Call: Gamevironments of the Past – Video Games and History (special issue)

CALL FOR PAPERS – Special issue of Gamevironments:
GAMEVIRONMENTS OF THE PAST – Video Games and History.

Guest editors: Derek Fewster (derek.fewster@helsinki.fi) and Ylva Grufstedt (ylva.grufstedt@helsinki.fi).

The journal invites researchers to submit their work to Gamevironments (http://www.gamevironments.uni-bremen.de/) for possible publication in a special issue due December 2016.

A significant portion of video games contain historic elements of some description. In some cases, games exhibit representations of people, places and events of the past. In others, the historic element draws broadly on cultural understandings of concepts such as time, causality, continuity and change. Some games employ a self-reflexive historic discourse in making references to other games or cultural elements in general. In other words, ideas and expressions about the past in video games, range from the traditionally historiographic to historical practices with implications on related topics such as culture, religion, ethics and morality, rites and traditions, as well as intertextuality, education and politics. Furthermore, games do not only express ideas but constitute a unique form of interaction and agency, the performance of play and communicational processes, which challenge previous understandings of community and collectiveness with regards to the past. In an effort to collect new research and perspectives on these themes, Gamevironments seeks paper proposals for an issue with focus on history. We wish to collect results as well as theoretical, methodological and other scientific approaches to both disciplines and games, in a broad sense.

Papers may thus explore any aspect of the relationship between video games and conceived history, including religious and cultural practices. For example, but not limited to:

  • Design principles and restrictions based on scholarly theories known in the humanities and the social sciences
  • General senses of historicity and historical thinking (Geschichtsbewusstsein) in video games, regardless of genre
  • The use of historical sources and imagery for creating environments, styles, art, soundscapes, traditions, languages, lore, myths, religions or any sense of adapted yet plausible realism
  • The use of geographical anchoring and maps, and other representations of locations and space
  • The use of tropes, allusions, Easter eggs, stereotypes, storylines, literary references, conspiracy theories or narrative structures
  • Counterfactual speculations and alternate timelines
  • Approaches to creating fictive religious systems
  • Issues of beliefs, ideas, ideologies, politics, ethics, morality, and agency in games
  • Video games as serious or educational
  • Video games as modern historiography
  • Video games as historical culture (Geschichtskultur)
  • Video games as elements, adjusters or renewers of a collective and narrative memory
  • Video games as history politics, including e.g. themes of historical traumatization, nationalism, racism, emancipation, gender, ethnic identities, totalitarianism, or religious dogma Studies related to any of the above mentioned ideas, or other similar topics, are welcome as submission to this issue.

Submission deadlines:
Title and abstract submission (approx. 200 words): 31.03.2016
Full text submission: 15.07.2016
Review results returned: 15.09.2016
Revised text submission: 15.11.2016
Online publication: 31.12.2016

Gamevironments is a peer-reviewed online journal hosted at the University of Bremen, Germany. The journal is an international and multidisciplinary collaboration effort by the two editors-in-chief, Kerstin Radde-Antweiler from the University of Bremen in Germany and Xenia Zeiler from the University of Helsinki in Finland. 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.

Please consult the Gamevironments submission style sheet before submitting your paper, http://www.gamevironments.uni-bremen.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/gv-stylesheet.pdf, as well as our Help Desk (http://www.gamevironments.uni-bremen.de/submission-guideline/) for some general principles. Please send any queries, texts and articles as RTF files to both of the issue editors, i.e. to Derek Fewster and Ylva Grufstedt.

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