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13 Apr

Call for Contributions: Intermedia Games—Games Inter Media

Written by Michael Fuchs
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In their book on 'understanding new media,' Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin convincingly argue that "all mediation is remediation," since "[o]ur culture conceives of each medium" on the basis of how "it responds to, redeploys, competes with, and reforms other media." Accordingly, the computer has been referred to as "the first metamedium," for, as Alan Kay noted as early as 1984, it "can dynamically simulate the details of any other medium, including media that cannot exist physically." If we thus, following Lev Manovich, conceive of digital media as simulations of "previously existing" and "previously non-existent media," we should not be surprised by the fact that video games are enmeshed in a network of media that influence one another.

After all, video games employ cinematic or comics sequences in order to drive their stories (e.g. Max Payne), simulate books to provide narrative background information (e.g. Ultima VII), incorporate TV sets for various purposes (e.g. Alan Wake), and feature opera performances as central plot elements (e.g. Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within). On the other hand, movies such as Tron attempt to simulate the interactive and performative character of video games, comics such as Runaways feature representations of video games in order to stress differences between diegetic and hypodiegetic worlds, novels such as Neal Stephenson's Reamde reflect on the politics and economics of MMOs, and Sheldon and company are repeatedly seen playing (or discussing) video games in the TV show The Big Bang Theory, highlighting the importance of video games in our day and age in the process. In addition, video games are transformed into movies and novels and cinematic block-busters into video games. And, of course, in our convergence culture, video games are frequently part of larger transmedia universes, while walkthroughs, Let's Plays, and e-sport broadcasts effectively transform (inter)active video-gaming into a (more or less) passive spectator sport.

So far, these topics have been predominantly addressed in scattered publications. Our volume aims to bring together scholars from various disciplines and provide a common platform for the discussion of video games from an intermedial perspective—both with regard to intermedial phe-nomena within games as well as with regard to the place of games in intermedial networks. We invite contributions from a wide range of theoretical backgrounds neither restricted to the European tradition of intermediality studies (Paech, Wolf, Elleström, etc.) nor to Anglo-American media studies (McLuhan, Bolter & Grusin, Jenkins, etc.).

Chapters may address topics including, but by no means limited to:

  • typologies concerning the remediation of other media in video games (and video games in other media)
  • media-theoretical explorations of video games as the in-between and/vs. the cannibalistic metamedium that incorporates all other media
  • digitizing analog media through remediation in video games
  • specific case studies on the incorporation of analog and/or digital media in video games (and vice versa)
  • video games and adaptation
  • the role of video games in transmedia universes
  • intermedial quotations and/or allusions in video games (or quoting/alluding to video games in other media)
  • comparative studies (e.g. breaking the fourth wall in video games and other media, point of view in video games and other media, death and dying in video games and other media, spectacle and/vs. narrative in video games and movies, CCTVs in 21st-century horror across media, performativity in video games and other media)

Please send abstracts of 500–800 words proposing chapters of 5,000–8,000 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your abstract should outline your working thesis and briefly sketch the theoretical framework(s) within which your chapter will be situated. All submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, you may assume that your email was lost in the depths of cyberspace. In that case, please re-submit.

Please note that we will not include previously published essays in the collection.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have at the email indicated above and/or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Jeff Thoss) and/or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Michael Fuchs).

A European academic publisher has expressed interest in the collection, but we will gauge the interest of some American university presses before signing a contract.

Planned schedule:
November 30, 2015: first drafts due
February 28, 2016: feedback on first drafts
publication expected in the summer of 2017