The Games on Games project originates from the hypothesis that it is possible and fruitful to critique videogames and their related themes by adopting their own forms, mechanics and languages. The meta-referential intention to transpose scientific research from written word to the playing field opens up a range of different challenges, such as:
- Is it always necessary to employ verbal languages to produce texts on games and their related practices and cultures? Or is it possible to create meta-pieces, “Games on Games,” reflecting on some aspects of play using ludic mechanics and conventions?
- What are the distinctive characteristics of Games on Games? What are their limits and their argumentative, rhetoric and persuasive potentialities? Are Games on Games able to highlight some elements of play practices more effectively than traditional texts? Can they make visible some characteristics of ludic practices that could otherwise remain undervalued or even invisible?
The Games on Games project aims not only to entertain its users, but also to achieve further objectives such as:
- Describing or commenting on videoludic genres or sub-genres, highlighting their qualities, weaknesses and recurring features.
- Critiquing a specific game, expressing an original point of view through interactive and procedural dynamics.
- Elaborating on some aspects or peculiarities of gaming practices.
- Describing the interaction between computer games and society, or describing – either critically or satirically – how mainstream society perceives computer games.
- Theorizing on the general characteristics of play, or on those specific to computer games or to a particular genre.
- Presenting and exemplifying theoretical models to describe and understand gaming practices.
- Representing the historical evolution of videoludic media through interactive dynamics.
- Acting as tools for brainstorming and design, matrices for creating other pieces.
- Parodying a game, a genre or a series, provided that a significant critique is presented.
The call is open to single participants and to groups, to game development professionals, scholars, independent developers and students. Projects can also be related to didactic labs or practical assignments.
Submission and guidelines
Acknowledging that the field of the Games on Games project is almost unexplored, G|A|M|E opens this call to test its potentialities and to map its boundaries. We invite the submission of Games on Games that elaborate on the practices and cultures of computer gaming (playing, designing, developing…) using procedural media.
There are no other limitations on the theme (aside from traditional obscenity and indecency guidelines), on the gameplay and graphical quality. Every submission must include a short documentation to facilitate the comprehension and the evaluation of the game, describing the objectives and the characteristics – there is no maximum length but this description needs to be in English, with a minimum of 1800 characters. It is also recommended that other multimedia supporting material, such as schemas, images, storyboards, design documents, gameplay video be attached.
The call is open with no hard deadline. All the contributions received will be advertised through G|A|M|E after they pass a first evaluation by the Editorial Committee and the Scientific Committee that will remove off-topic and inadequate submissions (such as incomplete gameplay, poor quality, etc.).
Each of the eligible games will be forwarded to an international panel of game development experts to select the pieces to be presented at a public event and published in a special issue of G|A|M|E about Games on Games. The special issue will be published online and will offer free access to the selected games through direct download or link. Each piece will be accompanied by the supporting documentation (design documents, storyboard, images, etc.) and by two critical comments – one by the author and one by a scholar selected by G|A|M|E.
Submissions that pass the first selection but not the second will nonetheless be mentioned and linked to in a special section. Please note that we will only accept full games, and not demo or incomplete works.
As for the technical part, we have set no limitation to the development tools that participants can use. The same applies to the file format you might choose to submit. However, in order to grant the proper accessibility to potential players, we recommend that participants provide – when possible – formats suitable for both Windows and Mac OS X. In this regard, software such as Unity, GameMaker and Adobe Flash (including all the tools capable of producing a swf file – i.e. Stencyl) represent a good choice. Of course, other software is welcome.
Games can be submitted as:
- A zip/rar file to run on local hard drive. Participants must provide a working link that we may include on our website
- A link to run the game via browser. Participants must be responsible for finding and setting up the best hosting service suitable for the purpose.
- A link connecting to web portals such as Kongregate.com, Newgrounds.com or similar communities. In this particular case, participants are subject to all the limitations, guidelines and rules of the chosen service.
By participating in the Games on Games project, you certify you are the owner and creator of the work you submit and you retain all of your ownership rights.
For information and submission, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.