Call for Papers

Along with Calls for Papers on special topics, the International Journal of Role-Playing accepts submissions for peer review on an ongoing basis on all topics pertaining to analog role-playing games.

Call for Papers: Consent and Analog Role-Playing Games

Guest Co-Editor: Susan Haarman

The editors of the International Journal of Role-Playing invite submissions for a special issue on consent in analog role-playing games. As a concept in contemporary culture, consent has slipped beyond the bounds of specialized discourses related to medical and social scientific practice, determinations of political legitimacy, and the dynamics of sexual relations, to have a powerful orienting effect on the ethics of social and communicative practices of all sorts.

Role-playing games are no exception. In 2019, for example, Monte Cook Games released Consent in Gaming, which claimed that “Playing RPGs is a shared experience that is supposed to be fun for everyone involved, and part of that is making sure that everyone in the game has consented to the premise and expectations of the campaign and game genre" (Reynolds and Germain 2019). The next year, the Japanese Journal of Analog Role-Playing Game Studies devoted a special issue to emotional and psychological safety in tabletop RPGs and larps. As safety tools and consent checklists become increasingly common practice at TRPG tables and in larps, it is essential to examine the dynamics of consent in role-playing as a way of exploring what its practitioners understand role-playing to be, as well as to contribute to a larger understanding of consent as a key concept in 21st century cultural life.  

Thus, we invite contributors to consider questions about those dynamics. How is the safety and agency for the player balanced alongside group goals or larger narrative structures? Can players use consent practices to prevent themselves from experiencing the full repercussions of their characters' actions in game, and how does this possibility affect the reception and use of those practices in different communities of play? How is consent invoked in the cultural politics of role-playing gaming fan discourses? How does identity and/or neurodiversity impact experiences of and the need for consent in different gaming communities? What role do the various forms of bleed play in terms of consent?

We are open to submissions examining consent and questions around it within the context of role-playing games and larps. They might include, but are not limited to:

  • Cultures of consent in role-playing games
  • History of consent in role-playing games
  • Discourses around safety and consent in role-playing communities 
  • Explicit vs implicit consent
  • Passive vs enthusiastic consent
  • Duration and permanence of consent
  • Legal critiques of consent (Guzman 2012; Fischel 2019) and ramifications for role-playing
  • Consent and safety tools
  • Bleed and consent, including emotional, relational, procedural, memetic, emancipatory, identity, and/or ego bleed
  • The relationship between player identity and character identity
  • Consent and imagination
  • Transgressive role-play and consent
  • Failures of consent and the responses
  • Consent, accountability, & risk
  • Required vs voluntary consent 
  • Consent and neurodiversity, race, gender, disability, among others
  • Consent and language and language theories
  • Consent, political science, consensus building, and democracy building
  • Consent, trust, and intimacy in games
  • Consent’s relationship to education and learning in role-playing
  • Consent's relationship to growth in therapeutic context
  • How exploring consent in games might relate to consent practices in daily life and/or society
  • Consent in adjacent subcultures as compared with RPGs
  • The limits of consent as a framework for emergent play

As IJRP is an interdisciplinary journal, submissions for this special issue should be directed at a multi-disciplinary audience. We are especially interested in work from scholars of psychology, sociology, social work, and related fields, as well as practitioners of pedagogy, counseling, and other professions. We also invite theoretical articles aiming to understand how different hermeneutics and/or philosophical understanding of consent and agency may impact how it shows up in a role-playing, as well as how role-playing may help us better conceptualize consent outside of games. 

Submitted completed drafts of 5,000 to 8,000 words (not counting references, which should be in Chicago Author-Date style) for double-blind peer review to the editors at (ijrp.editor [at] For more information about submission guidelines, please review this linked page

Please contact the editors at (ijrp.editor [at] with inquiries and article proposals.

While we are accepting submissions on these topics on an ongoing basis, the deadlines for consideration in the next complete issue are the following:

Deadline for Abstracts: February 1, 2024

Deadline for Full Papers: April 1, 2024

Authors interested in submitting past these deadlines are invited to email their work to the editorial board for consideration in a later issue.

Note that the editors are also accepting submissions on other topics related to analog role-playing games on an ongoing basis through our open call.


Fischel, Joseph J. 2019. Screw Consent: A Better Politics of Sexual Justice. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Guzman, Andrew T. 2012. “Against Consent.” Virginia Journal of International Law 52(4).

JARPS Editors. 2020. "Editorial: Emotional and Psychological Safety in TRPGs and Larps." Japanese Journal of Analog Role-Playing Game Studies 1: 1e-2e.

Reynolds, Sean K., and Shanna Germain. 2019. Consent in Gaming. Seattle, WA: Monte Cook Games.


Authors interested in submitting past these deadlines are invited to email their work to the editorial board for consideration in a later issue.

ISSN 2210-4909