CFP: Special Issue on “War/Games”

Game Studies in collaboration with Guest Editors, Holger Pötzsch and Phil Hammond, invite submissions for a Special Issue on “War/Games”

Video games are an important sector of the global entertainment industry and AAA titles often have budgets and audiences similar to those of major Hollywood productions. Many of the commercially most successful games are war-themed titles that play out in what are framed as authentic real-world settings inspired by historical events. Parallel to this development, significant changes have occurred in the way Western industrialized nations wage actual wars. It has been argued that postmodern war increasingly resembles a videogame and that this form of mediatization fundamentally changes how wars are justified, perceived, experienced, and waged. This, and other postulated connections between war games and actual wars merit critical scholarly attention and scrutiny. 

This special issue of Game Studies interrogates the relations between games and war. Particular attention will be directed to digital games, but submissions dealing with board games, tabletop roleplaying games, and others are also welcome. We invite contributions that approach the war/game relationship from various theoretical and methodological vantage points. Interdisciplinary studies fall within the purview of the issue as do articles exploring the field from the point of view of distinct disciplinary traditions. Analysis and criticism of particular games or genres are equally welcome, as are empirical studies of players and player cultures, investigations of the political economy of games and gaming, theoretical inquiries into the socio-cultural roles and functions of games, or studies of the tensions between game forms and re-appropriative practices of play, for example. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • * The aesthetics of war games 
  • * Interconnections between the games industry, players, and the military 
  • * The relation of war games to historical knowledge, beliefs and attitudes 
  • * The history of war games and war gaming 
  • * War games and embodiment 
  • * Critical war game design and serious war games 
  • * Transgressive dimensions of war games and war gaming 
  • * The role of games in the mediatization and cultural framing of war 
  • * War games, minorities, and marginalization 

Please consult the Game Studies submission guidelines before submitting your paper. Only fully formatted articles will be considered for review.


Submission deadline: 1 December 2015
Publication: December 2016
Guest editors: Holger Pötzsch and Phil Hammond