Open Call for Submissions A MAZE. Magazine No. 4 ANIMALS

In this call for submissions, we want to open up a discussion about the use and misuse of animals in games. We are looking for works that give us a greater overview of games, VR embodiment, robotics, and interactive narratives that include animals in the production.

Animals used to be very common in videogames. Games with animals as main characters generated huge success stories and nostalgic childhood memories. Nowadays, as bigger studios step away from it, animal games are celebrating its comeback in independent and alternative game creations. We see more and more independent game developers working on games related to animals or that depict animals in their interactive narratives. Most of them are cute, simulate animal behavior, and bring humans together in local multiplayer games and chat/dating games. All to encourage anticipation (maybe) of animal life or to have fun as a cat or a dog or whatever animal. These games are becoming more sophisticated and better-researched. Animals increasingly represent real-life behavior and sometimes we let them act as humans. Whatever it is, we (mis)use lots of animals in our work and it’s time to talk about it.

A list of possible angles, ranging from the critical to the weird, that we would find interesting for the ANIMALS issue:

  • Animals As References: Animals as useful reference points. Their use in fables for moral value. Their use in architecture to describe perspective. Animals in contemporary art.
  • Animals In Games: An essay-style review or an interview with a designer of a game that makes use of animals. What makes the experience of playing with/as animals so different?
  • Animal Games: What games do we play with animals? What games do animals play with us?
  • Hunting: Possibly the Original Animal Game. Possibly the cause of wildlife extinction. Possibly a twisted new way of saving wildlife conservation.
  • Animals and Technology: How do they interact? Is there a better life for animals now that we have more technology?  
  • Mating Behaviour: About making games about animal-mating behavior, depicted in the form of human-looking characters.
  • Memes: Cats have taken over the Internet. What’s up with the rise of the kitten?
  • Vegetarianism/Veganism: Both are on the rise. What’s up with our relationship with food and animals?
  • Politics Of Animal Rights: Fair trade. Fear of the Chlorhuhn (TTIP). Politics and art. Politics and games.
  • Feeling Like An Animal: Nature vs. Nurture. Where and when do we stop giving in to our animal nature?
  • Wolpertinger: Powerful, strange animals as depicted in traditional folktales and mythology. The legend of the Wolpertinger, a creature made of composite animals.
  • Symbolism: Archetypical animals in games. E.g. a black cat.
  • Avatars: A love story of a person’s obsession with animal characters.  
  • Bloodless Pets: Tamagotchi or robot pet animals. Are digital pets better than real pets? They are pretty clean and cosy.
  • Something kooky involving flamingos and a T-Rex. Surprise us.

We are interested in any direction of research and artistic expression that suits the A MAZE. Magazine and captures the independent movement of game creation. We are looking forward to your submission. Please use the submission form for your potential contribution. For any remarks and questions please contact us directly via email: magazine@a-maze.net

Please make sure to read our Submission Guidelines before submitting. By submitting, you agree to the guidelines. 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE is June 1, 2016.

Show us your animal inside.

Your editorial team at A MAZE. Magazine,
Thorsten, Krystle & Franziska