Borrowers and Lenders Special Issue: Shakespeare and Gaming

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Borrowers and Lenders
contact email: 

In what game designer Eric Zimmerman calls our 'ludic century', the proliferation of games of all sorts makes them a schema for (re)understanding the modes and habits of cultural production. Indeed, the practices of Shakespearean appropriation are frequently products of playful engagements, whereby the appropriator traverses the text, building virtual or imaginary worlds that interact with the received Shakespearean corpus, its margins, and its outliers in creative ways. Moreover, just as play may be likened to appropriation, aspects of Shakespeare games and game development might reflect and/or challenge traditional modes of humanistic inquiry, and adaptive play has the capacity to influence critical reading practices. Using games to foreground the notion of interactivity at the heart of appropriation, this special issue of Borrowers and Lenders invites multimedia projects, including original creative-critical games, and theoretically-oriented essays of between 5,000 and 9,000 words to explore how games and games studies impact the study and circulation of Shakespeare, offering new models of reading through appropriative acts. Topics might include:

  • Educational and pedagogical games

  • Role-playing games and character studies

  • Failure, fail-states, and glitches as concepts applicable to and beyond gaming

  • Gaming and performance studies/performativity

  • Game-making as scholarship and criticism

  • Shakespeare and Shakespeareana in interactive and electronic literature

  • Shakespeare board and video games

  • Shakespearean quotations, allusions, and motifs in non-Shakespearean games or games culture more broadly

  • Theories of play and interactivity

  • Transmedia approaches to Shakespeare

  • Virtual and immersive Shakespeare experiences


Because Borrowers and Lenders is an online, open-access journal, we encourage essays that include embedded media and games hosted on free platforms such as Please submit a 250-word abstract to by August 15th, 2018.  Selected essays will be due February 1st, 2019 for publication in early 2020. Borrowers and Lenders is a peer-reviewed journal, and submissions will be reviewed by the volume’s guest editors and anonymous readers in Shakespeare and game studies.  For more information, please visit: