CFP: Game History and the Local

Game history did not unfold uniformly and the particularities of space and place matter. Yet many digital game and software histories are silent with respect to geography. The orthodoxy that the U.S. and Japan – and to a lesser extent the U.K. – constituted the ‘centres’ at the outset of the industry has enjoyed such legitimacy that many accounts do not even bother to mention the ‘where’ that their material or statistics pertain to. That many histories have been written by journalists and ‘insiders’ – comprising what Huhtamo calls the “chronicle era” of game history – largely accepting the game industry’s ‘global’ rhetoric has no doubt contributed to this situation. However, it means that locality has largely been left out of game history (with some notable exceptions), at least until recently. Given the great historic diversity of games and contexts for their play, an appreciation of socio-cultural and geographic specificity is important to develop, particularly if other histories are to be told, for instance, from the ‘periphery’ rather than the ‘centre’.

There is a burgeoning interest in discussing locality with respect to game history. Whilst this degree of interest is welcome, the local needs to be critically-situated if it is not to simply become a new orthodoxy, celebrated for its own sake.

This anthology is intended to bring together scholarship which addresses the critical potential of the local for game history, asking how this might encourage a maturation of historical work on and around games.

Please send abstracts (300 words) and a brief bio to melanie.swalwell@flinders.edu.au by 31st August, 2015. Full papers will be due in February 2016.

Leave a Reply