• Maura A. Smale edited the blog post CFP: Video Games, Culture, & Justice in the group Group logo of CUNY Games NetworkCUNY Games Network: 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    A great looking games-related CFP for an edited book just came through my inbox, and I thought it might be of interest to CUNY Games Network folks. The highlights of the call are below — more details are available at http://www.criticalgaminglab.com/cfp-video-games-culture–justice.html

    Call for Papers: Video Games, Culture, & Justice

    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. See more details on suggested topics and full editor bios at: http://www.criticalgaminglab.com/cfp-video-games-culture–justice.html.

    Deadline for Abstracts: September 15th, 2015
    Full Essays Due: December 28th, 2015

    Contact Info:
    For more information please contact the co-editors at gamesculturejustice@gmail.com
    André Brock (University of Michigan), Co-Editor
    Kishonna L Gray (Eastern Kentucky University), Co-Editor
    David J Leonard (Washington State University), Co-Editor

    Image by Michael Coughlan

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