CGSA Reviewing guidelines

In 2009 I was still fairly new to academia. I had collected all the data for my MA thesis and was in the process of analyzing and writing it up. Somehow I stumbled across the CFP for the Canadian Game Studies Association. I wrote an abstract and was accepted (yay!). This would end up being my second conference ever, and it was really intimidating. But once I found the room, Suzanne de Castell was there at the registration table and welcomed me. Everyone I met at the conference was warm, welcoming, and generous with their feedback.  After I gave my presentation, Suzanne asked if I was planning to do a PhD. Well it was more of a “you ARE going to do a PhD”, but anyway…

I went on to finish my MA and then a PhD. And I also became part of the CGSA conference committee.

One of the best parts of being a conference coordinator for the Canadian Game Studies Association is that I’ve had a chance to meet new members and welcome them to our annual conference. This year is our largest year ever (and I’m happy to say that I get to say that EVERY year). We have grown so much that we have had to also grow our reviewer pool. This means that we had to sit down and actually put CGSA’s philosophy down on paper. Since I get a lot of hits to my website looking for CGSA information, I thought I should share our reviewer guidelines. We may do things a bit differently than other organizations, but I’ll always be proud to call CGSA one of my scholarly homes.

CGSA Guidelines for Reviewers

Thank you for agreeing to review for this year’s CGSA conference!

As you are probably well aware, CGSA operates a bit differently then other scholarly organizations. Our mandate is to provide a space (in Canada!) for emerging and established scholars to discuss their research and theories about games (digital and non-digital). Underpinning this is the idea of radical inclusivity.

We ask reviewers to evaluate with a sense of generosity. If you feel like an abstract is underdeveloped or weak in any way, we ask you to provide at least 2-3 actionable items that the author can do to make their next abstract stronger. These can be things such as:

  • Pointing them towards literature that they may have overlooked;
  • A suggestion for how to rephrase their thesis/argument statement to make it clearer;
  • Style improvements (e.g. a more descriptive title);
  • Theoretical frameworks they might find valuable;
  • Anything else you feel the author might find helpful.