Call for Papers | Gaming Beyond the Digitial Divide: Video Games and Game Cultures of the Global South

Organized by Phillip Penix-Tadsen
Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies
University of Delaware

Deadlines for abstracts: Oct 1, 2016


Many geographical locales once considered part of the high-tech “periphery,” continually on the downside of a global digital divide between technological haves and have-nots, are in fact home to longstanding and widespread technocultures with their own unique characteristics. This conference panel and the associated edited anthology will examine the cultural impact of video games in regions including Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and developing areas of Oceania and Asia.

An analysis of the games and game cultures of the vast region referred to as the “global south” sheds light on the cultural impact of gaming in less-frequently-examined geographical areas, offering evidence of video games’ impact on economics, creative production, education, popular culture, and political discourse, as well as showing how cultural context impacts games on the levels of development, design, reception, and play practices.

Gaming Beyond the Digital Divide aims to bring together perspectives on video games and the cultures of the global south covering a range of disciplines, perspectives, critical methodologies, and theoretical approaches. Of particular interest is scholarship that offers historically contextualized insight into the impact of video games and the development of games and game cultures, and research that advances the critical methodology for examining the relationship between games and culture. Experts in any particular geographical area within the global south, as well as those concentrating on game studies, media studies, and related disciplines, are invited to submit.

Contributors are encouraged to submit work examining the relationship between games and culture in specific cities, countries, and/or regions of the global south. Final essays will range from 5,000 – 7,000 words, using Chicago citation style with endnotes, and focus on particular topics that may include, but are not limited to:

  • social and economic practices of play
  • history of gaming cultures and subcultures
  • history of game software and hardware design and development
  • global vs. local concerns for game development and consumption
  • impact of “casual” games on gaming audiences and development practices
  • video game translation and other cultural localization practices
  • alternative networks for the circulation of technological goods and products
  • hacking, piracy, and software modification
  • public policy and the game industry
  • impact of video games on other spheres of culture
  • video games and political controversy
  • censorship and restrictions on game circulation
  • “serious” and “persuasive” games
  • game design for public health, NGOs, and government entities
  • artists’ and activists’ games
  • educational uses of video games
  • advergaming, work-for-hire, and game design outsourcing
  • race, nationality, and culture in games
  • sound, space, and culture in game design
  • gender, sexual identity, and cultural context in games
  • cultural identity in player communities
  • language use in games and in player communities
  • relationships between games, colonialism, and decoloniality
  • procedural, algorithmic, and mechanical aspects of culture in games

Contributors are invited to submit an abstract for the DiGRA conference along with the edited volume, or to submit an abstract to the edited volume alone.

DiGRA 2017 – Digital Games Research Association – Melbourne, Australia, July 2017

  • Two-page abstract and brief bio to by October 1, 2016

Contributions to the edited volume (no conference panel)

  • One-page abstract and brief bio to by October 1, 2016

Contact Info:
Phillip Penix-Tadsen
Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Delaware
Contact Email:

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