Games and Play at the Margins: Between Visibilities and Invisibilities

Call for Papers for a special issue on Games and Play at the Margins: Between Visibilities and Invisibilities

This special issue of Human Technology explores the unconventional in games and play, particularly in the ways game spaces serve as hosts to everyday acts of resistance to stereotypical or hegemonic means of understanding these cultural forms of communication and recreation. In this sense, this call solicits work that examines gameplay as it winds in and out of institutions, social relations, and media platforms. 


In line with the theme of Games and Play at the Margins: Between Visibilities and Invisibilities, the editors of the journal wish to feature work that has been, by its marginality, considered difficult—whether by topic, the research itself, or the resultant findings. In terms of social issues and technology, researchers traverse numerous intersections. Games are just one example of how communities, their practices, and culture, manifest through mediated environments. Despite the oft-lauded emancipatory possibilities of cyberspace, the deep study of the people and these environments continue to uncover vastly understudied populations, their stories of struggle, and what may be portrayed as secondary and inferior rather than primary and preferred.


Of particular interest are the fraught spaces in between description and interpretation of games and their associated phenomena. Couching games as mere escapism, for example, does not do justice to the emancipatory effects of participation. Moral panics in the media serve to cast community members in very limited and passive roles. Instead, how are people exhibiting agency in advocating for their own needs and those of others. What are the important issues self-identified and otherwise in these increasingly porous barriers between social networks, work and leisure, online and offline?


For this thematic issue in Human Technology, we seek contributions that challenge current thinking and critically acknowledge the social shaping of games and play as media, their audiences, and their subjectivities. Varying orientations on the subject are welcome. These may include the humanistic and social sciences, or broad cultural, societal, artistic, educational, or philosophical accounts. Reports on empirical studies are welcome, as are ethics-centered reinterpretations of prior research and theories.


The themes include (but are not restricted to):


Marginality and Resistance

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Sexualities
  • Invisible challenges in play
  • Marginalized bodies
  • Intersectional places and spaces
  • Techno-Feminism
  • Techno-Orientalism
  • Utopias
  • Hegemonies
  • Countercultures
  • Materiality
  • Self-care


Between the performance and spectacle of game worlds


  • Media and moral panic
  • Games as disorder (addiction, rhetoric)
  • E-sports and professionalization
  • Fandoms, community, spectatorship
  • Business practices, crowdfunding, and sponsorship
  • Performing
  • Public and Private modes of play
  • Labor and Leisure
  • Wearable technologies
  • Self-monitoring and quantifying the self


All submitted papers (a minimum of 7,000 words, 8,000–10,000 preferred, over 10,000 possible) will be evaluated by antiplagiarism software and then for suitability within the scope of the special issue and readiness for peer review. The emphasis of manuscripts published in Human Technology rests upon the human component in human–technology interaction; therefore, better papers will highlight the implication and/or benefits for humans and/or society.


Papers accepted for publication in Human Technology must follow the style outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Author guidelines are available at


This call for papers is open until 1 April, 2019. Human Technology uses a journal management system. Authors wishing to submit papers for publication consideration are to upload the paper via and the corresponding author must complete the required information. During the submission process, authors will need to confirm that the submitted paper is original and not being considered for publication elsewhere (including online forums). In addition, the corresponding author will need to confirm that all coauthors have agreed to submit this paper to Human Technology and that, if applicable, any institute involved in the research is aware of the submission on that research. Any further questions regarding the submission process can be directed to Barbara Crawford, managing editor of Human Technology, at

Guest Editor: Florence M. Chee (