Gaming Modernism panel (MSA 14; 10/18–10/21/12; DEADLINE 4/3/12)

full name / name of organization: 
Andrew Ferguson
contact email: 

Among the most popular video games released in early 2011 was, strangely enough, a retro 8-bit port of The Great Gatsby, featuring a hat-slinging Nick Carraway dodging flappers and collecting martinis in a quest to find Gatsby (and, along the way, survive the laser-shooting eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg). Though only four levels long and not terribly difficult, the sidescrolling platformer garnered admiring reviews and prompted a number of cultural columnists to consider how other modernist landmarks (above all, Ulysses) might be adapted to digital gaming.

The popularity of The Great Gatsby Game, set amid the growing acceptance of videogames as culturally valid artforms (viz. the exhibit at the Smithsonian), invites a consideration of potential intersections between modernism and game studies — whether narratological, ludological, critical code, platform study, or otherwise.

Please send 300-word abstracts to Andrew Ferguson ( by April 3, 2012. Accepted abstracts will be proposed for inclusion in the 2012 Modernist Studies Association conference; final acceptance of the panel is contingent upon the judgment of the MSA.

MSA conference details available at: