CfP: Historical Network Analysis in Computer Games, a special Issue of the Journal of Historical Network Research

Dear member of the HNR community,

We invite submissions of papers to be considered for publication in the next special issue of the Journal of Historical Network Research (, which will be published in summer 2024. 

The Editorial Board welcomes proposals  for papers dealing with historical network research and computer games. In recent years, historical video games have increasingly become the subject of in-depth studies by historians interested in the depiction and construction of history in video games (e.g. M.W. Kapell, A.B.R. Elliott, eds., Playing with the Past. Digital Games and the Simulation of History, London 2013; A. Chapman, Digital Games as History. How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice, New York/London 2016; A. Lünen et al., eds., Historia Ludens. The Playing Historian, New York/London 2020). Studies have analyzed the representation of specific themes, historical periods and history in general across different genres and game platforms. Often, these have dealt with the representation of history, with historical authenticity (M. Lorber, F. Zimmermann, eds., History in Games. Contingencies of an Authentic Past, Bielefeld 2020), or the uses (and pitfalls) of games in secondary and tertiary education (J. McCall, Gaming the Past. Using Video Games to Teach Secondary History, New York/London 2011). 

In contrast to previous research, the planned special issue focuses on the use of computer games for historical network research. We therefore invite submissions of papers that address the following questions, among others: How can computer games be used to simulate and research historical networks? How are connections between actors modeled in computer games? What insights into historical network research can be gained from computer games, e.g. through the use of agent-based modeling?

Shorter articles (20,000–30,000 characters; including spaces and footnotes) are suitable for the publication of ongoing research and discussions and may be more exploratory in nature whereas long articles (60,000–90,000 characters; including spaces and footnotes) are expected to present original research. In order to foster reproducibility and transparency in historical network research, we encourage authors – if applicable – to provide their code and data sets in addition to the manuscripts for publication. We accept submissions in the form of short and long articles. 

Papers can be submitted in English, German or French. All articles (but especially those articles written in a language other than English) should be accompanied by an English-language abstract of no more than 300 words which contains the salient points and arguments. Please follow the Author Guidelines and use the journal template to ensure that your submission is formatted correctly.


Submission timeline:

31 January 2024: submit an abstract of your paper (max. 500 words) 

15 February 2024: Notification of acceptance of abstract

31 July 2024:  submit your complete paper

Both abstracts and manuscripts need to be submitted via

Please direct any questions you may have to the editors at For further information on Historical Network Research in general, please visit


About the journal

The Journal of Historical Network Research ( publishes outstanding and original contributions which apply the theories and methodologies of social network analysis to historical research, helps advance the epistemological and theoretical understanding of social network analysis in the historical, social and political sciences, and promotes empirical research on historical social interactions.

The journal promotes the interplay between different areas of historical research (in the broadest sense), social and political sciences, and different research traditions and disciplines, while strengthening the dialogue between network research and “traditional” historical research. The journal serves as a meeting place for the traditional hermeneutics of historical research and its concomitant emphasis on contextualisation and historical source criticism (as present in traditional academic historical journals) on the one hand, and the theory-heavy and/or sometimes overly technical discussion of methodological and technological issues (which predominates in publications focused on “pure” or sociological network research) on the other. All contents are made available free of charge to readers and authors following Open Access principles.

With best wishes,

The editors,

Clemens Beck, Marten Düring, Cindarella Petz, Christian Rollinger, Ingeborg van Vugt

Published by Ingeborg van Vugt
December 4, 2023

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