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Dust off your gaming controller. We’re making a play issue.

This fall, the Anthropology News magazine is exploring its playful side for a series about games and play. Whatever your game—board, card, tabletop role-playing, multiplayer online—we want to join in. Whether you have an account of social play among nonhuman primates, a linguistic tale about speech play, an archaeological story about Bronze Age board games, or an ode to your 1990s PlayStation or adventures in Minecraft, we want to hear it. Play in its ludic, nonserious, unpredictability can be a game to enjoy or to win at all costs. What does anthropology tell us about how, why, and what we play? What does play and the playing of games reveal about us—about being human? From children’s play to wordplay, gambling to gaming the system, playing the xylophone to playing an avatar self, archaeological game sites to imaginary play spaces, game design to the biology of player performance, theatre to battle reenactments, pesäpallo to ping pong, we invite you to get your game (boy) on and tell us a good anthropology story.

We seek creative pitches that approach play or games from a range of international perspectives, in the form of feature essays, photo essays, graphic ethnography comics or illustrations, and short sound or film pieces.

Please send a 300-word pitch that outlines the story or argument of your piece, and a 50-word author bio to [email protected] by June 13, 2022. For a photo essay pitch, please include one or two images. For graphic ethnography, include examples of your comic or illustration work. For a sound or film piece, include a short clip.

First drafts will be due by July 15 and will go through a developmental edit with the AN editor. Full feature essays are ~2,000 words. Photo essays comprise six–eight high resolution images and a 750-word introductory essay. Graphic ethnography pieces span up to six print pages. Sound and film pieces should be no longer than 10 minutes in length. Final pieces will publish in the September/October 2022 print magazine and on the AN website.

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