Call for Papers: Video Game Art Reader is Accepting Submissions on Overclocking

Video Game Art Reader (VGAR) is accepting submissions through March 29th on the topic of Overclocking! This issue proposes overclocking as a foundational metaphor for how games are produced and experienced today, and the temporal compressions and extensions of the many historical lineages that have shaped game art and culture. In the same way that a computer user might overclock the processor of their machine to achieve results beyond its intended use, how can video game art studies overclock its received historical boundaries and intervene on current video game practices that are accelerating past their limits? Might overclocking practices also produce strain and wear on video games and their stakeholders in a variety of ways that need to be identified and understood?

VGAR is currently accepting submissions that critically analyze video game art at the limits of temporality: through long historical vectors, across significant investments of lived human experience, and in terms of other considerations of time.

Though digital gaming emerged in the last half of the 20th century, papers in this issue can draw connections between games and a wide variety of transhistorical and transmedia influences. Papers may ask: Do the deep histories in which video games can be framed serve as resources for the equally deep contributions of video game laborers and video game audiences to our current epoch? How do video games spread themselves–through the labor of production or the experience of gameplay–over excessive amounts of time? If we interrogate the materials, conventions, and aesthetics of video games of the past and present, what kind of deep history might emerge? If we look at the aggregate amount of time spent producing video games, what kind of systemic practices emerge? If we look at the amount of time a player base applies to a single game title, what can we learn about the game as well as the lives of those who play it?

Possible topics and questions include but are not limited to:

– Expansions of, or interventions into, theories of media archaeology. How might we expand a media archaeology of video game aesthetics, genres, or modes of play, and what do these histories help us understand about the present?

– As cultural critics, how do we respond to the overclocked demands of video game labor across all levels of production, from art games to indie to AAA?

– How do we reconcile the extensive amount of play time demanded by certain games, and the overwhelming volume of games available, with the limited attention (or life) spans of audiences? 

– What kinds of historical grounding can be identified in the visual culture that precedes and informs the current video game epoch, and what are the conceptual underpinnings of these choices?

– How are the conventions of contemporary video game art distributed across digital and non-digital media?

Deadline for Submissions is March 29th, 2019

All submissions should be sent to: tfunk (at) vgagallery (dot) org.

Questions should be submitted to myself at mreed (at) vgagallery (dot) org.

For more information and formatting guidelines, see:

Submission Guidelines –

Video Game Reader Website –



The VGA Reader is a peer-reviewed journal for video game audiences and video game practitioners interested in the history, theory, and criticism of video games, explored through the lens of art history and visual culture. Its primary aim is to facilitate conversation and exploration of video game art, documenting and disseminating discourse about the far-reaching influence of video games on history, society, and culture.