Ends on September 1, 2017

Our second issue, “Ecoplay, Digital Games, and Environmental Rhetoric,” focuses on digital games and asks how play contributes to ecological thought and rhetoric. The issue builds on M. Jimmie Killingsworth and Jacqueline S. Palmer’s Ecospeak: Rhetoric and Environmental Politics in America as well as Sidney I. Dobrin and Sean Morey’s Ecosee: Image, Rhetoric, Nature. Both texts explore how rhetorical forms encourage support and sympathy for environmental movements. Ecospeak identifies rhetorical patterns in writing about environmental politics and argues that discourse is a fundamental part of the environmental problem. Meanwhile, Ecosee claims that image-based media plays a powerful role in shaping arguments about ecology, environment, and nature. Our issue, therefore, examines play as a catalyst for environmental discourse, critically considering rhetorics of digital ecologies and how games make arguments about nature.

Games often perpetuate problematic ideologies about human-nature-technology relationships by offering a platform for environmental consumption, resource management, colonization, cultivation, etc. At the same time, game designers and players can challenge entrenched ecological narratives or promote conservation efforts through digital worlds. The second issue of Trace seeks a comprehensive way of engaging the interplay between forms of ecological rhetoric in digital games and “plays” with how the multi-modality of games enables rhetorical forms to interact. Thus, contributions to this issue of Trace should explore how digital games configure our understandings of ecologies and ecological issues through their design, play, and materiality.

Submissions to this issue will be peer-reviewed and should be 4,000-6,000 words in length. We encourage submissions in a variety of media and formats about a variety of media and formats, including commercial technologies, new media art and electronic literature, games and game platforms, etc. Potential submission topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Ethics and rhetorics of play, interface, or design
  • Representations of nature, ecology, or environment
  • Wildlife or resource management
  • Ecological conservation or preservation
  • “Green” games
  • E-waste and pollution
  • Built environments, construction, and destruction
  • Agriculture, gardening, and urbanization
  • Media ecologies
  • Posthumanism

If you are interested in contributing, please submit full text articles and/or final projects to the Issue 2 Submittable page by September 1st, 2017.

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