Game Studies

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Call for papers: 

Game Studies Area: 2020 PCA/ACA National Conference.


The Game Studies area of the National Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association Conference invites proposals for papers and panels on games and game studies for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference to be held April 15th through April 18th, 2020 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, PA.


The database for proposal submissions is now open.




I. Topics of Interest


The organizers seek proposals and papers covering all aspects of gaming, gaming culture and game studies.  Proposals can address any game medium (computer, social, console, tabletop, etc) and all theoretical and methodological approaches are welcome. Please see our facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/190087978463831/ for our mission announcement.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:


– new game mediums and platforms


– representation or performance of race, class, gender and sexuality in games


– gaming culture, game specific cultures, and multicultural and cross-cultural issues


– game development, design, authorship and other industry issues


– game advertising, reviews, packaging, promotion, integrated marketing and other commercial concerns


– political and legal entailments such as regulation, censorship, intellectual property


– player-generated content


– game genres, platforms, consoles, console wars and connections to other media


– serious games for education, business, healthcare, (military) training, etc


– space and place in games, play spaces, virtual/physical communities, mobile gaming and localization


– digital literacy, discourse practices, social norms and norming, the politics of play


– public discourse/controversy over violence, militarism, sex, criminality, racism, etc in games


– game pedagogy and classroom practices, gamification, learning as play


II. Submission Process


The Game Studies area of the National Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association Conference, which began as the Video Games Studies area in 2003, has the most enduring footprint of any North American academic organization that gives serious attention to the social and cultural impact of games and gaming. The area continues to grow and offers two avenues for scholars to participate and present their work.


A. Paper Proposals


For individual paper proposal submissions, please submit a 250-word (maximum) abstract by November 1, 2019.  Submissions must be made online at http://ncp.pcaaca.org.  Detailed instructions for using the online submission system can be found at http://www.pcaaca.org/conference/instructions.php.


B. Panel Proposals


For panel submissions, please submit a 250-word (maximum) panel abstract, as well as 100-word abstracts for each individual presentation, by November 1, 2019. Panel proposals must be emailed to digitalgames.pcaaca@gmail.com. Be sure to include the proposed title of the panel, the organizer’s name, affiliation, mailing address, and email, as well as this information for all panelists. Panelists must also submit their papers individually at http://ncp.pcaaca.org.


III. Information about the Conference


A. So that there will be ample time for discussion, each individual paper presentation should be designed to last approximately twelve to fifteen minutes (there will typically be four presentations per session with time for Q&A).


B. Technology for use during presentations may be limited. More information about the conference can be found at http://www.pcaaca.org/


C. Presenters will be required to join either the Popular Culture Association or the American Culture Association prior to attending the conference, as well as pay a registration fee for the conference. Information about these fees can be found at http://www.pcaaca.org/conference/membership_registration.php.


D. Awards and Travel Grants are offered, on a competitive basis, by the National Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association


IV. Contact Information


Questions and concerns can be sent to digitalgames.pcaaca@gmail.com, or may be directed to one of the area chairs listed below. One can also visit our Facebook page to discuss possible panel topics or for things like organizing room sharing.


Matthew Wysocki, Department of Communication, Flagler College



Nicholas Mizer, Games & Simulation Arts & Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute




2020 Conference Dates and Deadlines


August 1, 2019                 Submission Page Goes Live
October 7, 2019               Early Bird Registration Rate Opens
November 1, 2019           Deadline for Paper Proposals and Endowment  Grants
December 1, 2019           Early Bird Registration Rate Ends
January 1, 2020               Regular Registration Rate Ends
January 2, 2020               Late Registration Rate Begins
January 15, 2020             Brigman and Jones Awards Deadline
January 20, 2020             Preliminary Schedule Available
February 1, 2020             Presenter Registration Deadline – participants who have not registered are removed from the program.

February 2, 2020              Registration ends for presenters at midnight.
April 15-18, 2020              National Conference

All presenters must be current, paid members of the PCA and fully  registered for the conference.

Refund requests must be submitted in writing. Full or partial refunds will be processed according to the following schedule:
Requested by Jan. 1: 100% refund
Requested by Jan. 15: 75% refund
Requested by Jan. 25: 50% refund
Requested by Feb. 1: 25% refund
After Feb. 1: 0% refund

Membership fees are not refundable.

Area chairs