Patrick Prax ((Patrick.prax /at/ speldesign.uu.se)) is guest-editing a special issue of Gamevironments with the title “This Time it’s for all the Marbles. Towards Social Justice in Digital Gaming”
The DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION is the 1st of February and you can find the full CFP here: https://www.gamevironments.uni-bremen.de/call-for-papers/
Digital games are a central element of contemporary media ecology both in terms of playing and making games, but also as an anchor point for communities and cultures. The impact games and gaming have on our societies is both hard to define and undeniable. They extend towards increased access to cultural production and creativity, allowing people to be social in isolation, and to expand the social imaginary. At the same time, they are related to exploitation and precarity, isolate people under the guise of sociability, and are connected to xenophobic
and bigoted movements that threaten democratic values and civic liberties.
While these are not issues that are exclusive to games it can be argued that gaming as a culture, community, and environment warrant attention here because of their central role for contemporary culture, creative industries, and digital platforms. The gaming community has regrettably been the training ground for alt-right politics that are successfully being used globally to de-stabilize democratic discourses and it is still a central recruitment pool for said radical movements. This makes it important to investigate the environment of games and gaming for
understanding the current political changes towards xenophobia, white supremacy, nationalism, and fascism where games and game communities are a puzzle piece that should not be left out of the picture. The issue does see games here as a part of contemporary political and cultural zeitgeist, but also as material media that is produced and consumed in specific socio-economic context. This means that also perspectives that center on the economic and political conditions of game production and marketing are seen as relevant to these questions. That said, games and game culture are also spaces that brim with potential for critical and inclusive work. Game workers as well as the communities around games can be the creative anchor-point, the ground zero, or the staging area for organizing towards collective action towards more respectful and equitable futures.
This special issue aims to examine the ways in which games and gaming are connected to and potentially accelerate undemocratic and bigoted movements while high-lighting projects and perspectives from games that contribute to social justice.
Submissions from, communication and media scholars are welcome. No payment from the authors will be required.