Last revised: August 2014

The Journal of Games Criticism invites submissions from players, scholars, critics, bloggers, journalists, and developers focused on video games. We accept article submissions, reviews of books on video games, and critical video game reviews.


The guidelines for submission follow in four sections:

Please be sure to read the appropriate overview, as well as the style and grammar guidelines. Following these guidelines will speed up your submission’s review process considerably.

If you have questions about any of the guidelines, overviews, or other parts of the submission process, please send an email with "Question" as the title to gamescriticism@gmail.com.

The style and grammar guidelines below have been adapted from the Sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). JGC has differences from the APA guidelines, so even if you have followed the APA's Publication Manual, please check the style and grammar guidelines below.

Upcoming deadlines

Submissions for the next scheduled issue are due by November 15, 2014. The next issue will be published January 22, 2015.

We are always accepting submissions! Although we have two scheduled issues, JGC is always looking for articles for our bonus issues.

Article Submission Overview

JGC accepts articles of any length. We do this to encourage authors to focus on quality arguments that are timely, directed at contemporary issues, and written within feed-forward and middle states publishing mentalities. There are no minimum and no maximum limits for articles.

The following criteria are used to evaluate the articles:

  1. They present arguments that apply across multiple objects of analysis: Articles should not discuss only a single object of analysis, such as one video game, one blog, or one critic, at the expense of all others—they should present an argument that applies to more than one object and has a take-away for other practices, games, or people.
  2. The objects of analysis should be clearly related to video games, video game criticism, video blogs, blogs, play, etc.
  3. Articles aim to address, critically and constructively, the creation of the object, not an academic discipline influenced by the object; for example, what is wrong with games criticism today and how to make it better, not what literary criticism can learn from new games journalism. For more about this, see First Person Scholar on homeostasis.
  4. Articles address objects or subject matters of timely importance.
  5. Articles avoid jargon or, if necessary, clearly define jargon with everyday language.

Articles need to be submitted as two separate documents. One document contains the article's title, the author's name, contact information, website and/or institution, a short biography (200 words or less), and a brief description of the article (280 characters including spaces or less).
The other document contains the article with its title, abstract, keywords, endnotes, and references.

Microsoft Word Templates for your article are available here.

The document containing the article needs to have all identifying information removed.

Please email article submissions to gamescriticism@gmail.com with "Article" in the title of your email.

Please double check the article submission checklist below; it will save our editors, reviewers, and you a great deal of time.

Article Submission Checklist

  • Did you read the appropriate submission overview and the style and grammar guidelines?
  • Did you use the manuscript template?
  • Did your submission email have an appropriate title?
  • Did you create a separate .doc or .docx containing the author information?
  • Did you remove all identifying information from the .doc or .docx containing the article? (Please remember to remove any personal meta information in Microsoft Word. You can find this in Microsoft Word in the Office menu > Prepare > Inspect document or in the File menu > Info > Check for issues.)
  • Were your tables inserted as images in your document?
  • Were your images included directly in the document?
  • Did you include any images as separate files in an acceptable format?

Review Submission Overview

We accept book reviews of books related to video games.

Do not submit a review for which you have a conflict of interest.

Successful book reviews will review the main arguments of a book, how the book makes these arguments, consider the expected audience of the book, place the book in conversation with other texts (preferably including blogs, video blogs, video games, etc.) about video games, and avoid any language that exhibits a personal or commercial value judgment of a book (e.g., books are not "good" or a "must buy," but they may have "good arguments for X reasons).

Successful video game reviews will be experimental or demonstrate performances of the art of video games criticism. The Journal of Games Criticism will not serve as a replacement for the vibrant community of video games criticism; instead, we would like video game reviews to be reflexive performances of criticism that comment on the video games criticism community. Successful video game reviews are not mere personal or commercial value judgments of video games—we are not interested in a numerical, Metacritic-style review.

