Call For Papers: Video Game Art Reader – Issue 4 – Deadline 3/20/20

Video Game Art Reader Issue 4
Call for Papers

Video Game Art Reader is accepting submissions through March 20th!


In computing, overclocking refers to the common practice of increasing the clock rate of a computer to exceed that certified by the manufacturer. While the concept is seductive—buy the slower, lower-cost central processing unit (CPU), accelerate the clock speed, and presto! you have a cheap, high-end processor—overclocking may destroy your CPU, motherboard, and system memory, or irreparably corrupt your hard drive (voiding your warranty being the least of your problems).

This issue of the Video Game Art Reader (VGAR) proposes overclocking as a metaphor for how games are produced and experienced today, and the temporal compressions and expansions 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 understandings of video game practices that are accelerating past their limits? Might overclocking practices also produce strain on video games and their stakeholders in 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.

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 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 paradigm, 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 20, 2019.

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

For more information and formatting guidelines, visit:

Questions? Michael Reed – mreed (at) vgagallery (dot) org



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.