Game Studies Area: 2024 PCA/ACA National Conference

deadline for submissions: 
November 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Steffi Shook, Area Co-chair, PCA/ACA Games Studies
contact email: 

The Game Studies area of the National Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association Conference invites proposals for papers and panels on games and game studies for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference to be held on March 27-30, 2024, in Chicago, IL.

I. Topics of Interest

The organizers seek proposals and papers covering all aspects of gaming, gaming culture and game studies. Proposals can address any game medium (computer, social, console, tabletop, etc.) and all theoretical and methodological approaches are welcome.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • new game mediums and platforms
  • representation or performance of race, class, gender and sexuality in games
  • gaming culture, game-specific cultures, and multicultural and cross-cultural issues
  • game development, design, authorship and other industry issues
  • game advertising, reviews, packaging, promotion, integrated marketing and other commercial concerns
  • political and legal entailments such as regulation, censorship, intellectual property
  • player-generated content
  • game genres, platforms, consoles, console wars and connections to other media
  • serious games for education, business, healthcare, (military) training, etc
  • space and place in games, play spaces, virtual/physical communities, mobile gaming and localization
  • digital literacy, discourse practices, social norms and norming, the politics of play
  • public discourse/controversy over violence, militarism, sex, criminality, racism, etc in games
  • game pedagogy and classroom practices, gamification, learning as play


II. Submission Process

The Game Studies area of the National Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association Conference, which began as the Video Games Studies area in 2003, has the most enduring footprint of any North American academic organization that gives serious attention to the social and cultural impact of games and gaming. The area continues to grow and offers two avenues for scholars to participate and present their work.


A. Paper Proposals

For individual paper proposal submissions, please submit a 250-word (maximum) abstract.

B. Panel Proposals

For panel submissions, please submit a 250-word (maximum) panel abstract, as well as 100-word abstracts for each individual presentation. Panel proposals must be emailed to Be sure to include the proposed title of the panel, the organizer’s name, affiliation, mailing address, and email, as well as this information for all panelists. 


III. Information about the Conference

A. So that there will be ample time for discussion, each individual paper presentation should be designed to last approximately twelve to fifteen minutes (there will typically be four presentations per session with time for Q&A).

B. Technology for use during presentations may be limited. More information about the conference can be found at


C. Presenters will be required to join either the Popular Culture Association or the American Culture Association prior to attending the conference, as well as pay a registration fee for the conference. 

D. Awards and Travel Grants are offered, on a competitive basis, by the National Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association


IV. New policy regarding Undergraduate Presenters 

An undergraduate presenter must have a faculty member as a sponsor.  This faculty member must also attend the conference, as well as the session in which the student presents.  It’s the responsibility of the sponsor to help the student prepare by explaining conference etiquette (both for presenters and for attendees) and working with the student on the presentation.  We encourage students to discuss their ideas with their sponsor before submitting a proposal, seek feedback on the draft, and, if possible, to rehearse the presentation together.

Our area has a number of members who would be happy to serve as sponsors. An undergraduate who wishes to apply but lacks a sponsor may reach out to the Area Chairs, and we will attempt to pair the student with an appropriate sponsor. Read the PCA Code of Conduct.  Also, please email the chairs for a required handout that they will need to submit to them. Your sponsor will also need to sign.


V. Contact Information

Questions and concerns can be sent to, or may be directed to one of the area chairs listed below. One can also visit our Facebook page to discuss possible panel topics or for things like organizing room sharing.


Matthew Wysocki, Department of Communication,

Flagler College

Steffi Shook, Communication and Media,

Manhattanville College

Betsy Brey, Department of Communication Arts,

University of Waterloo