We accept video game reviews in a wide range of formats. Please remember that a title, 280 character brief description, keywords, and APA style reference list are necessary, no matter the review format. JGC will, in the future, transition to hosting content; however, since we do not currently, please keep a personal copy of your submission file(s) for when we can be a persistent content host.

Video reviews should be hosted on the author's YouTube or Vimeo channel and be no more than 30 minutes in length, which will be linked in the submission. Picture essays should be submitted as a single .zip or .rar archive; each picture should be saved as a .png (we will also accept .tiff and .gif). For picture essays, please include the images and relevant captions below each image in the order they should be displayed in a .doc or .docx as well. For any other format, please propose the intended argument, a synopsis of the performance, the format, and details on the files and displays required in the body of the submission email, and our managing editor will work with you.

Please email review submissions to gamescriticism@gmail.com with "Review" in the title.

Letter-to-the-Editor Submission Overview

You are welcome to respond to any and all articles, reviews, and letters published in the Journal of Games Criticism!

Letters-to-the-Editor should be no more than 3000 words. Please follow the style and grammar guidelines. Letters-to-the-Editor should be submitted to gamescriticism@gmail.com with "Letter to the Editor" as the subject. Please remember to include a link to the specific article or review to which the letter responds or include a clear explanation of what articles, reviews, or general practices at JGC the letter responds.

The Managing Editor reserves the right to share Letters-to-the-Editor with authors, editors, or interested reviewers. The Managing Editor has complete control over whether Letters-of-the-Editor will be published in JGC and how they will be published.

Letters-to-the-Editor are more likely to be published if they include the author's name and website and/or affiliation.

Invited Article Submission Overview

In creating a more inclusive and encouraging journal, the Journal of Games Criticism may solicit esteemed authors to submit their work, with or without peer review.

Solicited authors who submit with peer review are published in the Articles section, like any other peer-reviewed article in JGC, and may be subjected to revision, resubmission, or rejection. If you are a solicited author and would like your article peer-reviewed, please see the Article Submission Overview for more information.

Those who forgo peer review will still have editorial support, typically from the managing editor and technical editor, to ensure that these works cohere to the principles of JGC. These articles will appear in a separate section, titled Invited Articles, and will be accepted to complement the peer-reviewed sections. Solicitation without peer review guarantees publication so long as the article meets the editorial expectations—expectations such as not being libelous, inflammatory, offensive, or plagiarized. If you are a solicited author and would like to forgo peer review, please email your article to gamescriticism@gmail.com or attach it in reply to the editor who contacted you.

Style and Grammar Guidelines

Please review the sections below, even if you have used the submission templates. If you have additional style or grammar questions, first consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and/or the Purdue Online Writing Lab’s APA style section; if you cannot find a solution in the Publication Manual or the Purdue OWL, please send your question in an email with “Question” in the title to gamescriticism@gmail.com.

All submissions should be emailed as attachments to gamescriticism@gmail.com, and please remember to clarify the type of submission in the title of the email.

Do not let the academic publication style dissuade you from submitting. All submissions are judged solely on the quality of the argument. All submissions undergo editing with the help of JGC’s technical editor prior to publication to ensure they follow the style and grammar expectations.

Review Process

After submission to JGC, the author(s) will enter into the process of review. Authors should expect to receive confirmation of their submission within one week of their initial email. The review process includes editorial review and peer review. Editorial review is conducted by the managing editor and serves to help authors prepare for peer review. Peer reviewers will review the submission in double-blind review, and they will advise that a submission be accepted with revisions, be revised and resubmitted, or rejected. And, the managing editor will inform the author (s) of the peer review process outcome. The author(s) will have time to respond to reviewers requested revisions and to return the revised article to the managing editor. If peer reviewers are satisfied with the revisions, the author(s) will then work with the technical editor in order to ensure that the document adheres to JGC’s style and formatting guidelines prior to publishing.

Format

Since we are a web-format journal, all text, except the title and level 1 section headings, needs to be left justified, paragraphs should be “block style” with no paragraph indent and have an empty line between each paragraph.

