CfP: The Psychgeist of Final Fantasy 7

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“Save the planet... for the future of the planet... Sure, that's all fine. But really, is that really how it is? For me, this is a personal feud. I want to beat Sephiroth. And settle my past. Saving the planet just happens to be part of that. I've been thinking I think we all are fighting for ourselves. For ourselves...and that someone...something...whatever it is, that's important to us. That's what we're fighting for. That's why we keep up this battle for the planet…I want all of you to find that something within yourselves. If you don't find it, then that's okay too. You can't fight without a reason, right?”—Cloud, a pep talk to the team

Final Fantasy VII was released in 1997, immediately becoming a bestselling game (1, 2) with over ten related titles and movies, and a best-selling remake series released over 20 years later (3). Beyond the billions of dollars generated by this game alone (1-3), its impact can be seen in the countless cosplay, music, and other careers launched by the passion and community that has developed around Final Fantasy VII (4,5). The game has made its way into intimate moments in people’s lives, spanning proposals, weddings, body art, and other momentous events and decisions. What is it about Final Fantasy VII that resonates with people?

One possibility is that Final Fantasy VII captures certain central components that fit into everyone’s lives – grief, terror, and the deep meaning we can find in ourselves and others across time and situations. Moreover, the way the story is communicated in Final Fantasy VII—the music, gameplay, battle systems, and dialogue—stitch the game into something fundamentally compatible with how people make sense of the world around them.

This is a call for discussion of these core components that have led Final Fantasy VII to hold its place in gaming history and people’s lives. We are looking for ideas that tie together themes and models of understanding the world to the specific events, ideas, and actions that make up the game. A good fit for this proposal is someone who has a specific idea about Final Fantasy VII, a deep understanding of the game and its implications, and a connection to a body of work or experience that they can connect to these ideas through a 5,000-word chapter.

If you have never written anything like this or are unsure where to start–there are options on the form to indicate whether you would like additional support for this project or to be matched with a co-author.

We welcome submissions from all academic disciplines, areas of practice, and expertise, including but not limited to psychology, literature, environmental science, engineering, animation, medical practice, music, sound design, and all other industries. We encourage submissions from marginalized voices and communities, typically underrepresented in game studies and academic publishing. The following is a list of examples of titles that could potentially fit with this project (feel free to submit ideas that are similar to or different from these ideas!):

Character Journeys

  • Identify a specific character - what about their journey makes them a favorite and important? (think: Cloud, Red XIII, Tifa, etc.).
  • The culture of Final Fantasy VII - what is different, similar, or unique to others’ experiences? (think: gender, race, species, augmented human.)
  • Themes across character journeys - what unites or separates characters' experiences throughout the game? (think: SOLIDER, Wielders of the Buster Sword, AVALANCHE,)

The Lore

  • Identify a topic or a theme established throughout the game environment and share what it means for the players and the game. (think: stewardship, legacy, redemption, apocalypse, capitalism)
  • Or the meaning and impact - why is the lore important? (think: philosophy, self-worth, parenting)

Gaming systems

  • How is in-game design matched to narrative design (think: material, limit breaks, turn-based vs action combat)
  • Player's experiences with the game (think: dialogue choices, gondola date, ideal party composition)
  • Games communicating lore and building narrative complexity (think: Mini games, Fort Condor, side quests

The game, the community, and other media

  • The original and the remake
  • Compilation of Final Fantasy VII: cross-media (think: games, books, film)
  • Going beyond the code (Think: Glitches, speedrunning, modding)
  • Springboard for personal meaning (think: Cosplay, Community, Music, events)

We are excited to be in a position to speak about Final Fantasy VII and that others may choose to share their ideas with us. It is an honor to be able to create this space, develop a platform to share ideas about Final Fantasy VII and be a smaller part of the larger, global Final Fantasy VII community. Thank you for considering submitting to our call for proposals for the Psychgeist of Final Fantasy VII!

“There ain’t no gettin’ offa, this train we’re on!”—The Party, in the Highwind.

