[CITASA] CFP: Video Games, Culture & Justice

Kishonna Gray kishonnagray at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 01:07:41 EDT 2015


We hope some of you consider submitting! Please share widely!

In solidarity!

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 gmail.com by September 15th, 2015.
Authors will be notified by October 5th, 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 28th, 2015.  For more information please contact
the co-editors at gamesculturejustice at gmail.com.

Deadline for Abstracts: September 15th, 2015

Full Essays Due: December 28th, 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 www.kishonnagray.com
and at www.criticalgaminglab.com.  Follow her on Twitter @DrGrayThaPhx
<https://twitter.com/drgraythaphx> and @CriticalGameLab
<https://twitter.com/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 http://www.drdavidjleonard.com. Follow him on Twitter
<http://twitter.com/drdavidjleonard>@drdavidjleonard
<http://twitter.com/drdavidjleonard>.
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