1. General Article Guidelines

First Person Scholar is seeking submissions from game critics and game scholars on the topics of games, games culture, and new media for our weekly publication. We publish Essays (1.1), Commentaries (1.2), and Book Reviews (1.3) that approach these topics critically and creatively.
All documents are reviewed by the editorial staff prior to publication. We will request revisions prior to publishing your article. General criteria for all submissions:

  • 2000 words.
  • Images should be in .JPG, .PNG format. Images embedded in articles should be submitted separate from the word document with in text placement indicators. Please ensure image sizes are 700 x 700 pixels or larger.
  • Studious in tone
  • Accessible in language.
  • Composed for a broad audience that might include game scholars and game developers, but also those interested in the field of game studies.
  • MLA or APA Citations – but no footnotes or endnotes
  • Embedded hyperlinks
  • Submissions should be given in .docx format
  • Videos will be accepted in .MP4 format or as a youtube link
  • Sound files to be submitted in .MP3 or as a soundcloud link
  • Although FPS is a Canadian site, submissions do not need to follow the conventions of Canadian English.

Please direct general inquiries to

1.1 Essays

Essay submissions for FPS address critical, theoretical, and methodological considerations as they pertain to game studies. Essays should be theoretically grounded, but theory may be discussed in the context of particular games or play experiences. Essays require a minimum of three secondary sources such as texts, journal articles, researched blog posts, articles from reliable games media, etc. Embedded hyperlinks to secondary sources are strongly encouraged whenever possible to make sources as accessible as possible. Works cited/references does not count towards the 2,000 word limit on FPS essays.

Example: Silent Performers of Myth: Structuralist and Poststructuralist Approaches to The Stanley Parable by Sam Tjahjono

Section Editor:

  • Patrick DolanEmail Essays

1.2 Commentaries

While our essays emphasize more theoretical approaches to games, our commentaries emphasize more experiential ones. Commentaries may draw upon many of the same scholarly sources as essays to contextualize those experiences, but place more emphasis on novel arguments about subjective player experiences. We encourage authors to be daring and experimental in their discussion. In essence, commentaries should be just that—a commentary on a game, an aspect of games culture, or a venture into new theoretical territory. Commentaries can include more personal examinations of games or games related topics as well as creative endeavours, timely responses to current events, and close readings. In contrast to our essays, our commentaries can but are not required to utilize academic sources, but context needs to be provided through use of embedded links.

Example: Immersed in a Fantasy World: GISHWHES by Elise Vist

Section Editor:

  • Alex Chalktwitter-l

1.3 Book Reviews

Book Review submissions should offer a thoughtful consideration of the book and its arguments, while also situating that book within the field of games studies and the topic of the book. A review’s critique and commentary on the book should address the arguments but also the cohesiveness of the book, its relevance to games studies, its possible application in the classroom, and what the book means to you. We like to think that book reviews do more than simply review a book; we believe reviews are valuable for getting conversations started around topics and issues presented by books, encouraging further scholarly engagement and discussion.

Example: Unraveling Anthologies: A Review of Unraveling Resident Evil by Betsy Brey

Section Editor:

  • Sabrina Sgandurra Email Book Reviews & InterviewsTweet @Betsy 

1.4 Special Features & Alternative Scholarship

On occasion we publish special features on a range of topics and formats. If you’re interested in pitching a special feature, contact the editor-in-chief. Past special features include a roundtable on safeguarding research , curated selections from the Queerness and Games Conference 2014 and an interview with Austin Walker.

We also highly encourage alternative forms of scholarship such as video essays, critical let’s plays or self-developed videogames. Any videos or sound files submitted will be re-hosted on the FPS Youtube channel or FPS Soundcloud account respectively. Contact the Editor-in-Chief with questions or submissions.

2. Formal Responses and Replies

We here at First Person Scholar have a unique philosophy, one situated in the emergent genre of middle-state publishing where contributors are encouraged to be proactive in their analyses and speculative rather than conclusive in their thinking. Because of this we welcome short replies to our essays or formal essay length responses. For an example please check out our round table on Shovel Knight.

3. Commenting Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged here on First Person Scholar; after all, constructive, thoughtful conversations are what we aim to generate with our articles. In that spirit, comments should be written with the aim to enrich our understanding of the material and to engage others in a dialogue that is conducive to learning.

However, comments that use derogatory language, that show little to no engagement with the article, that maintain a divisiveness and hostility that would degrade rather than enrich conversation will not be posted. While other sites have more relaxed policies in this regard, this is our policy.

Lastly, First Person Scholar is run by a group of volunteers. This means that the moderation of comments conforms to the schedule befitting a volunteer and so it may take between 24-48 hours (and perhaps longer delays on weekends, holidays, etc.) for your comment to be posted.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Get in touch!

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