Call for Papers 2016 – merzWissenschaft


Digital Games
Responsible editors: Prof. Dr. Sonja Ganguin (Universitat Leipzig) and
merzWissenschaft editorial team (JFF)

The objective of merzWissenschaft 2016 is to consolidate scientific perspectives on digital games and gaming that incorporate one or more of three aspects: The range of games relevant to children and youth, their appropriation by children and youth, and the basic social and parameters of appropriation. Both the range of games and the appropriation processes are subject to extremely rapid development.

Most remarkable in terms of the range of games are the various platforms and game genres, the in part new sales strategies and business models, and the increasing degree of networking and associated storage and transfer of data. From a media-education point of view, the focus is to be placed on the content and structure of the particular range of games explicitly intended for children and youth. On the other hand those digital games which are intended primarily for an adult audience according to their developers and publishers, but which nevertheless are played by children and youth, are also of interest.

With regard to appropriation by children and youth, in addition to use settings (e.g. in groups or alone, mobile or stationary, online or offline,
among members of the same age group or in intergenerational groups, e.g. in
the family), cultural relationships to fan and/or consumer cultures are also
to be considered. Furthermore, the focus is also to cover skills that enable
independent behavior regarding digital games, since interaction within the
game allows the creation of interaction spaces, encounters with content,
topics and with value systems.

At the societal level, developments necessitate the consideration of
questions on media-educational and legal parameters, for example issues
relating to protection of minors in the media and data protection as well as
the question of the extent to which children’s rights (the right to play,
the right to participate, etc.) also apply to digital games. Furthermore,
societal dialog on digital games and the associated gaming, including its
historical development, appears useful in contextualizing the appropriation
of digital games by children and youth.

merzWissenschaft 2016 is calling for the submission of theoretical or
empirical papers which deal with digital games and gaming, in particular
with respect to children and youth. The substantive focus of such papers
should be on the following areas:

– Normative dimensions of pedagogical action: Digitalization changes
perspectives on the game as the object addressed in relevant
(sub-)disciplines. Game concepts in the context of digital culture and
mediatized worlds are worthy of examination, as is the question of whether
and to what extent the right to play can also be applied to digital games. A
central issue in this context is what challenges arise to the autonomy of
those playing in networked game worlds, and what challenges arise for
education and parenting as well as for systems for the protection of
children and youth.

– Digital games in education: Game playing as an important form of world
appropriation has always enjoyed a permanent spot in various educational
areas, especially in the area of early-childhood education. This raises the
question of the significance of digital games in formal and non-formal
educational contexts. To what extent do digital games support learning
processes? What potentials and limitations are entailed in so-called
“gamification”, the application of game principles to other life and
behavioral areas?

– Digital games as communication and social spaces: The medial nature of
computer games not only allows their characterization as narrative media,
but also establishes communication and social spaces. There are additional
social and communication spaces above and beyond the immediate game
structures, which primarily facilitate the interaction of players (e.g.
Guilds, Clans, Communities). This raises several questions: How are these
spaces structured? What is the nature of the inclusion and exclusion
processes within and surrounding digital games? To what extent do digital
games function as political systems? What is the significance of games for
interaction not only within the peer group, but also in the family and in
cross-generational settings?

– Digital games as a part of the convergent media world: Digital games are
embedded in the networked structures of the convergent media world. In
addition to the issue of communication via digital games and fan cultures,
there is also the question of the character of digital games as a means of
expression and as a medium for participation and the issue of economical
aspects. Relevant questions in this context are: What sales channels do
providers choose? What are their business and profit models, and what are
the associated consequences for users? Are these consequences evident and
comprehensible to the users?

– The societal dialog on digital games: The societal dialog on digital games
has evolved in the past years, and is characterized by various agents and
conflicting areas of demand. Here the agents are of central importance. How
does player participation succeed and what are the relevant topics from the
perspective of the player community (e.g. Gamergate)?

merzWissenschaft provides a forum promoting scientific analysis in media
education and progress in the theoretical foundation of the discipline. In
this capacity merzWissenschaft is calling for qualified contributions from
various relevant disciplines for the continuing development of expert
media-educational discussions.

Of interest are original papers:
– With an empirical or theoretical foundation,
– Which present new findings, aspects or approaches to the topic, and with
– An explicit relationship to one of the sub-areas outlined or which
formulate an issue and/or which explore a separate issue within the overall
context of the Call.

Abstracts with a maximum length of 6,000 characters (including blank spaces)
can be submitted to the merz editorial team ( until no later
than February 15, 2016. Contributions should follow the formal
merzWissenschaft layout specifications, available at
Please contact Susanne Eggert, Tel.
+49 (0) 89 68989 152 with any questions.

Summary of deadlines
– February 15, 2016: Submission of abstracts to
– March 11, 2016: Final decision on acceptance/rejection of the abstracts
– June 13, 2016: Submission of papers
– June 13 – July 22, 2016: Assessment phase
– August/September 2016: Revision phase (when appropriate with multiple cycles)
– Final submission: September 23, 2016

You can download this cfp at



One Response to “Call for Papers 2016 – merzWissenschaft”

  1. Very informative. Thanks for the article

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