Call for papers: Games, Gaming, and Interactive Aesthetics

CFP: Games, Gaming, and Interactive Aesthetics in Contemporary Chinese and Sinophone Cinema
A special issue of Journal of Chinese Film Studies (JCFS)
Guest editors: Li Guo, Hongmei Sun, Douglas Eyman

[Link to full CFP]

This special issue invites submissions of research essays on games, gaming, and interactive aesthetics in contemporary Chinese and Sinophone cinema and media. From Hong Kong’s first videogame adaptation in Future Cops (1993) to the recent film based on the mobile game Onmyoji The Yinyang Master (2021), from the videogame-adapted animation Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn (2014) to director Cheng Er’s gamified narration in Hidden Blade (2023), contemporary Chinese and Sinophone cinematic productions provide diversified and remarkable works that call for an in-depth exploration of the subject of games and gameplay in film. Engaging Chinese and Sinophone film studies in dialogue with scholarships in game studies and media theory, this special issue inspects how games and gaming can transform or even reshape cinema through new experiences of interactive aesthetics through AI-generated algorithms, multiverse narratives, psychological mazes, game montages, and gamified gazes and points of view. Building on existent scholarship on game culture, media theory, and interactive cinema, we seek essays that examine the mutual adaptations of games and cinematic productions. Drawing from Lev Manovich’s media theory, we consider the effect of computerized gaming and computer-assisted gaming on traditional filmmaking, filmmakers’ diversified approaches to the introduction of computerized gaming to cinematic production, and the impact of new media and its own conventions on film industry and the process of filmmaking. As Manovich observes, it is difficult to “draw a strict line between interactive movies and many other games that may not use traditional film sequences yet follow many other conventions of film language in their structure” (Manovich 2002, 288). By exploring interactive movies and games structured around film-like sequences and simulating real-person interactions, we ask how cinematic apparatus contributes to the players’ experiences and is reconfigured through interactive video game play.

Further, if cinema was, as Manovich observes, “the original modern ‘multimedia’” (Ibid., 50), the intersections between game aesthetics and cinematic production could evoke new reflections on cinematicity in media history. As Leon Gurevitch (2013, 172) argues, “notions of the ‘cinematic’ are now being redrawn by production techniques and consumption practices of the games industry, rather than the other way around.” How then do game patterns, RPG and VR technology bring multifarious narrative potentials, non-linear plotlines, and facilitate new forms of immersive audience experience and interactivity? How does the process of gamification contribute to new perspectives to cinematic spatio-temporality, narrative architecture, and visual representations? How does gameplay in interactive cinema challenge or transform our understanding of film auteurism, gendered subjectivities, and shifting demarcations between public and private, between human and non-human species? What new perceptions can eco-conscious videogames contribute to studies of contemporary Chinese ecocinema? In what ways can we reconceptualize works in Chinese and Sinophone cinematic history through the lens of game studies, be it Stephen Chow’s adaptations of Journey to the West, Feng Xiaogang’s blockbuster black comedy, Chen Sicheng’s detective series, videogame-based animations, or popular time-travel themed xianxia films?

Possible topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • the intersection of cinematicity and game aesthetics
  • games and gaming in contemporary interactive cinema in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other Sinophone cultures
  • AI, techno-animism, and gamification of cinematic language (eg: camera angles, focus and movements, mise-en-scéne, lighting, sound and music)
  • gendered, queer gaming and gameplay in contemporary filmic productions
  • mtual adaptations of videogames and film; videogame-based animations
  • intersection of eco-conscious gaming and ecocinema
  • re-conceptualization of Chinese and Sinophone cinematic trends through game and media theory
  • gamification and interactive storytelling in film
  • gamers, cinephiles, parasocial interactions and relationships related to Sinophone film cultures
  • the intersection of gameplay, race, and ethnicity in Chinese and Sinophone films
  • cinematic representation of political censorship on games and gaming
  • cinematic representation of VR and gaming as assistance to social groups marginalized because of aging or disability.

Important dates

  • Deadline for abstracts (300-500 words, excluding references): August 31, 2023
  • Abstract decisions: September 15, 2023
  • Submission of full manuscripts (6000-8000 words): December 15, 2023
  • Resubmission of manuscripts with corrections: February 1, 2024
  • Publication: Fall 2024


Abstracts of this special issue should be sent to the three guest editors Li Guo (, Hongmei Sun (, Douglas Eyman (, no later than August 31, 2023. Any inquiries should be addressed to the guest editors as well. For more information about the journal and submission issues, please visit the journal’s official website at

Posted by: Li Guo