Call for Proposal: The Psychgeist of Legend of Zelda

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“Courage can never be remembered, for it is never forgotten." - Princess Zelda, Breath of the Wild 

Since its first release in 1986, ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series has captivated millions of players worldwide. We have followed Link and Zelda through many quests, timelines, and consoles. The latest open-world entries in the series: ‘Breath of the Wild’ (2017) and ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ (2023) present a new format for the series and an even more fascinating deep dive into human psychology and social behaviour. We have complete freedom of choice and movement in these games, and what we do with this flexibility can provide intriguing insights into who we are and why we behave the way we do. The themes of the Legend of Zelda are deeply intertwined with our understanding of human psychology and resonate deeply with so many of us.

We seek various chapter contributions from researchers and fans, old and new, who want to further explore the psychology of the Legend of Zelda. This edition will emphasize the newest entries of Breath of the Wild (2017) and Tears of the Kingdom (2023), but proposals could explore any game within the series. Chapter proposals might focus on applying a psychological lens to events, characters, or mechanisms within the games themselves or the cultural and psychological impact of the game as applied to real-world issues. 

In this public call, we particularly welcome contributions from women, non-binary people, and other demographic groups that are typically underrepresented in the game studies, psychology, and Zelda community. 

Each book chapter will explore a different psychological concept applied to different series aspects. In this call, we are looking for chapters exploring environmental issues, feminist psychology, speedrunning & neurodivergence.

While you are free to propose your own idea, we are seeing contributions that address topics such as:

  • After the apocalypse: What The Calamity and The Upheaval can teach us about climate change adaptation and collective resilience
  • She’s Zelda, He’s just Link: The feminist psychology of the Legend of Zelda
  • Gotta Go Fast: Why are Zelda speedruns so popular among creators and audiences?
  • Into the Sky: Escaping calamity by abandoning home?
  • Escape into Hyrule: How an open-world Zelda helped people manage neurodivergence and trauma throughout the pandemic

We invite submissions from any sub-fields of psychology or social science and encourage creative submissions not listed in the above. We are also seeking submissions from the broader Zelda community, including creators (e.g., speed-runners, zelda-tubers and cosplayers), where community members can discuss their experience of being part of the Zelda fandom.

If you are interested in contributing and being considered for the first round of selected contributors, please send an abstract of no more than 400 words for your proposed chapter to the Editor Annayah Prosser through this Google form by the end of December 15th (in the last timezone on earth). Single or multi-author chapters will be considered.

Full chapters should be approximately about 5000 words in length and will be required by April 2024. Submitting authors should ensure that they can meet this deadline. Shorter pieces (~2500 - 3500 words) utilising creative formats (e.g., fiction, interviews, or art) are also encouraged. We plan to select 10-12 chapters for publication in this edited book. Authors will know if their proposed chapter has been selected by January 20th, 2024.

Please submit your abstracts and direct any questions to Annayah Prosser.