Call for Submissions Encounters in the ‘Game-Over Era’: The Americas in Video Games

Research done in the frame of the ‘new imperial studies’ has made it clear that in the past half century our everyday relationship to and encounters with ‘empire’ and our (post)colonial heritage have changed almost entirely. On the one hand, the contemporary experience, myths, and memories of/about empires in the former colonies has opened spaces for the colonized to record the otherwise unheard or suppressed voices from the margins. On the other hand, in the so-called metropole, unprecedented geopolitical ruptures, disruptions in the colonial economic (im)balance, and new narratives of (post)coloniality and of relating to, representing, and imagining (post)colonial identity have altered the perspectives and experiences of empire and the settings in which it is re-enacted.

The special issue Encounters in the ‘Game-Over Era’: The Americas in Video Games seeks to investigate this changed everyday experience and exposure to the colonial heritage and to the state of (post)coloniality in the present imperial ‘game-over era’ in the Americas. Submissions are sought that focus on the various medial, rhetorical, literary, and historical aspects of an increasing body of video games which deal with imperialism and colonialism in the double-continent in one way or another. While interested in the encounters between the US-American Empire and the various native American nations across the continent in video games, the CfP also greatly welcomes submissions which discuss other imperial encounters in the continent as well as between the Americas and other continents including the lasting colonial imprint of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the colonization of British North America as depicted or debated in video games. Of special interest also are theoretical discussions of video games as media and as part of larger popular narrative networks within the frame of postcolonial studies.

The special issue views videogames as media through which events, places, and people from/in the Americas have been turned by game designers into ludic matter and made sense of all over again for the post-colonial gamer to encounter. As such, questions of interest include, but are not limited to:

§ How is ‘empire’ represented in video games about the Americas and the complex, evolving entanglements it has historically spun?

§ How does relating to the (post)colonial heritage in the Americas through videogames affect/reinforce/cleanse/dismiss/renew existing imperial myths and narratives in and about the Americas?

§ How do gamers’ affinity to a colonial heritage (being a Colombian adolescent, e.g.) and the historical moment at which they play (e.g., in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump as the US president) affect their relationship to imperialism/colonialism and to the various narratives which function as the games’ backdrop?

§ In what ways does post-colonial studies of the Americas benefit from research on video games?

§ In what ways do videogames differ from/resonate with other media such as film in depicting the (post)colonial entanglements in/of the Americas?

Following suit of the panel organized at the ENIUGH 2017 on the question of historical narratives and video games, the present CfP offers a podium to digital historians, researchers in media, cultural studies, literature, American studies, game studies, and Latin-, African- and inter-American studies, who are interested in video game cultures to discuss the potential of video games as a significant and prevalent new media, new text, and new means to narrate imperialism and to reconstruct colonialism – media which remind researchers of the Americas of the necessity to reflect upon the tenacity of the (post)colonial heritage in the Americas through a new, highly popular textual field, i.e., the video game.

Please note that, in case of articles, abstracts (no longer than 300 words) should include the name, current affiliation, two-page CV, and e-mail address of the authors.

Please further note that, in case of reviews, the title should be checked with the editor prior to writing the review. Reviews should include full information on the title reviewed and could have a topic other than the book’s own title.

For inquiries about the CfP, submitting abstracts, and book review options, please contact Mahshid Mayar, the editor of the special issue, at mahshid.mayar@uni-bielefeld.de. Article abstracts, in English, and review titles should be submitted by February 28, 2017, at the latest. Scholarly articles (not to exceed 10,000 words) and reviews (not longer than 1,000 words) should be submitted for peer review to fiar@interamerica.de by August 01, 2017 following the submission guidelines of the Journal. See: http://interamerica.de/submitting-to-fiar/submissionguidelines/.

Contact Guest Editor: Mahshid Mayar

E-mail: fiar@interamerica.de

Phone: [49] 521-106-3641

Fax: [49] 521-106-2996