This excellent/intriguing CFP just posted, special issue of Convergence that will be coedited by (HMS contributors!) Ingrid Richardson and Larissa Hjorth. Full papers due Feb 1, 2018. From the official CFP available here:

In this issue we seek to critically rethink media cultures and practices at the juncture of games, play, and haptic media interfaces.

We are currently, some suggest, in the midst of a cultural shift towards a lusory sensibility, or a ‘playful’ turn in our social and media practices. As Miguel Sicart (2014) argues, the playful characterises contemporary media. This playfulness can be seen in the seamless integration of games and creative mobile apps into our everyday lives and modes of communication, the perpetual expansion of participatory media forms, and in the rise of ever-evolving social media services that enable users to upload and share their own creative “small media” content. The playful attitude is at the core of an emergent “spreadable media” culture (Jenkins et al., 2013), where the boundaries between production and consumption collapse, demanding that we rethink contemporary media culture in terms of a flexible, paratextual, open – often irreverent and playful – dynamic.

At the same time, the intimate and haptic nature of touchscreen interfaces has become a key focus of media research. The necessity that we literally “handle” the mobile device and manipulate screen objects on the touchscreen with our fingers, some argue, means we are more affectively and haptically involved in the affordances, enablements and constraints of the interface. In Paterson’s (2012) terms, haptic media engage the manifold facets of touch, as sense ensemble that incorporates cutaneous, kinaesthetic, proprioceptive, somatic, mimetic, metaphoric and affective modes of perception. Over the past decade such analyses of the haptic interface have enabled fertile connections between media theory and the disciplinary fields of sensory studies and new materialism.

Within our unpredictable and evolving mediascape, what constitutes gaming – and play more generally – is undergoing significant material and experiental transformation. Across a range of devices, offline and online contexts, levesl of engagement and modes of embodiment, games and playful media activities are enacted by a growing and diverse demographic, irrespective of age, gender, place and cultural milieu. We are thus at a critical point in the cultural evoltuion of play as it becomes thoroughly embedded in media use, sharing and creatively. This issue aims to capture and explore an important interdisciplinary moment across game, internet and media studies, one that resides at the nexus of haptic interfaces and playful practices.

Topics may include:

Theoretical approaches to haptic media and the role of touch and tactility in the digital age
Critical analyses of the relation between play (as an activity) and playfulness (as an attitude) in the context of haptic media
Critical analyses of the relation between games and play in the context of haptic media
Haptocentric approaches to media theory and analyses of games and play
Historical and genealogical interpretations of haptics, touch and haptic media interfaces, and their imbrication in games and play
Explorations of the relation between play and haptic textuality and/or visuality
Conceptual explorations of haptic games and playful media (e.g. relating to gesture, feel, relationality, affect, flow, synaesthesia, kinaesthesia, mimesis, proprioception, sensory realism, naive physics, body memory and awareness etc)
Methodologies applied to playful haptic media (i.e. relating to ethnography, media research, usability or game/app development)
Haptic media in creative practice and expression
Critical interrogations of the ‘sensory turn’ in media theory in the context of games and play
New materialist approaches to the study of playful haptic interfaces
Temporality and spatiality relating to the experience and perception of haptic media and playfulness
Submission deadline for research articles: 1 February 2018

All submissions must be made online via ScholarOne

Submission guidelines for Convergence can be found on the Sage website.

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