Call for Papers: Special Issue on Video Games and Cultural Heritage

Special Issue, intended for International Journal of Heritage Studies (Taylor & Francis) edited by Xenia Zeiler and Suzie Thomas (University of Helsinki)

In this themed issue we explore the relationships between video games and the representation, interpretation, construction and creation of cultural heritage. Areas open to discussion and analysis can cover the whole spectrum of video games, from digital tools with educational content, augmented and virtual reality (VR and AR), mobile apps to various single or multiplayer gaming scenarios. As much as we define video games in a broad way, cultural heritage is also understood in broad, holistic terms, including intangible heritage, state-sanctioned heritage representations and so-called dissonant or ambivalent heritage.

We invite submissions that relate to this broad but targeted theme, including but not limited to papers that consider the following questions:

  • What types of heritage identities, representations, constructions and/or applications are expressed in video games?
  • Does heritage representation in video games affect public understandings and world views? How?
  • How do video game developers interact with, draw upon or create cultural heritage in their work?
  • How are heritage organizations and other memory institutions engaging with video games in their interactions with the public?
  • What is the relationship between video games, cultural heritage and value systems?

We welcome submissions from different disciplinary backgrounds. Please submit a structured abstract of ca. 500 words, a 250 word bio and 3-5 keywords by 15th February 2019, to both editors, and Decisions will be made and authors notified by 15th March 2019.

Structured abstract and paper content:

  • Definition of cultural heritage in the context of the proposed article
  • Definition of video games in the context of the proposed article
  • Theoretical framework(s)
  • Research question(s)
  • Method(s)
  • Sample and/or material
  • Conclusion and discussion

Call for Papers: “Video Games and Museums: Educational Digital Tools for the Participatory GLAM Space”


6-7 May 2018, University of Helsinki

Digital tools with educational content – be they video games, apps, interactive websites or others – may intensively contribute to enhance participatory and educational experiences for visitors in the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) spaces. New technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality additionally extend the limits of what can be represented, played, and experienced on multiple levels. This conference’s primary aim is to provide a platform for presenting and discussing themes related to the development of and research on educational digital tools, such as interactive platform such as video games (e.g. in the form of mobile apps) in relation to museums. We actively acknowledge the global aspects in such developments and research.

This two days international conference at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, aims at bringing together persons working in the broad fields and/or interested in discussing educational digital tool development (especially but not exclusively video games) and the GLAM space (especially but not exclusively museums). We invite participation from academic researchers and students, actors from the GLAM space, and actors from the business sector – with researchers from subjects including but not limited to Digital Humanities, Game Studies, Museum Studies, Cultural Heritage Studies, Library and Archive Studies, Digital Design Studies, actors from the GLAM space including but not limited to museums, and actors from the business sector including but not limited to game development.

Papers from any field in the broad vicinity of video games, educational digital tools and the GLAM space are welcome. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • educational tool / video game development and the GLAM space
  • educational tool / video game research and the GLAM space
  • educational tools / video games and cultural heritage
  • libraries and / in educational tools / video games
  • museums and / in educational tools / video games
  • the participatory museum
  • educational / serious games

Abstracts for paper (300w) and panel (800w) presentations are now welcome. Paper sessions (individual and in panels) will be 15 min. + Q&A. Please submit by 5 April to Notifications of acceptance will be send out by 10 April 2018. Earlier notification of acceptance is possible if needed, in this case please accordingly send your abstract earlier.

Registration is opening soon. This international conference has no registration fee, but participants will need to fund their travel themselves.

Welcome to Helsinki!

Xenia Zeiler, South Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki

Suzie E. Thomas, Cultural Heritage Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki