Call for Papers: The Middle Ages in Modern Games Twitter Conference: Fantasy and Apocalypse (Deadline: 9 April 2023)

The Public Medievalist and the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research at the University of Winchester present The Fourth Middle Ages in Modern Games Twitter Conference (@MidAgesModGames, #MAMG23) on 6 to 9 June 2023. The central themes of this year’s event are ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Apocalypse’.

Fantasy and Apocalypse are closely tied to medievalist games. Pseudo-medieval worlds are by far the most common setting for fantasy games from Dungeons and Dragons to World of Warcraft. Meanwhile, many games with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic settings such as Fallout and Torment: Tides of Numenera make use of medieval tropes to build their worlds. These settings are clearly removed from the Middle Ages, but are nevertheless fundamentally medieval and can strongly influence modern perceptions of the period.

This conference considers the Medieval and Medievalism in Modern Games. We invite ‘papers’ (comprising a thread of 12 Tweets) and sessions of 3 to 5 papers which address any aspects of the medieval period or medievalism in any and all forms of modern games. We particularly welcome papers addressing the central conference themes of ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Apocalypse’. The conference will be conducted remotely and there will be no registration fee. To promote accessibility and inclusivity, the event runs asynchronously across time zones. Topics may include (but are not restricted to):

  • The End of the World in Medievalist Games
  • Fantasy Games beyond Western Europe
  • Post-Apocalyptic Feudalism
  • Medieval and Fantasy Mechanics in Sci-Fi Worlds
  • Magic and Technology
  • Gender and Sexuality in Fantasy and Apocalyptic Worlds
  • ‘Historical Accuracy’ in Fantasy Games
  • Boundaries between Fantasy and Medievalism
  • Constructing and Portraying Nuanced Fantasy Races
  • Building Pseudo-Medieval Worlds
  • Literary and Audio-Visual Influences
  • Teaching through Fantasy and Apocalyptic Games
  • Heterogeneity and Diversity in Fantasy Games
  • Chronological and Genre limits of Medievalism

We encourage submissions from medievalists, and games scholars and developers at any point in their career— especially those from Postgraduate Students, Early Career Researchers and members of any groups under-represented within the academy and industry. We welcome pieces addressing any region globally, and within a broad definition of ‘medieval’ and ‘medievalism’.

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words, brief biographies, and indications of time zone and availability as attachments in Word to by Friday 9 April.


Published by Blair Apgar

Blair (they/them) recently completed their PhD in History of Art at the University of York with Hanna Vorholt and Amanda Lillie. Their thesis focused on the role of Matilda of Canossa in the sociopolitical development of the Investiture Controversy, and its relationship to Matilda’s material patronage. As an early career researcher, their work aims to unpack the historiographic construction of powerful medieval women’s legacies. They are also interested in the representation of the Middle Ages in modern media.

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