Reconstruction 16.3, Games and Determinism (Oct. 1, abstracts)

Alan Clinton Announcement
Subject Fields
Psychology, Sport History / Studies

Reconstruction 16.3: Game Studies and Determinism,

edited by Reconstruction staff

(Abstracts 250-500 words, due Oct. 1 2015, completed papers by Feb 1, 2016)


Even though it might be considered a relatively new discipline, Game Studies has galvanized around a readily recognizable set of determinisms. Indeed, the necessity of differentiating between video and computer games instantiates highlights an important pair. Conversely, it might be argued that a set of determinisms have galvanized around Game Studies, not least of which is the ongoing duel of the ludology and narratology dichotomies. Similarly, the mere existence of the debate regarding whether or not games constitute art seems to invoke the potential for invocations of auteur theory, if not definitions of art and aesthetics. Yet, as the “gamergate” fiasco reveals, familiar categories like player and genre break down under the weight of the determinism contained within. Likewise, the complete elision of queer perspectives, readings and subjectivities exists in and through the almost symbiotic relationship between an admittedly sexist industry and an academy eager to criticize it through the equally deterministic sex role theory that continues to dominate academic considerations of gender. Thus, the editors seek papers that explore/explode the various determinisms that have arisen in, through and about game studies. There would be a particular welcome and/or interest in papers from emerging scholars and/or scholars who would like to take the opportunity the revisit their own work or works that have become part of the lexical orthodoxy. Scholars would be invited to consider particular games, game genres and game elements as well as more theoretical considerations, particularly with regard to tertiary or other modes of game related production that have arisen and were not envisioned and/or encompassed when the canonical modes of reading were established as such.


Suggested topics include:


--demythologizing or deconstructing deterministic criticism in Game Studies

--beyond sex role theory

--exclusions of gender performativity and play

--the industry of critical commonplaces

--the empire (building) of gamification tropes

--outside and/or before the "magic circle"

--paratexts and other texts "outside" the game

--beyond gamers

--Game Studies and disciplinary occlusions

--disciplinary occlusions and Game Studies

--win or lose


Please send abstracts and queries to Marc Ouellette at with the subject heading “Game Studies and Determinism” by Oct. 1, 2015.


N.B. As an online journal, we are able to incorporate images and multimedia submissions.


Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (ISSN: 1547-4348) is an innovative online cultural studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies. Reconstruction publishes three Themed Issues and one Open Issue per year.

Send Open Issue submissions (year round) to: and submissions for Themed Issues to the appropriate editors listed on the site at

Reconstruction also accepts proposal for special issue editors and topics. Reconstruction is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography.


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