Memory Insufficient is looking for essays on theatre and games history
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Stage fighting in the opening minutes of Final Fantasy IX

Call for submissions | Memory Insufficient

Theatre and games history

The theme for the forthcoming issue of Memory Insufficient comes from a belief that the history and study of theatre has a lot to offer those of us who want to better understand games. We're calling out to theatre nerds, opera connoiseurs, amateur improv enthusiasts, scholars and, of course, historians of theatre to share their thoughts on how games history relates to the theatre.

Theatre as a medium draws our attention to space, bodies, and materiality. How does thinking of in-game objects as costumes and props change our reading of them? When has the setting of play been as important as the design of a game itself?

How has the performance of play changed over time? As well as examinations of emergent technological performances such as tool-assisted speedruns, we also welcome essays on analogue intersections, such as LARPing as theatre.

How has an aspiration to one day play at Hamlet on a holodeck influenced the direction that game design has taken? What lineages could we draw from the Royal Shakespeare Company to games culture? What alternative ideals can theatre traditions offer to games - what about games that aspire to interactive Noh plays?

Theatre is a collaborative effort between those creating the performance and the audience experiencing it. What parallels can be drawn between a director and the audience they are reaching as compared to a game designer and the player? What impact does Brecht's belief in the Alienation Effect have in our understanding of systems and the meta of a games mechanics?
With guest editor
Denis Farr


2nd February

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Submissions should be a complete first draft, and should be between 500 and 3000 words long, though longer pieces are likely to be edited down. We encourage a variety of writing styles, including poetry, visual essays and creative non-fiction as well as more standard essay style. Essays will be accepted on digital games, tabletop games, folk games, imaginary games, and non-games. Essays on Bioshock are unlikely to be accepted for a while. If your essay draws on a particular disciplinary heritage, please suggest 4-5 texts for further reading.
Copyright © 2015 Zoyander Street, All rights reserved.

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