“The Post-Gamer Turn”

Book Editors

  • Mahli-Ann Butt [University of Sydney]
  • Amanda Cote [University of Oregon]
  • Emil Hammar [University of Tampere & University of Tromsø]
  • Cody Mejeur [University at Buffalo]

Contact email:(postgamerturn /at/ gmail.com)

Project Synopsis

This edited collection engages with the shifting understanding of “Gamers”/gamers/players in game culture, the games industry, and game studies – which Butt refers to as “the post-Gamer turn” (2022, p. 51) – to address the ongoing issues inherent in the use of a limited identity category. The post-Gamer turn does not signal the end of the “Gamer” identity but denotes a way of recognizing its promises as a sustained fantasy with real power and implications for who plays games and how. Engaging with the limits of the “Gamer” identity and questioning the boundaries of representation in games does not settle, solve, or supersede the concept of a “Gamer,” but instead reveals evolving relations between players and the games they play. Doing this work now is not only important as a matter of theoretical rigor, but also as a means for making game studies a more inclusive and vibrant scholarly community. Recognizing diverse perspectives on games, “Gamers”/gamers/players, and game studies is of urgent practical and political necessity. It has been nearly a decade since the events of Gamergate, where the tensions between “Gamers” and players were violently, publicly highlighted, and this edited collection asks what has changed in games and game studies with regard to conceptualizing players/gamers/”Gamers,” as well as where further change is needed.

We invite submissions on a range of topics including but not limited to:

  • Ongoing challenges or changes in the “Gamer”/gamer/player relationship
  • Tensions between gaming counterpublics and hegemonic industry publics
  • Legacies and futures of the “Gamer” identity
  • Rethinking who or what counts in game definitions
  • The commodified “Gamer” identity at work in the industry
  • Alternative production strategies and approaches
  • Player community formation, regulation, contestation and
    sub/cultural capital
  • Entanglements of “player” and “non-player” practices
  • Intersectional identities, processes of identification, and embodied
  • In-game representation, reception, and affect in gameplay
  • Social media and memes about “Gamers”
  • Challenging game studies’ disciplinary formation and field imaginary
  • Alternative/experimental approaches to researching, teaching, and
    playing games
  • Non-canonical research texts, e.g. paratexts, analogue, hybrid,
    mobile, casual games
  • Convergence media, technology, and cultures in the past and/or
    futures of play
  • The “becoming-environmental” threat of online harassment as related
    to games
  • Segments of “Gamers” with the global rise of fascism and reactionary
  • Difficulties of diversity work in game studies/industry related to
    “Gamer” identities
  • Transgressive play and non-hardcore/non-AAA gaming as resistance
  • The future of the Gamer in a world of climate change and societal
    We list these potential topics as a way to inspire and welcome all submissions that highlight the longstanding contributions from feminist game studies and/or any work that challenges the dominant canonization of game studies as a discipline. We intend to publish the collection in English with an academic press, but wish to explicitly encourage submissions from culturally and linguistically diverse authors who may be non-academics, students, early career researchers, or established academics in any field.


As part of the edited collection’s development, accepted contributors will be invited to present their chapters at a hybrid workshop hosted by the University of Sydney Games and Play Lab. This collaborative workshop will allow authors to share in-progress drafts and receive feedback from other contributors.

Tentative Timeline

  • 31 Nov, 2022: Abstracts Due (500-800 words)
  • Feb 2023: Abstract Acceptances
  • April/May 2023: Contributor Workshop
  • Aug 2023: Full Chapters Due (6000-7000 words)
  • Oct 2023: Reviewer Feedback Returned
  • Dec 2023: Revised Manuscript Due
  • Feb 2024: Final Edits Due
  • Aug 2024: Publication