to and potentially accelerate undemocratic and bigoted movements while high-lighting projects and perspectives from games that contribute to social justice.

The special issue has been created based on the submissions to the Game Studies Temporary Working Group at the NordMedia 2021 conference. We invite diverse, critical, activist, and political work connected to games and game culture from a number of perspectives inside the ecosystem of games: designers, scholars, journalists, activists, workplace agitators, community managers, and player creators.

In this special issue, we want to extend beyond purely academic work in order to highlight steps taken towards social justice in gaming, wherever they may be found and whatever they may look like. This means that in addition to the journal’s traditional formats of peer-reviewed articles, we are also including a call for reports of practical efforts towards social justice both to share best practices and to learn from challenges and mistakes. The precise format for such reports can be discussed with the editor.

Topics for the all forms of contributions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Using games for social change, both in changing discourse and practice
  • Empowering facilitators of social change through games or play
  • Gaming as the ecosystem for inclusion or exclusion
  • Exploitation in games and gaming
  • Organizing and political agitation in games and gaming
  • Making visible the structures of bigotry, sexism, and white supremacy to be able to fight them
  • Discrimination, toxicity
  • Critical epistemologies for political resistance 
  • Gaming and its relation to fascism
  • The military-entertainment complex and ways to resist it
  • Black and indigenous-led perspectives on gaming
  • Game culture and the framing of politics
  • The politics of game production
  • Critical Game literacy
  • Political economy of game production and marketing
  • Gaming and civic society
  • The role of games and gaming in the rise of fascism

GUIDELINES
For all forms of contributions please submit a title and 300-word abstract to Patrick Prax (patrick.prax@speldesign.uu.se) by 1. February 2022.
Possible formats for submission include:

  • regular academic articles
  • reports
  • interviews
  • book reviews
  • game reviews
  • reports of practical effort

Guideline for “Reports of practical efforts”
For reports of practical efforts, please submit a short description of the effort (300 words) as well as a contextualization of where this happened. Please explain briefly what you consider to be the take-away for future actions, both in terms of what can work or what does not. The editors are prepared to discuss questions regarding anonymity.

Please include pictures and media if you have them. Keep your language clear and concise.

All articles submitted will be subject to double-blind peer-review. 

Here you find more information on submission formats and guidelines.

TIMELINE
Title and abstract submission: 1. February 2022
Full text submission: 1. June 2022


CALL FOR PAPERS – SPECIAL ISSUE: 


SPECIAL ISSUE

Teaching with Games: Educational Gaming in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
edited by Tim Hutchings

This special issue invites contributions that address the history and future of educational gaming, with particular attention to the fields of religious studies, theology, philosophy and ethics. While the representation and influence of religion in mainstream games has been studied extensively, we argue that much less attention has been paid to games developed specifically for the purpose of exploring religious, ethical and philosophical perspectives. This issue challenges that oversight, calling for fresh attention to the ways in which games and gaming have been adopted for didactic purposes within religious communities, ethical campaign groups, academic contexts and beyond. We invite discussion of any and all kinds of games, including videogames, boardgames and other game formats.

Since the 1980s, more than 1500 videogames have been created by and for religious communities, as demonstrated by the extraordinary archive produced by Vivian Gonzalez (http://www.religiousgames.org/). Videogames and playful virtual environments have also been produced by academic teams for educational purposes, from elaborate religious environments constructed in Second Life to new virtual reality settings that locate the user within religious and ethical situations. One pioneering example is The Durga Puja Mystery, an educational game created by Xenia Zeiler and Flying Robot Studios in 2020. Other games take a more questioning approach to religion and ethics, forcing players to reckon with the consequences of religious hypocrisy and spiritual abuse, or challenging players to wrestle with moral conundrums that threaten to compromise their values and commitments. What unites these games, and gives a shared focus to this special issue, is their intention to guide the player through a process of change and formation.

This special issue invites contributions in a wide range of formats. Peer-reviewed journal articles are welcomed, but we will also consider research reports, game reviews, interviews with game developers, reports from the classroom and reports on games currently under development. Potential authors are encouraged to contact the editor to discuss ideas for theme and format.

Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects are welcome, including research informed by religious studies, philosophy and other humanities disciplines. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • studies of games from all religious, spiritual or ethical traditions
  • games inspired by sacred texts and stories
  • games that promote social justice or social change
  • philosophical analysis of the ethics of educational/formational games
  • studies of discourses around gaming in religious or educational contexts
  • evaluation of the impact of educational games in religious or ethical settings
  • new trends and developments in educational or formative gaming
  • educational uses of innovative gaming technologies, including virtual reality
  • case studies of innovative educational games
  • reports on the use of games in the classroom

SUBMISSION DETAILS
Journal articles should be 5-8000 words in length and will be subject to double-blind peer review. Reviews, interviews and other formats will be reviewed by the special issue editor. Submission guidelines can be found here and the journal style guide can be found here. There is no article processing charge.

Authors are encouraged to use images but will be required to request permission from copyright-holders when needed.

TIMELINE
For all contributions, please submit a title, a 300-word abstract and a 100-word biographical statement about each author.

Send this to guest editor Tim Hutchings at tim.hutchings@nottingham.ac.uk by 30th June 2022.

Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 15 July 2022

Full text submission of all contributions: 15 December 2022