Call for articles for a special issue of Open Library of Humanities: Postcolonial Perspectives in Game Studies

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Since the first key publications in the nineties on videogames research in Humanities and Social Sciences contexts, the field of Game Studies has become an established platform for discussion and debate on how games contribute to our cultural, social and aesthetic experiences. Game Studies has, consequently, also taken up debates on diversity and inclusion, time and again. In line with the revitalization of radical reactionary and conservative forces across the globe, the recent bigoted GamerGate controversy saw incisive discussions on gender and questions of race in games have also been at the forefront. Not much, however, has been said about the representation of colonialism, empire and neo-colonialism in videogames although some of the very earliest games have featured these issues, sometimes in problematic ways. As games are part of and perpetuate past and present global power structures in relation to inequalities in material wealth and symbolic representation, to exploitation of labor, and to hegemonic articulations of history and the Other, it is necessary for game studies to not only bring these issues to light, but also critically analyze the relationship between videogames and existing postcolonial power relationships. Analysing games as disparate as Age of Empires, Far Cry 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry reveal intrinsic questions about how the ludic relates to colonialism and how it informs the postcolonial experience.

This open-access special issue of Open Library of Humanities aims to bring questions of Postcolonialism to the forefront of game studies. An often underexplored and neglected area in the domain of studying both digital and analogue games, a critique of the (mis)representation of Orientalist attitudes, race, hybridity, notions of space and the fragmented postcolonial identities is urgently required. We, therefore, seek submissions that provide critical analysis of colonial representations in games and also challenge notions of colonial hegemonic power-structures.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

Colonialism / Neocolonialism / Postcolonialism / Imperialism
The Other / Alterity
Decolonization
Hegemony
Orientalism
Postcolonial praxis
Global capitalism / economy
Self-representation / voice / agency
Subalternity
Indigenous culture
Religion(s) / Language(s) / Nationalism(s)
Thirdspace
Eurocentrism
Game studies & politics of knowledge

Research articles should be approximately 8000 words in length, including references and a short bibliography. Submissions should comprise of:

Abstract (250 words)
Full-length article (8000 words)
Author information (short biographical statement of 200 words)

Deadline for abstracts: 15th December 2016
Notification of accepted abstracts: 16th January 2017
Deadline for full articles: 28th April 2017

Submissions should be made online at: https://submit.openlibhums.org/ in accordance with the author guidelines and clearly marking the entry as [“Postcolonial Game Studies” SPECIAL COLLECTION]. Submissions will then undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Authors will be notified of the outcome as soon as reports are received.

The special collection, edited by Dr Souvik Mukherjee, Department of English, Presidency University, Kolkata, India, and Emil Hammar, Department of Language & Culture, University of Tromsø, Norway, is to be published in the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) (ISSN 2056-6700). The OLH is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded open-access journal with a strong emphasis on quality peer review and a prestigious academic steering board. Unlike some open-access publications, the OLH has no author-facing charges and is instead financially supported by an international consortium of libraries.

To learn more about the Open Library of Humanities please visit: https://www.openlibhums.org/

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs). We are funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined us in our mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future.

The deadline for submission of abstract is 15th December 2016.

Best regards,
Dr. Souvik Mukherjee, Department of English, Presidency University, Kolkata, India

Emil Hammar, Department of Language & Culture, University of Tromsø, Norway

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