Foundation, special issue on Science Fiction and Videogames (15 Apr 2014)
CFP: Foundation, Science Fiction and Videogames
For over half a century—from the spaceship duels of Spacewar! and the attacking waves of the Space Invaders, through to the explorations of the Metroid series and the complex environments of the Bioshock games—electronic gaming has made extensive use of science fictional themes and settings. Likewise, science fiction, in books like Ender's Game, films like The Last Starfighter, and TV shows like Defiance, has often explored tropes of videogaming within its created worlds. Both regularly, even obsessively, address questions of identity, embodiment, and representation, as well as the constructions and constraints of culture; both are also constituted in the complex and often fraught relations between fan groups and society.
Foundation seeks papers for a special issue on science fiction and electronic gaming that will delineate and explore zones of concern shared by these two rapidly developing bodies of criticism and theory. What might their intersections reveal about the gaps, conflicts, and kinships of our present cultural moment? How does the history of science fiction criticism speak to game studies, and vice versa? How might the modes of play we develop in electronic realms translate to our methods of critical reading or viewing? What SF works, canonical or otherwise, might be read differently when seen as anticipating or responding to digital gaming?
All topics and methodologies are welcome, potentially including (but not limited to) genre theory, fandom, constructions and representations of cultural identities, physical and intellectual disability, platform studies and media archaeology, software and critical code studies, print culture, and readings of individual titles or series.
Send submissions of up to 8,000 words (including endnotes) by 15 April 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching the file as electronic text in either .rtf or .doc format. For questions about formatting, see the Foundation style guide at sf-foundation.org; direct all other inquiries to Andrew Ferguson at email@example.com.