Call for Papers: Video Games and Narrative: Cultural Analysis, Discourses on the Medium and Technological Innovation

Video Games and Narrative: Cultural Analysis, Discourses on the Medium and Technological Innovation

Guest Editors: Óliver Pérez Latorre Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain (oliver.perez /at/ <mailto:(oliver.perez /at/> Marta Fernandez Ruiz Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain (marta.fernandez.ruiz /at/ <mailto:(marta.fernandez.ruiz /at/>

Submissions deadline: June 30, 2024

Notification of acceptance: October 2024

Publication: November 2024


More than a simple additive to ludic interaction, the narrative of video games constitutes a fundamental facet of digital culture, where the collective imaginary is reflected (and constructed). Within game studies, there is notable interest in narrative analysis and audiovisual representation with a pronounced sociocultural focus. For instance, recent scholarship has delved into themes such as myths and ideology in video games (Planells, 2021), dystopian narratives (Farca, 2018), and the intersection of video games with local or national culture (Fernández-Vara, 2022).Likewise, in the analyses of videoludic narratives and representations, special attention has been paid to issues related to gender, sexual identity and environmentalism (see, e.g., Ruberg and Shaw, 2017; op. de Beke et al., 2023). This, in parallel to the growing interest about indie games, some of which are characterized by their vocation for alternative culture, either at the level of formal/aesthetic innovation and/or social discourse (Anthropy, 2012; Juul, 2019).

Furthermore, narrativity serves as a focal point within game studies concerning the discourses or ‘narratives’ of the specialized press, the narratives of influencers on digital platforms, and the creations and discourses of fans (Kirkpatrick, 2015; Scolari and Fraticelli, 2019; Tosca and Klastrup, 2019).

Another crucial aspect to consider is the ongoing technological innovation and evolution of interfaces, which prompt a reevaluation of video game narrative design. Factors such as the ubiquity and portability of mobile devices, the integration of real-world environments into pervasive games and augmented reality experiences (Montola et. al, 2009; de Souza e Silva & Glover-Rijkse, 2020), along with the illusions of presence and embodiment generated by virtual reality (Bolter et. al, 2021), all encourage exploration of diverse forms of expression and meaning in the creation of ludonarrative experiences.Moreover, video game technologies, particularly game engines, have been leveraged for the development of digital narratives associated with virtual production and cultural practices like machinima (Harwood & Grussi, 2021), stemming from creative experimentation.

In alignment with the proposed approach exploring the intersections between video games and narrativity, the following thematic lines and approaches are suggested in this call for papers.

These serve as indicative references rather than exclusive categories:• Textual/narrative analysis of video games • Critical Analyses of Gender and Sexual Identity, Decolonialism, Environmentalism• Alternative or counter-hegemonic narratives and representations • Intertextual or comparative studies • Intermediate or transmedia video game studies • Studies on discourses and ‘narratives’ of the specialized press • Studies around influencer narratives and streaming culture • Studies on user-generated content, creations, and fan narratives • Studies on creative experimentation on video games and digital storytelling • Studies focused on video games, technological innovation and new trends in the creation of ludonarrative experiences