Computer games are increasingly the subject of academic inquiry in a number of disciplines ranging from cultural studies through media studies to psychology. By allowing individuals to immerse themselves into the narrative and (re)interpret it through their actions and experiences, computer games create possibilities for negotiating the meanings of various societal phenomena, including the ones related to individual and collective trauma. Examples of such phenomena include armed conflicts and post-traumatic stress disorder (Spec Ops: The Line, Knights of the Old Republic 2), colonialism and contemporary discrimination (Blackhaven, Life is Strange 2), childhood trauma (Tell Me Why), illness (That Dragon Cancer), or climate change (The Climate Trail).
This volume of the series Transdisciplinary Trauma Studies will focus on understanding the complex interplay among technical affordances, societal practices, and individual experiences that define interactions between computer games and trauma. It will propose a number of questions to engage with: How are various technical and narrative techniques used in computer game design to facilitate engagement with trauma? In which ways can computer games be used to inform individuals and societies about trauma? How can games, on the other hand, also be utilised to enforce collective traumatic silence, and by what actors? What are the differences between game genres (e.g., strategies, shooters, and role-playing games) in terms of their potential for mediating different forms of traumatic experiences (e.g., historical trauma or individual trauma)? What can be the role of computer games in shaping trauma-informed societal practices, and how can computer games promote resilience and empathy? How to use trauma games in education without transmitting trauma to gamers?
Timeline and Procedure:
Proposals with 250 words (Max), including information on the conceptual and methodological framework that the authors expect to use in their chapter and on the games they will analyse, should be sent to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The application deadline is November 1, 2022, and the completed chapters (around 5-7 thousand words) are due by January 1, 2023.
Further information is available in the pdf below: