Welcome to Join: Exploring Access and Accessibility in Analog Role-Playing Games (2024/04/30; 2024/11)


The Japanese Journal of Analog Role-Playing Game Studies (JARPS) invites submissions for a special issue dedicated to exploring and advancing the themes of access and accessibility in table-top/table-talk role-playing games (TRPG) and live-action role-play (larp). This issue explores the multifaceted challenges and innovative solutions surrounding cultural, cognitive, and physical accessibility in analog gaming, fostering a more inclusive and diverse gaming community.

Access and accessibility in gaming are vast and complex issues, from the production of game texts, images, mechanics, and material to their reception and appropriation by players and gaming spaces. We seek to explore how barriers come up, are faced by players and/or broken to make games more inclusive, not only for players with disabilities but also for those from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, translation/localization, adaptive game mechanics for players with different abilities, representation of diverse cultures and identities in game narratives, and the physical design of gaming materials and spaces to accommodate diverse needs.

We are particularly interested in submissions that address questions such as: How can TRPGs and larps be designed to be culturally sensitive and inclusive? What strategies can be implemented to make game events physically accessible to all players, including those with mobility, sensory, or cognitive challenges? How can game narratives and characters be crafted to reflect a more diverse and inclusive world? What role can technology play in enhancing accessibility in analog gaming? How can community-driven initiatives contribute to a more inclusive gaming culture?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategies for cultural inclusivity and diversity in TRPGs and larps.
  • Designing game mechanics and materials for players with physical or sensory challenges.
  • Creating accessible and inclusive gaming environments and events.
  • Exploring the role of technology in enhancing accessibility in analog games.
  • Representation and subject positions in game narratives and character design.
  • Adapting TRPGs for global audiences with diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Translation, localization, and translatability of role-playing games.
  • Case studies on inclusive and accessible gaming communities and initiatives.
  • The impact of socio-economic factors on access to analog gaming.

This year, we are initiating an experimental phase for accepting submissions pertaining to games or activities that can be construed to possess a component of “role-playing.” This may encompass board games centered around narrative elements, inclusive of those with or without character roles, as well as various forms of escape games, both live-action and tabletop/table-talk. Submissions that offer insights into the role-playing dynamics within other game genres may also be considered. Given the exploratory nature of this initiative, we encourage potential contributors to contact us in advance to verify whether their topic aligns with our guidelines.

Submission guidelines

The Japanese Journal of Analog Role-Playing Game Studies (JARPS, https://jarps.net) is a bilingual, peer-reviewed journal published by the Japanese Association for Role-Playing Game Studies. JARPS publishes articles under a Creative Commons license about (primarily) non-digital (“analog”) forms of role-playing, with a focus on table-top/table-talk role-playing games (TRPG) and live-action role-play (larp) in and from Japan but in a global context. JARPS welcomes academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms of contributions, such as educational material, best-practice guidelines, and practical case descriptions.

Original Article: New research. Peer reviewed, ca. 6,000 words (English) or 12-15,000 characters (Japanese).

Theoretical Article: Conceptual essay. Peer reviewed, ca. 6,000 words (English) or 12-15,000 characters (Japanese).

Explorative Paper: An experimental contribution. Peer reviewed, ca. 4,500 words (English) or 8-12,000 characters (Japanese).

Case Report: A hands-on report and/or best practice example. Peer reviewed, ca. 4,500 words (English) or 8-12,000 characters (Japanese).

Educational Material: Tools useful for teaching or calibration. Peer reviewed, ca. 4,500 words (English) or 8-12,000 characters (Japanese).

Essay: Non-academic article or symposium report. Editor review, ca. 3,000 words (English) or 4-6,000 characters (Japanese).

Book Review: Discussion of publications on safety. Editor consultation, ca. 1,500 words (English) or 2-3,000 characters (Japanese).

Please visit JARPS’s website (https://jarps.net) for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the editors with questions or inquiries at editors@jarps.net.

Due Dates: Please send an e-mail expressing your intent to submit a contribution by March 15, 2024, to issue_5@jarps.net, including the section (theory, case, material, etc.) and the topic of your contribution to allow for timely reviewer recruitment. Please also state in which language you intend to submit your contribution or if you seek to have the paper published in both languages, English and Japanese. The submission deadline for manuscripts is April 30, 2024, for publication in late November 2024.


If their submissions are accepted, we ask contributors to participate in our annual symposium and present their work. This year's symposium will be held on November 23/24, 2024, after the issue is published. Please save the date.