Archive for October 2015

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[ecrea] CfP: The Other Caillois (Games and Culture, Sage)

Mon Oct 05 00:32:38 GMT 2015

( NEW ABSTRACT DEADLINE – 11 October 2016 )

Games and Culture Journal ( <>)
CfP Reminder + Extension


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. 1959).

- 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,

– 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 references.

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

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/ <mailto:(marcobenoitcarbone /at/>
(contact /at/ <mailto:(contact /at/>

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