Archive for July 2015

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[ecrea] CFP: Video Games, Culture, & Justice

Mon Jul 13 16:12:43 GMT 2015

Call for Papers

*/Video Games, Culture, & Justice/*

André Brock (University of Michigan), Co-Editor

Kishonna L Gray (Eastern Kentucky University), Co-Editor

David J Leonard (Washington State University), Co-Editor

The purpose of this edited volume is to propel game studies towards a
more responsive existence in the area of social justice.  The text will
attempt to move beyond the descriptive level of analysis of /what/ and
begin engaging the /why/, highlighting the structural and institutional
factors perpetuating inequalities that permeate gaming culture and
extend into a myriad of institutions.  The public outcry associated with
GamerGate has put 'why' at the forefront of game studies. GamerGaters,
who gained media attention through their misogynist and racist attacks
on women gamers and developers, even tried to justify their campaign as
an attempt to restore the ethics needed in video game journalism. This
attack directed at 'social justice warriors' brought the hidden reality
of harassment, cyberbullying, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia,
and other injustices to light.  These attacks are part and parcel of
gaming culture; challenges to the lack of diversity or the gross
stereotypes are often met with demonization and rhetorical violence
directed at those who merely seek to help gaming reach its fullest
potential. Yet, in these struggles, we must move beyond individual acts
of prejudice, discrimination, and microaggressions to examine the
structural and institutional factors that allow them to exist.   We must
look at how the daily practices sustain what Mark Anthony Neal calls
"micro-nooses" and lived reality of violence on and offline.

Amid this culture of violence, the gaming industry has embraced the
rhetoric of diversity and inclusion.  In response to protests, game
developers have incorporated statements asserting their commitment to
producing diverse games and building an industry no longer dominated by
white men. Given the post-racial rhetorical turn of the last six years,
it is important to push conversations about gaming and gamers beyond
diversity, to expose the disconnect between rhetorics of
multiculturalism and the struggle for justice and equity.  It is
important to highlight the contradiction between ideals of inclusion
espoused within the video game industry and society as a whole and the
persistence of injustices within the structural and institutional
context in which they may have developed. This compilation not only
seeks to answer these questions but also to produce work that intervenes
in the culture of violence and inequity from which these works emanate
from inside and outside of academia.

Traditionally, academic public discourses concerned with criminal
justice focused on issues pertaining to crime and legal justice; within
game studies, there has an effort to examine criminogenic effects of
violent video games on the streets.  We must move beyond this simple
construction of justice and video games.  This interdisciplinary text
defines justice broadly, but in terms to speak to the struggle of
racial, gender, and social justice.  Moving beyond abstract principles,
the collection focuses on the stakes playing out in virtual reality,
demonstrating the ways that struggles for justice online, in the policy
booth, in the court house, in our schools, in legislatures and in
streets must be waged online.

As such, this collection seeks a broader range of critical perspectives
on justice issues within gaming culture seeking whether gaming culture
can foster critical consciousness, aid in participatory democracy, and
effect social change.  It will give voice to the silenced and
marginalized, offering counter narratives to those post-racial and
post-gendered fantasies that so often obscure the violent context of
production and consumption. In offering this framework, this volume will
be grounded in the concrete situations of marginalized members within
gaming culture.

Early career scholars, game industry personnel, gaming activists,
graduate students, and others are invited to submit work addressing the
connected themes of Video Games, Culture, & Justice.  Suggested essay
topics may include (but are not limited to):

·         Representation and Identity in Video Games

·         Examining the complex nature of intersections

·         Marginalized identities within gaming culture

·         Developing culturally responsive games

·         Activism within video games

·         Power and anonymity

·         Negative experiences in multiplayer settings

·         Applying social justice theories to gaming

·         Militarization and video games

·         Cyberbullying, online harassment, and other virtual violence

·         Policing game communities

·         Swatting and blurring boundaries of virtual and physical spaces

·         Online disinhibition, anonymity, and trolling

·         The impact of serious games and games for change

·         Hacking inequalities (sexism, racism, heterosexism, ableism, etc)

·         Solutions to eliminate bias

·         Hypermasculinity in tech culture

·         Methodological successes and challenges

·         Genre, representation, and social justice

·         Gaming interfaces as social praxis

·         The graphical arms race: hyperreality, phenotype, and identity

Please submit abstracts (500 word max) along with a short bio and your
CV/resume to (gamesculturejustice /at/
<mailto:(gamesculturejustice /at/> by September 15^th , 2015.
Authors will be notified by October 5^th , 2015 if their proposals have
been accepted for the prospectus.  Final essays should be within the
range of 4000 – 6000 words, submitted as a Word or Rich Text Format.
Notifications to submit full essays will occur shortly after abstracts
are submitted and they will be due December 28^th , 2015.  For more
information please contact the co-editors at
(gamesculturejustice /at/ <mailto:(gamesculturejustice /at/>.

Deadline for Abstracts: September 15^th , 2015

Full Essays Due: December 28^th , 2015

*André Brock* (/Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign/) is
an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of
Michigan.  His research interests include digital and online
performances of race and culture, African American technoculture, and
critical cultural informatics.  Follow him on Twitter @DocDre.

*Kishonna L. Gray* (/Ph.D., Arizona State University/) is the Director
of the Critical Gaming Lab at Eastern Kentucky University as well as
faculty in the School of Justice Studies, African/African-American
Studies, & Women & Gender Studies.  Her work broadly intersects identity
and new media although she has a particular focus on gaming.  Her most
recent book, Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live, provides a
much-needed theoretical framework for examining deviant behavior and
deviant bodies within that virtual gaming community.  Her work can be
found at <> and at <>.  Follow
her on Twitter @DrGrayThaPhx <> and
@CriticalGameLab <>.

*David J. Leonard* (/Ph.D., University of California – Berkeley/) is
Associate Professor and chair in the Department of Critical Culture,
Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He
regularly writes about issues of race, gender, inequality, and popular
culture.  His work has appeared in a number of academic journals and
anthologies.  His works can be found at
<>. Follow him on


*Kishonna L. Gray, PhD*

*/Critical Gaming Lab Director/*

Assistant Professor: School of Justice Studies

Joint Appointment: Women & Gender Studies

Affiliate Faculty: African/African-American Studies

Eastern Kentucky University

Office: Stratton 403A and Keith 124

Email: (kishonna.gray /at/

Website: <>

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