RPG at a Distance: Online and Remote Forms of Analog Role-Playing (2021/04/30; 2021/09)

2020-12-22

The Japanese Journal of Analog Role-Playing Game Studies (JARPS) is seeking innovative, constructive and thought-provoking papers regarding the challenges raised by the global COVID-19 pandemic but equally about the emerging possibilities for the various practices of (usually) analog (non-digital) role-playing.

The events of 2020 impacted all facets of social life and in particular those depending on personal interaction in a shared local space during times of social distancing and community lockdowns. TRPG and larp groups and players across the world were challenged with interruptions and emergency cancellations of their face-to-face role-play activities, impacting the social well-being of individual players as well as the situation of small RPG businesses. First evaluations paint a disastrous picture in some areas. But 2020 also showed the potential of adapting analog formats for digital game play in times when local social gatherings were restricted. During the course of the year, we have seen not only adaptations of planned RPG events from the offline to the online realm, but also a renewed interest in old forms of remote RPGs, such as classic letter larps, play-by-mail/play-by-post or the usage of online community platforms and social media tools. Innovative forms and experimental designs for laogs (live-action online games) were created and tested, mixing and mashing blended play styles from text to video, and from the challenges of home-based play with children to care for, to international, immersing online sessions.

JARPS is pleased to announce this call for papers recounting the gathered knowledge, experience and best practice approaches of shifting and innovating analog game designs for remote play practicalities.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
• Transfer or re-invention of analog mechanics to digital game experiences
• Challenges for remote game design
• Immersion and embodiment (physicality) while role-playing remotely at home
• The mood and aesthetics of digital larp
• Critical game design for serious topics with remote play groups
• Questions of accessibility and inclusion
• Playful technological innovations for laogs
• Hybrid, blended and augmented forms of play
• “Zoom fatigue” and similar phenomena

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).
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 until February 15, 2021, to issue_2@jarps.net, including the section (theory, case, material etc.) and topic of your contribution to allow for a 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. Submission deadline for manuscripts is April 30, 2021, for a publication in late September 2021.