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CFP: SPECIAL ISSUE 2025 Peripheral Religions and Games

CFP: SPECIAL ISSUE 2025 Peripheral Religions and Games

Call for Papers

Gamevironments seeks to explore both established approaches and new frontiers of researching video games/gaming as related to culture and society. The journal encourages inter- and multidisciplinary works combining for example anthropology, informatics, communication studies, history, religious studies, sociology or psychology. There is one regular issue per year, published in summer. Additionally, gamevironments aims to publish one special issue on a specific topic per year, in winter. Calls for upcoming issues will be widely advertized.

Please consult the Gamevironments submission style sheet before submitting your paper, as well as the Help Desk for some general principles.

All submitted articles will be reviewed on a double-blind peer-review basis.

CALL FOR PAPERS – SPECIAL ISSUE 2025 “Peripheral Religions and Games”

Guest editors: Aska Mayer, Carolin Puckhaber and Knut V. M. Wormstädt

Religion is incorporated into both analogue and digital games, as well as gaming culture in a variety of ways. It is commonly used for worldbuilding, or as part of game mechanics, but also appears in aesthetical manifestations and fandom culture. In doing so, the whole range of religious belief systems, practices and representations is utilized. Further, gaming culture and gamification mechanics have become an integral part of peripheral religious practices.

Yet, games are rarely depicting or discussing large established religions, but make schisms, new foundings, and radicality key-elements of potential religion-oriented narratives. Typically those narratives appear in what seems to be areas of tension within diegetic societies or between the played character and their surroundings. Peripheral religions are often used as a cause of conflict, diegetically created through cataclysms and crises, or are instrumentalized as fanatical antagonistic groups in horror games.

In contrast, inter alia, independent games, and here most notably so called ‘cozy games’, present religious groups outside of a spiritual mainstream through the depiction of (modern) witchcraft and positively coded ‘cult’-like communities.

Further, the connection of peripheral religious groups and games is not limited to the diegetic space, but finds its continuation in the wider context of gaming culture and its adaption, as well as in the creation of spiritually homogeneous gaming communities. In particular, the pandemic presented several religious groups using virtual game spaces as places of worship and community, enhancing their own (religious) practice. Further, we can observe peripheral religious groups, which identify themselves through a strong connection to gaming culture and practices.

With this special issue, we aim to explore these belief systems, representations, and practices on the periphery of major established religions, both as a phenomenon in gaming culture as well as in game narratives and design. Besides the depiction of specific belief systems and representations through symbols and imagery, we further invite the analysis of the rarely researched element of peripheral religious practices in games and gaming (culture).

This special issue invites scholars and researchers from a variety of fields to contribute to the exploration of the intersection of “Peripheral Religions and Games”. The goal of this issue is to explore the multifaceted and reciprocal relationships between peripheral religions and various forms of gaming culture and games, such as digital games, board games, and table-top role-playing games. We encourage especially transdisciplinary as well as interreligious contributions that explore these connections.

Research questions could include but are not limited to:


Journal articles should be 5,000-10,000 words in length and will be subject to double-blind peer review. Furthermore we encourage the submission of contributions beyond the classic article format. Reviews, interviews and other formats will be reviewed by the special issue editors. Submission guidelines and the journal style guide can be found here. There is no article processing charge.

Authors are encouraged to use images but will be required to request permission from copyright-holders when needed.


For all contributions, please submit a title, a 300-word abstract and a 100-word biographical statement about each author. Send this to guest editors Knut Wormstädt, Aska Mayer, and Carolin Puckhaber at (cc: by 15th June 2024.

Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 30th June 2024

Full text submission of all contributions: 15th December 2024 learn more