CFP: Vintage Videogames (12/1/04; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
matteo bittanti
contact email: 


Ludologica Retro, Volume 1: Vintage Arcade (1971- 1984), edited by Ian
Bogost & Matteo Bittanti

"Ludologica. Videogames d'Autore" is pleased to announce its Call for
Papers for a book on classic video games that will be published in

Provisionally titled "Ludologica Retro, Volume 1: Vintage Arcade (1971 –
1984)", this interdisciplinary critical anthology will explore a range
of topics regarding the aesthetic, cultural, and social significance of
seminal vintage arcade games. The volume will be edited by Ian Bogost
(Georgia Institute of Technology) and Matteo Bittanti (Libera Università
di Lingue e Comunicazione, IULM).

The editors are looking for original contributions from a variety of
fields, including game studies, new media studies, cultural studies,
sociology, and anthropology. Papers are sought that take new and
innovative approaches to examine classic games as texts, as cultural
artifacts, and as social practices.


This is no ordinary volume of highbrow criticism. Ludologica RETRO seeks
to merge serious academic research with a new kind of high culture
videogame criticism. Prospective authors should feel at home speaking to
academicians and gamers alike.

Authors also need to be prepared to think beyond the written word.
Ludologica RETRO will be printed on high-gloss, full color pages that
must accommodate more than just text. The iconography should not only
complement the text but also speak for itself. Authors should be
prepared to consider and include visual materials, screenshots,
callouts, sidebars, iconography, cabinet art, period photographs, and
other resources as part of their preliminary and final submissions.


The editors seek submissions in any of three categories, Critical,
Cultural, and Retro. While these categories are not mutually exclusive,
and submissions that cross categories will certainly be considered, each
category suggests different approaches to vintage arcade criticism. The
editors strongly encourage prospective authors to situate their
submission in reference to these categories.

Critical submissions are expected to offer interpretive insights into a
single vintage arcade game, critical comparisons of more than one
vintage arcade game, or critical comparisons of one or more vintage
arcade games along with other cultural artifacts (film, literature, art,

Cultural submissions are expected to offer sociocultural insights into
the broader role of vintage arcade games and arcade venues themselves.

Retro submissions are expected to offer critical and/or cultural
insights into more recent reproductions or representations of vintage
arcade games in art,

Submissions should focus primarily on software, although hardware
(cabinets, input devices, components) can be used to clarify discussions
of the game software in question.

Within any of these categories, possible topics may include (but are not
limited to):

· Arcade game logic
· The aesthetics of vintage games
· Retrogames
· Phenomenology of playing
· Social interaction in the arcade
· Preservation of classic gaming
· The design process
· Forms of identification
· Uses and subversions of classic games
· Representation of classic games in other media
· Symbolism in vintage games
· Arcade games and the history of art
· Vintage games and nostalgia


For this volume, the editors seek pieces on vintage coin-op arcade
games, roughly covering the years 1971 – 1984. Possible games may
include (but are not limited to):

· Computer Space
. Adventure
· Pong
· Tank
· Gunfight
· Breakout
· Night Driver
· Lunar Lander
· Space Invaders
· Asteroids
· Berzerk
· Battlezone
· Defender
· Pac-Man
· Missile Command
· Tempest
· Frogger
· Joust
· Tron
· Dig Dug
· Pole Position
· Moon Patrol
· Robotron
· Zaxxon
· Tapper
· Donkey Kong
· Centipede
· Galaga
· Galaxian
· Paperboy
· Dragon's Lair

The editors plan to organize an arcade-themed arcade party/conference in
conjunction with the book's launch. Accepted authors (and possibly other
invited authors) will be invited to attend this event to present their
research. The event will also feature notable personalities from the
history of the videogame arcade and is anticipated to garner significant
media attention.

For consideration, please submit a 500 - 1000 word abstract (including 6
keywords) to Matteo Bittanti at and to Ian Bogost at no later than December 1, 2004. A one-page curriculum
vitae or short biography will also be appreciated.

The selected authors will be notified by January 1, 2005 and asked to
submit a complete draft of their papers no later than February 10, 2005.

 Manuscripts should be 2,500 - 5,000 words, double-spaced. MLA citations
are required. All textual contributions must be written in English or
Italian. The submission should be fully referenced and may contain
endnotes. All contributions to Ludologica will be promptly reviewed.
Contributors will be kept up to date on the status of their
contributions via regular email correspondence. Please submit your
proposals and papers electronically as a rich text format document.


1 December 2004: Proposal submissions
1 January 2005: Notification of acceptance
10 Februray 2005: Paper submissions

If you have any questions, please email Matteo Bittanti at and/or Ian Bogost at


Launched in 2003, "Ludologica. Videogames d'autore" is a new series of
books that honor the most significant video games ever produced. These
books discuss video games from a broad academic and critical
perspective, setting characteristics, themes and techniques in context
and exploring the game's significance. Distinguished game critics,
scholars, and avid gamers explore the production and reception of their
chosen video games in the context of an argument about the games social,
cultural, and aesthetic importance. Each book presents the author's
insights into a game and its creator selected from a list of the most
enduring and influential titles of the last 40 years. These innovative
readings are not conventional game reviews or game guides. Rather, they
situate the games in terms of the broader cultural debate that they
informed. Finely written, these books represent a new wave in
videoludic criticism and are intended for scholars, researchers, and
educators in game studies, media studies, audiovisual communication, and
cultural studies. Ludologica will also appeal to readers in gender
studies, race/ethnic studies, sociology, sociology and other disciplines
with an emphasis on or interest in popular communication.

"Ludologica. Videogames d'Autore" is part of a larger project on video
game and new media research funded by Libera Università di Lingue e
Comunicazione (IULM,, Italy.

For more information on the Ludologica series, please visit

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Received on Fri Nov 05 2004 - 17:06:54 EST