Cozy Games and Coziness in Digital Games
Replay. The Polish Journal of Game Studies invites all scholars to submit articles concerning cozy games and coziness in games.
Undoubtedly, the past decade has seen a spurt in both production and academic research on cozy games, i.e., games that reject the game model based on competitiveness, time restrictiveness, and the scarcity of resources, instead promoting gameplay experiences that are casual, enjoyable, and calm. Although in the gaming literature, they have been given many names, depending on the aspects on which the analysis was focused - such as "ambient games" (Fizek 2018; Hjorth and Richardson 2020), "friendship games" (Harrington 2018), or "personal games" (Parker 2013) — the term “cozy games” became a common term in the game industry and, thus, starts being more common in (Cook 2018, Waszkiewicz and Bakun 2020).
The article published by Daniel Cook in 2018, which can be considered a manifesto of cozy games, lists the following defining characteristics of this genre: 1) a sense of security, provided by low-level of gameplay difficulty, lack of opponents, threats, and the inability to lose the character and/or progress; 2) abundance of resources (such as food and building resources), and 3) softness, referring primarily
to the audiovisual style of the game, which is often characterized by subdued, bright colors and calm music.
Cozy games and games featuring elements of coziness are an interesting object of research not only due to their unique aesthetic, but also because of their political and activistic potential. One can argue that the popularity of these games emerged in response to the changing needs of the players, who, seeking an escape from the dangerous and constantly changing social-political landscape of the modern day, do not seek in games strong emotions, but things they lack in their everyday lives, including calmness and stability.
We want to encourage you to send articles that tackle a broad range of issues
and topics concerning cozy games, including but not limited to:
- Aesthetics of coziness
- Cozy games as a response to socio-political changes
- The functionality of cozy elements in otherwise non-cozy digital games
- Coziness as a tool of activism
- Genre hybrids
- Cozy paratexts
The editors of the special issue are dr Marta Tymińska and dr Agata Waszkiewicz.
For author guidelines check the journal website.
Manuscripts in Polish or English should be sent to email@example.com.
The deadline for submission is June 30th, 2023.
Papers are licensed under the CC BY-NC-ND license and published in Open Access.
Previous issues are available here.