Archive for July 2015

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]

[ecrea] CfP The Other Caillois - Games and Culture

Mon Jul 13 14:43:17 GMT 2015

Call for Papers
Games and Culture

Guest editors: Marco Benoît Carbone and Paolo Ruffino

The other Caillois
Game studies beyond Man, Play and Games

Throughout the emergence of video games studies, the reception of
French intellectual and game theorist Roger Caillois has been
contradictory. On the one hand Caillois, along with other influential
contributions on game practices, provided a springboard for discourses
on video games that sought to frame them as dignified cultural forms
within the established philosophical domain of play. On the other
hand, while using Caillois as an unavoidable benchmark, video game
scholars have focused mostly or exclusively on Man, Play and Games
(1958, trans. 1961), increasingly criticising it as a descriptive and
positivist work. This seems to contradict a parallel and possibly much
stronger intellectual legacy (and critique) of Caillois as a
transversal, a-systematic and provocative thinker. Aligned with a
critique of positivism that can be traced to Nietzsche, Caillois
exerted a decisive influence on authors like Jean Baudrillard (see The
Intelligence of Evil and the Lucidity Pact, 2004, trans. 2005).
Caillois notably envisioned a resort to “diagonal sciences” that could
decisively (and often controversially) cut through established
approaches to play, myth, the sacred, art, and politics. Challenging
what could be argued to be a unilateral reception of this author, this
issue of Games and Culture provides an opportunity to envision a more
complex relation between Caillois and game studies beyond the shoehorn
model of text-book interpretation.

By looking at game studies in light of Caillois’ strikingly manifold
production, this issue encourages debates on his appropriation by
emerging approaches and novel analyses of his allegedly essentialist
or positivist view of games, through engagement with a broader
understanding of his complex intellectual trajectory. Authors are
encouraged to consider historicised analyses of the field of games
studies, aiming at disentangling how Caillois has been received and
individuating specific interests behind the uses of his theory. We
also look forward to receiving analyses highlighting aspects such as
his reception in disciplinary context, across different traditions,
countries and languages where his works have been made diversely
available. Finally we encourage original, focused analyses of games,
in all their forms and with particular attention to electronic and
digital practices, inspired by the diverse approaches to society, the
individual, and their practice in the light of Caillois’ perspectives.
We will gladly welcome applications aiming to a more comprehensive
understanding of Caillois’ work in relation to games and to hitherto
unexplored critical vistas. An unashamedly cross-disciplinary
collection, this issue of Games and Culture will boast rigorous,
historicised, contextualized contributions to games through the lens
of the other Caillois.

Themes for this issue may include but are not limited to:

– Play and games in Caillois within and beyond Man, Play and Games.

- How the notion of mimicry, crucial in the early work of Caillois,
could let us re-imagine the relation gamer-game (see Mimicry and
Legendary Psychasthenia, 1936, trans. 1984).

- How Caillois' work on the interrelationship between sacred and
profane could contribute to the on-going debates about and around the
notion of the magic circle (see Man and the Sacred, 1939, trans.

- The use of games for doing things (serious games, gamification etc.)
and the lives of things that Caillois describes in early contributions
such as The Writing of Stones (1970, trans. 1985).

– Transversal approaches to video games: philosophy, sociology,
anthropology, media studies.

- Magic beans and acephalous sciences: play, imaginative thought and
intellectual provocation in the texts of the Surrealist thinkers who
worked in close relationship with Caillois.

– Standing on the shoulders of giants: game studies and intellectual

– Video games and gambling: games of chances, game addictions.

– Video games on and off the screen: embodiment, urges and rituals.

 – Video games as vertigo: beyond the pedagogical paradigm.

 – Video games, society, and the sacred: entertainment,
representations, beliefs.

 – Caillois and the others: comparative game analyses through Caillois
and other thinkers that were inspired by his thought.

Please submit an initial proposal of 1,000 words (exc. references) by
the 25th of September 2015. This should be sent as a word document or
PDF to the contact emails specified at the end of this call. The
proposal should describe the topic and outline the main aims or
argument of the article. It should include an indicative list of

Authors of submitted proposals will be notified by the 16th of October, 2015.

Authors of successful proposals will then be asked to submit a full
article (no more than 8,000 words) by the 4th of December, 2015.
Articles should be submitted to

The full articles will undergo a double-blind peer review process. For
details of how to submit to Games and Culture and of the peer review
process, see:
Accepted articles will be published in the Autumns 2016 issue of Games
and Culture.

This issue will be edited by Marco Benoît Carbone and Paolo Ruffino.

Contact emails:
(marcobenoitcarbone /at/
(contact /at/

ECREA-Mailing list
This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier and ECREA.
To subscribe, post or unsubscribe, please visit
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/
ECREA - European Communication Research and Education Association
Chauss�de Waterloo 1151, 1180 Uccle, Belgium
Email: (info /at/

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]