I am editing an anthology together with Esther MacCallum Stewart on the theme of Game Love.
Having secured a number of great contributions already, we are looking forward to submissions from those of you out there whose game-love interest we have still to become aware of! I have high hopes this will be a great and fun addition to game studies!

Game Love – Call for chapters
Editors: Jessica Enevold & Esther MacCallum-Stewart

The editors seek to assemble an edited collection of papers on the subject of Love and Games. Whilst much has been written on violence and sex in games, the representation, creation and expression of love in and for games has hitherto been sparse, but is now gathering increased attention and interest. The authors have wished to assemble this collection for some time, and feel that Games Studies has reached a point of maturity during which such a study will help further some of the complex debates emerging in this area.
Digital romances are reportedly complicated to tell in game form–whether it be story articulation or graphical rendition–still, attempts have been made both to convey stories of love and to engage the player emotionally in games. But how, and to what effect? What are the limitations and affordances of the game format when it comes to love? Moreover, love frequently evolves digitally among gamers–both for the game and for each other, but their stories seldom get told other than in forums or occasional journalistic sprees disclosing the behind the scenes of gaming. What are the specific qualities of games, gamers and gaming to bring such digitally inspired love about? Lastly, celebratory invocations of games and declarations of affection for individual avatars or favorite game characters abound, in fan, media and academic texts. If looked at more closely, what do they tell us about games and players, today and historically?

The collection Game Love attempts to address some of the key debates in current Games Studies. We invite papers that draw from the topics listed below as a starting point from which to direct your investigations. The framework drawn up is based on earlier studies into the definition of love in and for games begun here: Game Love – a model. We welcome challenges and alternative perspectives to this framework, as well as lively debate within the collection as to the nature and manifestation of love in and for games.

Abstracts on the following issues or combinations thereof are therefore encouraged:

1. The Game itself:
Semiotics–representation, narrative, cinematographic elements such as cut scenes or mono/duologues, asides or intertextuality
Mechanics–interface options, verbs, changes in game state related to love.
Design– technique, design structure and theory, avatar and emotional design.

2. Player-generated love, paraludic action or interaction among players.
Performative aspects of gaming– roleplay, fan fiction, machinima, webzines.
Fan cultures and production.
Gaming as romance.
Sociological, autoethnographic or other studies of love in games.
Love for or of specific foci, such as avatar, place or specific title.

3. Game Discourse
Critical and Media Debates surrounding the issue of love in/and for games
Gaming history
Socio-cultural understandings of love and its relation to games and gaming.
Critical approaches to love and games– for example gendered readings or other critical standpoints.
Critical fan discussion on games, the language of reviewers etc.
Media responses to love in games.

4. Love for Games
Ludophobia, ludophilia, ludomania, which may be interpreted in a number of ways
Excess and moral panics; Addiction – strongly connected to the theme of love – other perspectives will be tested for relevance

For additional ideas, inspiration or explanation of these four main topic clusters, have a look at the previously referenced model here: Game Love – a model. (Enevold 2008/2010).

We recommend writers to stick to a jargon free, clear, but firmly academically anchored prose.
Abstracts should be 500 words, for chapters aiming to be approx 7-9000 words when complete.

Timelines are as follows:
30th April 2011 – Deadline for abstracts
30th May – contributors informed of selection
1st December 2011 – first draft due in
July 2012 – Estimated date of publication

Please send abstracts to both editors :
Esther MacCallum-Stewart (Neveah@gmail.com) and
Jessica Enevold (Jessica.enevold@kultur.lu.se).

Picture used under Creative Commons


May 4 and 6 Jessica held a lecture and workshop on computer games, as part of the course SASH24 Violence, gender and culture – a global survey, held at the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University. More than 30 students split into two groups, experienced hands-on sessions in two lab rooms. In one of the rooms, the HEX lab, using the PS3 and the Wii consoles they discussed avatar construction and moral decision making; in the Mac lab they tried out some web-based games talking about games as a violent medium and about the potential of games to proved ethical gameplay experience, that is ethics of computer games  (2009) à la Miguel Sicart. Lotta assisted this well visited event and we conclude that both students and teachers seemed to enjoy and learn from the experience.

Miguel Sicart lectures on the Ethics of Computer Games

Lab session with Sicart- digital cultures and games 4

This time around, the 4th Hex Digital Cultures and Games Lecture/Lab seminar had a slightly different format than usual. On Thursday March 25, Jessica Enevold, HEX and Bodil Pettersson, Centre for the Study of Denmark, collaborated to arrange a half-day seminar on the theme Digital Ethics. Assistant Professor Miguel Sicart from the IT University of Copenhagen gave an inspiring and enlightening keynote with the title “Play, Interruped. On the Ethics of Computer Games.” This was preceded by presentations by Sarah Marie Holm Hansson, Nicolò Dell’Unto and Daniel Carlsson who angled the topic from as different perspectives as library science, archeology and religious studies and did so very well. The keynote was followed by a session in the gaming lab, as is customary in the Digital Cultures and Games Lecture/Lab series. Two games were tried out and discussed in terms of their success in producing ethical gameplay. Apart from being thought provoking the seminar also benefited from both speakers and audience contributing to a dynamic discussion. On behalf of Bodil and myself, I want to thank all of you who made the day so enjoyable. The entire program of the day can be found here. Next event will be held on May 18, when Dan Pinchbeck will talk about Digital Preservation. More info will be published on the Hex blog.

“Mothers, Play, And Everyday Life: Ethnology meets Game Studies” is an article published in Ethnologia Scandinavica 2009, an English journal on Scandinavian ethnology. It can be downloades from our “Publikationer/Publications”-page.