Seeking Essays on Pokémon Go

deadline for submissions: 
August 13, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Kristopher Purzycki

In July of 2016, Niantic Inc. released Pokémon Go in the United States to unanticipated public interest. In one of the hottest summers on record, millions took to the streets to search for charmanders and dragonites, overwhelming both servers and public spaces. While interest in the mobile application has subsided, Pokémon Go remains a cultural artifact that demands further analysis. Opening conversations on public and civic rhetorics through play, the phenomenon of this simple game exposes critical intersections of race, gender, ability, and class as technological concerns over access, privacy, and privilege.

Although other works of augmented reality have similarly blurred the boundaries between electronic and physical spaces, none has done so with the widespread adoption of Pokémon Go. Where the game catalyzes these spaces of hybridity, an underexamined exigency is revealed. At this intersection between cultural forces, multiple questions emerge: What impact does augmented reality have on “real” space? How do AR games help or hinder the development of communities? How are these AR spaces developed? What public spaces are privileged? Which are ignored?

This collection hopes to assemble a variety of perspectives that capture social and political rhetorics via mobile play. In addition to discussions of interface and user experience, we invite scholarly examinations of the game’s significance. Several publishers have expressed interest in the collection though we currently have an offer to contract with McFarland.

At this point we are accepting 400-500 word abstracts that should be turned into by midnight on August 13th. Decisions and feedback will be given by October 31.

Topics that might fit this collection include:
● Pokémon Go’s precursors
● Pokémon Go’s legacy
● Pokémon Go and access
● Public play and its intersections with gender, race, and class
● Public play as frivolous
● Pokémon Go and place-based rhetorics
● Pokémon Go and Urban Planning
● Augmented reality and community
● Legal issues and legislation
● Pokémon Go and surveillance

Our timeline anticipates a Fall 2018 publication date and is organized around the following guideposts:
● Call for proposals: June 2017
● Receive abstracts (400-500 words): August 13, 2017
● Review and response to authors: October 31, 2017
● Submissions deadline: January 28, 2018
● Feedback due: March 25, 2018
● Revision due: June 3, 2018
● Production cycle (pending publisher): begins February 2018
● Publish: August 2018

Thanks for your interest and we look forward to working with you!
Dr. Jamie Henthorn, Catawba College
Andrew Kulak, Virginia Tech
Kristopher Purzycki, UW-Milwaukee
Dr. Stephanie Vie, University of Central Florida