Let’s play a game.
In the wake of the #saa2015 #archaeogaming hashtag (as well as #ctp2015, ‘challenge the past’), and indeed Heritage Jam, I’ve been thinking about how awesome it would be to have a collection of papers dealing with archaeogaming (as Andrew defines it). Such things exist (although, as I tap this out, I can’t link to anything in particular) though they are more ‘reception studies’ than what I think we’ve been seeing lately.
And then as I sat in traffic, imagining what a ‘call for papers’ might say, the penny dropped. Why call for papers at all?
Why not issue a call for games?
Why not use the medium we’re interested in itself to write our scholarship? Trevor talks about this in the context of history more broadly. If you haven’t read that post, you should – go on, I’ll wait. Trevor makes a persuasive argument.
Brass tacks. How would this play out? Normally, if you had a collected volume in mind, you would contact potential contributors, have them cook up abstracts, then with abstracts in hand you approach a potential publisher… I’ve been part of a couple of experiments with Jack Dougherty that do all of this in the open, via a comment-press platform. I imagine this makes the finding a publisher a bit easier (?) because you can already demonstrate interest and potential readership. What would the flow look like for a collection of archaeogames? Maybe some sort of ‘humble-bundle’ hosted on itch.io maybe? Maybe some sort of wordpress site as a wrapper? Games could be any genre, any platform -board games too, if they can be distributed say as print-outable pdfs or 3d-, as long as they make a scholarly, archaeological, argument where the affordances of the medium are used to best advantage.
Interested? Good idea, bad idea?