Special Issue "Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)
"…information must absolutely sound plausible. For this reason, it proves incompatible with the spirit of storytelling. If the art of storytelling has become rare, the dissemination of information has played a decisive role in this state of affairs."—Walter Benjamin, The Storyteller.
Storytelling encompasses narrative. As the vogue for "environmental storytelling" suggests in the case of digital games, narrative is only one way in which games tell stories. Concept and environment artists are storytellers. Character designers are storytellers. Level designers are storytellers. Game designers are storytellers. Marketers are storytellers. Streamers are storytellers.
Narrative encompasses storytelling. For literary critic Walter Benjamin, storytelling is a subset of narrative: one that is indissolubly linked with the figure of the storyteller with whom we "Stay awhile, and listen". Newer forms of narrative such as the novel and the information-rich mass media signal a decline in storytelling. Where the storyteller is the advocate for all created beings, informational narratives are focused on this thing, at this time.
What does the incorporation of our bodies into technological matrices and big data systems —such as we see with the rise of gaming—signal for the fortunes of storytelling? Is it time to further historicise the relations between information, storytellers and storytelling?
Storytelling is often a crucial term in scholarly discussions of digital games, even if it appears with some ambivalence. For Ian Bogost, storytelling is a question that needs to be attenuated as games mature: "The true accomplishment of What Remains of Edith Finch is that it invites players to abandon the dream of interactive storytelling at last". For Janet Murray, both humans and computers are co-contributing storytellers, presaging the future "cyberbard and the multiform plot". N. Katherine Hayles insists on an attentiveness to the materiality of which stories are made, and the novelty of digital storytelling brings fresh light to the entire field: "As the vibrant new field of electronic textuality flexes its muscle, it is becoming overwhelmingly clear that we can no longer afford to ignore the material basis of literary production".
We invite 3000–7000 word scholarly articles for a peer-reviewed Special Issue of the journal Arts on the theme of "Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling", with a deadline of 31 May 2018.
An associated conference on the topic will be held at Abertay University, 9 May 2018, keynoted by Professor Espen Aarseth (ITU Copenhagen). Selected papers from this event will be invited to contribute to the Special Issue.Dr. Darshana Jayemanne
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- conceptualizing storytelling
- storytelling and the figure of the storyteller
- storytelling practice in digital games
- storytelling, games and stylistics
- "primitives" of videogame storytelling
- pedagogy and storytelling
- Indie, casual and AAA; FPS, RPG, MMO, MOBA, adventure: how do different game genres tell stories?
- What constitutes "game-like" storytelling in other media, and how do specific textual ties and media-specificities affect game storytelling?
- How has gaming given rise to novel storytelling texts and practices? What is the relation of videogame storytelling to proximate forms?
- Storytelling, myth and legend: How do these forms appear and interrelate in games?
- What is the contribution of music and audio as storytelling devices in specific games?
- What do contemporary storytelling practices in the wider culture have to say about the future of games, and vice-versa?