Game Studies

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Call for papers: 

Game Studies Area

2021  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 June 2-5, 2021 in Boston, MA.

Because of the nature of the 2020 Conference being cancelled, anyone who had been accepted to that conference is encouraged to reuse their previous abstract provided it hasn’t been presented at any other conference in the interim. All proposals will still need to be submitted through the proposal portal for approval.



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


– textual criticism, media ecology, narrative, etc as paradigms for games studies


– 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. Submissions must be made online at http://ncp.pcaaca.org.  


B. Panel Proposals


For panel submissions, please submit a 250-word (maximum) panel abstract, as well as 100-word abstracts for each individual presentation. Panel proposals must be emailed to digitalgames.pcaaca@gmail.com (and mwysocki@flagler.edu and mizern@rpi.edu). 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.


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 should 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 and Simulation Arts and Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute




2021 Conference Dates and Deadlines

13-Aug-20 Submission Page Goes Live
28-Feb-28 Deadline for Proposals
10-Apr-21 Presenter Registration Ends at 11:59 pm: Non-registrants Dropped from Program
11-Apr-21 Non-presenter Registration Continues Through the Conference
15-Apr-21 Preliminary Schedule Available

June 2-5, 2021 

Virtual Conference


All presenters must be current, paid members of the PCA and registered for the conference. Non-presenters who attend the full conference must also pay membership fees.  

The last day for all refunds is February 15, 2021. No refund requests will be honored after this date. Membership fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.












Area chairs

Nicholas Mizer

Matthew Wysocki