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[ecrea] Call for Papers: " Video game subcultures – Playing at the periphery of mainstream culture "
Sun Apr 28 00:52:33 GMT 2013
DEADLINE EXTENSION – Call for Papers:
" Video game subcultures – Playing at the periphery of mainstream culture "
G|A|M|E – Games as Art, Media, Entertainment –
The Italian Journal of Game Studies –
Peer-Reviewed Monograph – out Autumn 2013
Marco Benoit Carbone (University College London)
and Paolo Ruffino (Goldsmiths, University of London / Centre for Digital
Cultures, Leuphana University)
NEW DEADLINE for abstracts submission: 5th May
Call for papers:
Hardly identifiable with a unique audience, video games are an ever
growing variety of texts and practices, with diverse technological,
aesthetic, and cultural features. They form a complex, protean, and
stratified medium, involving different kinds of audiences. They are
addressed to the male and female markets alike, propose forms of family
entertainment, welcome casual gamers as well as 'hardcore' players, and
are equivalently sold to children, teenagers and over-35s. Furthermore,
their reception in different countries and regions (Asia, Europe, USA,
Australia) highlights very different uses and segmentations in relation
to audiences and other media.
However, even as “gamers” are increasingly hard to define in stratified
and multi-faceted markets, it is not clear whether or not the production
of games actually articulates an equally nuanced series of relations
between “local” content and “global” recipients. This posits a question
regarding the possibility of games to actually entail cultural
specificity in regard to their authors and their place of origin, as
most of them are transnational titles that apparently replicate similar
game mechanics, regardless of their countries and agents of production.
From this standpoint, the medium of the video game is largely supported
by global industries, proposing over-arching cultural standards for
aesthetics and narratives.
The overall historical processes have shaped a pervasive yet apparently
homogenized medium, whose symbols and references today are part of a
larger visual and pop culture, embraced and celebrated by escalating
numbers of supporters.
These aspects have implications on the ideological and political level.
As video game culture is becoming pervasive and influential on a global
scale, game creators and audiences have also been producing narratives
of “independence”. Games are allegedly emerging as a medium for personal
expression or collective engagement for addressing social causes.
However, despite these claims that the medium may be actually a new and
burgeoning vessel for works of social resistance, it has rarely been
questioned exactly which forms of connivance, subversion, or deviation
might, could or should emerge from games, or whether these practices
would remain entrenched in the systems that produce them.
This issue of G|A|M|E aims to investigate the above issues relating to
the audiences, the different practices, and the possible ideologies at
work in this medium, in the contexts of the economic systems in which
games are made and consumed. Not only G|A|M|E encourages scholars to
look at these forms of cultural productions by mapping their possible
socio-cultural specificities or categorizing their relations to the
“mainstream” industry, but it also encourages to raise questions about
the very possibility of defining gamers as one or more subcultures.
Considering the complexity of this topic and the uncountable forms of
experiences which could belong to it, G|A|M|E invites game scholars and
practitioners alike. This Call accepts contributions in the form of
papers, but short texts and visual examples are also welcome. We will
consider proposals from game scholars as well as artists, game
designers, hackers, journalists, players.
**Further research questions might include, but are not limited to:
– Have gamers as a subculture ever existed, and in which ways?
– Does the controversial opposition between "mainstream" and
"subculture" hold any value for the medium of the video game?
– Is it possible to claim or demonstrate that video gaming has gone
mainstream at some point in some context?
– How has this very idea been developed inside the journalistic and
critical video game culture (e.g., as “hardcore” vs. “casual” games and
– Is there any particular correspondence between types/genres/themes and
particular (gaming) subcultures?
– How does the industrial process of making and marketing games address
to different clusters of consumers?
– Is it possible to claim recognition for the medium without falling
into apocalyptic or redemptive narratives (“all games are bad” / “good”)?
– What kind of overlap is there between the consumption of games and
other media in terms of the audiences?
–Are games defined more by their internal logic or from the aesthetic
and figurative aspects they carry?
game art; indie games; online communities; arcades; age; sex; race;
gender: minorities; hacking; modding; homebrew; abandonware; consumer
culture; culture jamming; mainstream; subculture; underground;
New deadline for abstracts: 5th May
Notification of acceptance: 10th May
All accepted abstracts will be expected to submit a full paper by the
19th of July
We expect to release this special issue in Autumn 2013
Proposals and questions to
(subcultures /at/ gamejournal.it)
G|A|M|E Games as Art, Media, Entertainment
The Italian Journal of Game Studies
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