CFP: Postcolonial Perspectives in Game Studies / Abstract Deadline: 15 December, 2016

Posted by on 2016-09-19

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Since the first key publications in the nineties on videogames research in Humanities and Social Sciences contexts, the field of Game Studies has become an established platform for discussion and debate on how games contribute to our cultural, social and aesthetic experiences. Game Studies has, consequently, taken up debates on diversity and inclusion, time and again. Following the return of radical reactionary and conservative forces across the globe, the recent bigoted GamerGate controversy provoked incisive discussions on gender, and questions of race in games have also been at the forefront of such debates. Not much, however, has been said about the representation of colonialism, empire and neo-colonialism in videogames although some of the very earliest games have featured these issues, sometimes in problematic ways. As games perpetuate past and present global power structures in relation to inequalities in material wealth, exploitation of labor, and hegemonic articulations of history and the Other, it is necessary for game studies not only to bring these issues to light, but also critically to analyse the relationship between videogames and existing postcolonial power relationships. Analysing games as disparate as Age of Empires, Far Cry 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry reveal intrinsic questions about how the ludic relates to colonialism and how it informs the postcolonial experience. 

This open access special issue of the Open Library of Humanities multidisciplinary journal aims to bring questions of Postcolonialism to the forefront of game studies. An often underexplored and neglected area in the domain of studying both digital and analogue games, a critique of the (mis)representation of Orientalist attitudes, race, hybridity, notions of space and the fragmented postcolonial identities is urgently required. We therefore seek submissions that provide critical analysis of colonial representations in games and challenge notions of colonial hegemonic power structures.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Colonialism / Neocolonialism / Postcolonialism / Imperialism
  • The Other / Alterity
  • Decolonization
  • Hegemony
  • Orientalism
  • Postcolonial praxis
  • Global capitalism / economy
  • Self-representation / voice / agency
  • Subalternity
  • Indigenous culture
  • Religion(s) / Language(s) / Nationalism(s)
  • Thirdspace
  • Eurocentrism
  • Game studies & politics of knowledge

Research articles should be approximately 8,000 words in length, including references and a short bibliography.

Submissions should comprise of:

  • Abstract (250 words)
  • Full-length article (8,000 words)
  • Author information (short biographical statement of 200 words)

Please submit abstracts to Emil Hammar (emil.hammar@uit.no) by 15th December 2016.

Submissions should be made online at https://olh.openlibhums.org/submit/start/ in accordance with the author guidelines and clearly marking the entry as [“Postcolonial Game Studies” SPECIAL COLLECTION]. Submissions will then undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Authors will be notified of the outcome as soon as reports are received. Authors will be notified about the acceptance of their submissions by 16th January 2017. Final essays should be within the range of approx. 8,000 words, submitted as a Word or Rich Text Format. For abstract submissions that have been accepted, full papers will be due by Friday 28th April 2017. For more information please contact the co-editors.

The special collection, edited by Dr Souvik Mukherjee (Presidency University, Kolkata) and Emil Hammar (University of Tromsø, Norway), is to be published in the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) (ISSN 2056-6700). The Open Library of Humanities journal is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded multidiscplinary humanities journal with a strong emphasis on quality peer review and a prestigious academic steering board. Unlike some open access publications, the OLH has no author-facing charges and is instead financially supported by an international consortium of libraries.

To learn more about the Open Library of Humanities please visit: https://www.openlibhums.org/

Featured image by Colony of Gamers under a CC BY-NC license.


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