VGA Reader

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.


Call for Papers - Issue 1

In his keynote address for the 2013 DiGRA Art History of Games symposium, Paolo Pedercini, influential game developer and professor of Critical Game Making at Carnegie Mellon University, issued the following proposal:

     "Let’s stop identifying with the game industry.
     Let’s stop being academic/fans and glorify consumer products that were never meant to be more than consumer products.
     Instead of being advocates for the medium as a whole we can be advocates for good games and good art.
     Because we cannot have an art history of games without an art criticism of games."

The VGA Reader (VGAR) is accepting submissions responding to this challenge for its inaugural issue, to be published in the summer of 2017. The VGAR seeks a variety of art historical analyses and works of art criticism pertaining to all levels of video game production; from art game experiments, to significant developments in indie and small studio games, to high-profile mass-audience titles. Objects of analysis can reside on any video game platform including consoles, personal computers, mobile devices, alternative and custom hardware, virtual reality platforms, and other emerging technologies. Each submission should be framed within its historical and cultural context in order to help generate and add to a growing overlap between art history and video games as an inviting and rich field of inquiry. 

VGAR accepts Essays (2,500 - 5,000 words), Practitioner (Artist/Designer/Writer) Statements (Fewer than 2,000 words), Reviews of video game-related events (gallery shows, multimedia events, etc., fewer than 2,000 words), and Interviews (by invitation only)

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of video game genres and platforms, both emerging and historical
  • Analysis and documentation of significant experiments in avant-garde video games
  • Analysis of issues pertaining to representations, gender performance, sexuality, class, and race in video games
  • Analysis and critique of gaming culture(s), of gaming and consumer habits as a whole, or of a specific franchise or trend
  • The public exhibition of video games in museums, galleries, festivals, conventions, and arcade bars
  • Investigations and descriptions of video game development, design, and authorship
  • Analysis of existing video game criticism, reviews, advertising, and marketing
  • Gamification and how it functions in both the humanities and sciences
  • Analysis of the function of video games in culture and society
  • The formation of new communities, institutions, and contexts for video games
  • Analysis of the development of virtual and physical communities in video games, gaming culture, and the politics of video game spaces

The submission deadline has been extended to January 23, 2017. 

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

For more information and formatting guidelines, visit:

 Guidelines PDF