Loading… posts announcements related to the field of game studies that would be of particular interest to Canadian researchers, developers, artists, scholars and game studies teachers and students. Please forward announcements to jjenson@yorku.ca. Announcements may be edited for brevity and clarity. Please remember to include a URL.
  • Loading Special Issue on Kingdom Hearts


    The Kingdom Hearts franchise straddles worlds, falling between the realms of Disney and Square Enix, invoking myriad characters and franchises from both companies and finding fans not just in Japan and America, but all over the world. Despite the success of this franchise, which now extends to eight mainline instalments produced since 2002 (not to mention additional remasters and mobile game spin-offs) collectively selling 24 million units to date (Minotti, 2018), Kingdom Hearts has yet to be fully interrogated as a nexus point for game culture. As a remedy, this Special Issue of Loading seeks to investigate how Kingdom Hearts occupies a locus point between cultures, industries and fandoms. In Kingdom Hearts, we argue, games studies finds an exemplar of current debates and theories, including, but not limited to issues like:  Ludo-adaptation and narratology (Punday, 2019), representation, identity and diversity (Chess, 2017; Kocurek, 2015; Malkowski and Russworm, 2017; Ruberg and Shaw, 2017) and participatory culture and fan taste cultures (Consalvo and Paul, 2019; Sharp and Thomas, 2019). In particular, we seek to find the moments of tension, synergy and unexpected synchrony enabled by the blending of Square Enix and Disney’s characters, worlds and business cultures. In doing so, we aim to interrogate the impact such transnational, transcultural and transindustrial co-productions can have on wider games culture

    This Special Issue will build on an existing project about Kingdom Hearts, but we are looking to expand its remit, especially in the areas outlined below. If these, or any other topics interest you, please do get in touch with us:


    • Transmedia storytelling
    • Ludology within Kingdom Hearts
    • Ancillary merchandising
    • Adaptation of Disney characters in Kingdom Hearts
    • Music and sound in Kingdom Hearts
    • Kingdom Hearts in the history of the Japanese Role-playing Game
    • How Kingdom Hearts relates to current key theoretical debates in Games Studies
    • Issues of representation, particularly anthropomorphism, ethnicity and sexuality
    • Fan creativity around Kingdom Hearts


    If you would like to submit a proposal, please send a 300 word abstract by 14 August 2020, including full contact details, to the editors at: kingdomheartstransmediaproject@gmail.com


    Works cited

    Chess, S., 2017. Ready Player Two: Women Gamers and Designed Identity. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

    Consalvo, M., Paul, C.A., 2019. Real Games: What’s Legitimate and What’s Not in Contemporary Videogames. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

    Kocurek, C.A., 2015. Coin-Operated Americans: Rebooting Boyhood at the Video Game Arcade. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

    Malkowski, J., Russworm, T. (Eds.), 2017. Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

    Punday, D., 2019. Playing at Narratology: Digital Media as Narrative Theory. The Ohio State University Press, Columbus.

    Ruberg, B., Shaw, A. (Eds.), 2017. Queer Game Studies. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

    Sharp, J., Thomas, D., 2019. Fun, taste, & games: an aesthetics of the idle, unproductive, and otherwise playful, Playful thinking. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.


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  • Re-Figuring Innovation in Games Special Issue


    The ReFiG project has, over five years, focused on supporting research on diversity, inclusion and innovation, studying the actual and potential conditions and contributions of women and other marginalized individuals and communities in and around the making and playing of video games.

    This call for proposals seeks to disseminate work that has been supported by ReFiG, and no less to invite other scholarly contributions related in theme, method, or content to the ReFiG’s  objectives (see http://www.refig.ca). In particular, ReFiG has been focused on challenging and changing where possible conditions of game development, play, and education, both formal and informal, that have impeded equity, diversity and innovation in this sector. The exclusion and harassment of women, both in public and behind the scenes, and the threats of aggression and sexual assault that women associated with the industry, even in 2020, continue to face, signal that our work is not yet done, and certainly not under these increasingly stressed pandemic times for women and other marginalized folks. We invite papers focused on researching diversity, inclusion and innovation in digital games, through methodologies that include, but are not limited to intersectional, care-centred feminist, queer, trans, and anti-racist approaches.

    Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted directly to refiggames@gmail.com by August 1, 2020. Those abstracts selected will have full papers due of no more than 6,000 words (including references) by December 1, 2020, with an expected publication date in early 2021.

    Read more about Re-Figuring Innovation in Games Special Issue