Images

Images must have titles above them and, if necessary, captions below them. Images must have appropriate citations in the caption for any content that is not original.

Graphs and tables should be submitted as images.

All images should appear in the body of the document where the author would like them to appear and also be submitted as a separate attachment in a .zip or .rar archive. We prefer images be submitted as .png, .tiff, or .gif to preserve the quality of the image if we should need to resize it. It will help us if the title of the image matches the file name of the image.

Footnotes and Endnotes

Since we are a web-format journal, please use endnotes instead of footnotes. Do not use any automatic formatting for endnotes or references—our templates cannot recognize them correctly. Designate endnotes in line using a bold, italicized number in parentheses. For example: According to Doe (1995), Mario Bros. is a video game (1).

Please place any endnotes in a single section between the end of your article and the beginning of your article's references section in a numerical list corresponding to the order that they appear in your article.
For example:
1. Doe (1995) clarified that Super Mario Bros. is a video game in the platform genre available on the NES.

Lists

Bulleted and numerical lists are manually inserted by our technical editor. Please be aware that original formatting, such as bullet-styles, will not be retained.

Do not use more than one level in your lists; we cannot display dependent lists.

Block quotations

Like all text, block quotations will need to be left justified.

Please italicize your block quotations with a full line between the sentence introducing the quotation and another between the quotation and the sentence following the quotation.

Ordinals

Remove any automatic formatting that your word processor applies to ordinals. They should not be superscript.
For example: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

No apostrophe is needed to make an abbreviation, acronym, or number plural.

An apostrophe is needed to make an abbreviation, acronym, or number possessive.
For examples: One XBOX, two XBOXs, three G. R. I. D.s. The XBOX’s controller. A screen showing nine 29s. 7’s car is slower.

Spelling

We are an English language journal. Our editorial board is comfortable with English as a second language, so spelling does not need to be excellent to be considered for review. We accept articles based on the quality of the argument; our technical editor works with all authors to ensure their style and grammar meet the standards of the JGC.

We are familiar and comfortable with both British and American English spellings. We encourage authors to write using whichever spelling they are most comfortable with.

Commas

Please use the "Oxford comma" in comma separated lists. That is, use a comma before the coordinating conjunction in a list of three or more items.
For example: First Person Shooters include Goldeneye, Halo, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Question and exclamation marks

Please include question marks and exclamation marks inside quotation marks if they are part of the quote.

Question marks are not necessary for indirect questions.

Quotation marks

Direct quotes should be surrounded by double quotation marks and cited appropriately.

Quotations within quotations should use single quotation marks.

Verb tenses

The present tense indicates something the author is actively arguing in the article.

Future tense indicates something the author discusses later in the article or something that will happen after the publication of the article.

Past tense indicates something that happened at a specific, definite time in the past or something that was written by another person (or the author, if you're citing yourself).

References

All citations should have a full citation in the references section of the article. Please do not use any automatic formatting for your references section, our templates cannot recognize the formatting.

Please note that our video game in-text citation and references section citation differs from the APA style guide.

Video game in-text citations should include the primary developer and the year, i.e., ([Developer], [year]).
For example: Hess (2007) analyzed Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (Electronic Arts Los Angeles, 2003).

Video game references should follow the following format:
Developer, Developer, & Developer. (Release Year, Month Day). Title. [Arcade location, Last played date.] Console: Publisher, Publisher, & Publisher.

Copyright

Authors are required to obtain all legal permissions for materials submitted to JGC. For articles, often all that is needed is correct citations to fall within fair use. When submitting a video, please adhere to YouTube’s or Vimeo’s guidelines for fair use. Permission to use images must be provided with the submission, preferably in the submission email or author information .doc. Please include records of all permissions obtained.

The submitted article must not be published previously, already available online, or under review at any other publication, online or offline, upon submission. We only review one submission from an author at a time.

JGC retains all rights to published works and requires authors to receive permission prior to publishing their full text elsewhere.