Choose Your Own Narrative: Interactive Productions and Their Aspects (2023/03/31; 2023/09)

2022-11-19

Hybrid forms, such as the fusion of text and game, are familiar to contemporary readers and players. Tricks with words are done since the most distant poetic productions, and the oldest ergodic texts bring different ways of reading and interpreting their message depending on how the reader engages with them. However, from the 20th century onwards, books, comics, films, and various games, even sporadically, bring the consumer something different from most sequential narratives. The height of these productions – which usually start as isolated experiments – occurred in the 1970s, with the popularity of series like Choose Your Own Adventure. The gamebook boom provided by the Fighting Fantasy series followed in the 1980s. These “different” book collections and many others aimed at younger readers achieving relative success by following and improving on the pioneering formula. Still, they have experienced their decline to the popularization of the internet and when video games developed an ever better graphic quality and gameplay.

However, with the nostalgia for the customs and products of the 20th century and the possibility of media coexisting among so many others without necessarily prizing the elimination of competitors from the entertainment market, we can observe the return of this type of book in the first decades of the 21st century. Within these books, the reader makes the decisions for the protagonist, interfering directly in the course of the narrative and knowing the consequences of their choices that may or may not bring them closer to a happy ending. What triggered a new interest in such games, especially considering the maturated video game market? Is it just nostalgia? What motivates new readers to engage with these media? Suppose the next generations of readers and players are increasingly looking for practical things, to be part of multiple creations, and freedom of choice. Is this kind of interaction limited to entertainment? In what environment do we encounter the newly raised interest? For example, why are interactive productions of this kind still so distant from the school environment, public libraries, cultural centers, artistic discussions, and even Higher Education?

In response to such questions and, of course, many others, we seek contributions for the 2023 issue of JARPS from authors who approach media and interactive products such as gamebooks, interactive fiction, solo adventures, interactive dramaturgy, game comics, interactive comics, interactive phone calls, interactive game shows, interactive short films, interactive movies, interactive videos, text adventures, point-and-click games, among others. We seek articles and reports that promote greater dissemination of these text-game-hybrids or detail examples of application and mediation. Such products may become even more popular again among current and previous generations to offer something different to the consumer seeking something beyond the mainstream.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • (brief) historical overview of interactive text-game-hybrids;
  • the quality of interactive productions;
  • literary adaptation to the interactive format;
  • comparative studies between interactive productions and other media;
  • case studies involving interactive hybrids;
  • the "death" of the author or the co-creation of the reader in interactive works;
  • interactivity and immersion;
  • interactivity in the future;
  • interactive texts in the school environment: challenges and benefits.

 

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 guest_editor@jarps.net.

Due Dates: Please send an e-mail expressing your intent to submit a contribution until January 31, 2023, to issue_4@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 March 31, 2023, for publication in late September 2023.