If you are interested in submitting to the Psychgeist of Final Fantasy VII, please complete this Google form by April 15th, 2023, where you will be guided in completing a 400-word abstract and short questionnaire.

If you have questions, please reach out to Dr. Celeste Sangiorgio.

You will hear about the status of your submission approximately 2-3 weeks after the submission deadline. Accepted submissions will be supported in transforming the initial 400-word abstract into a 5,000-word chapter. Accepted authors typically have approximately one month to submit a detailed outline and then two months to complete a full first draft. There will be support and feedback at each step of the submission and writing process!


Do I need a PhD to submit to this collection? No! Everyone is welcome to submit—the most important thing is that you have an idea and can discuss how it's connected to Final Fantasy VII. As editors, we can help shape your submission to fit within the scope if you are concerned about finding the right theoretical frame.

Do I need to be a published author already to submit? Absolutely not! This series prides itself on providing a platform for first-time authors to submit something. Students are particularly encouraged to submit!

Do I need to submit a topic that I see here? Also no! The articles and topics you see above are broad ideas - please connect them with your experiences, area of work, or anything else! The most important part is that you’re connecting an idea to the game.

I have a lot of ideas—what if I have more than one chapter idea? We totally get that! We have a lot of ideas, too! In the case that you have a few different chapter ideas, please submit an individual proposal form for each idea. So, say you want to write a chapter on Cloud and a chapter on the Gold Saucer - you would submit a form for each chapter.

Any pointers?? I really want to write something about Final Fantasy VII! The Google submission form should help organize your thoughts on your submission. Beyond that, it is helpful to include links or references to the specific ideas you are connecting to the game and specific references to events in the game. It is also important to be succinct. We are looking for proposals that are brief, specific summaries that connect a theory to Final Fantasy VII. You may find it helpful to write any abstracts in a Word document and then paste them into the form. This helps with submitting multiple entries as well.

I want to submit, but I am not sure what the timeframe is. Very understandable! Here is the timeframe: 1) respond to a submission, 2-3 weeks post-deadline; 2) detailed abstract, one month after acceptance notice; 3) first full draft, two months after outline feedback.

I want to submit, but I am already submitting something to another Psychgeist call. That’s alright. The Google form has a field for you to list the Psychgeist title you are associated with. You can submit and contribute to multiple books, but there is a cap. We can cross that bridge when we get to it on a case-by-case basis.


Dr. Celeste Sangiorgio is a clinical psychologist with over ten years of practice and research experience. Her research area focuses on how digital media (particularly games) can be used to impact individuals' skills and beliefs about the world around them. Celeste has designed multiple games and other digital media designed to target and build healthy behaviors and also has provided in-game voice recording for therapist characters in games (e.g., psychoeducation, coping skills, narrative). Some of Celeste's games include an avatar-assisted platform designed to treat co-occurring substance use and violent behavior (RITchCBT, in clinical trials), a VR game to teach individuals how to intervene when someone overdoses on oxycodone (BrainFire VR; platformer upcoming), and a dating sim designed to teach individuals skills about healthy and unhealthy dating behaviors (Dating Slasher, ant. 2024). Final Fantasy VII is the first long-form narrative game Celeste played at age 7. At age 10, Celeste attempted to create a stage show of Final Fantasy VII at Notre Dame Academy for girls in Staten Island, NY, and in 2022, Celeste walked to the Final Fantasy VII prelude at her wedding.

Christopher Leech is a PhD researcher in Psychology. His work examines the intersection of video games and student mental health. This focuses on what factors impact player receptivity to information within video games. This includes game-related factors, player factors, and external factors. Christopher is also a person with Albinism and is visually impaired/legally blind. As a consequence of this, he is very passionate about equality, inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility, especially in games. Outside of research, he is a content creator, consultant, and podcast host. He has presented at a number of conventions/conferences, including Games For Change, PAX East/West, British Psychological Society – Cyberpsychology, Develop: Brighton, and more. His podcast, Psyched To Be With You, can be found on YouTube and all podcasting platforms. He is also a proud ambassador for Take This and Safe In Our World, two leading mental health charities.

Celeste and Chris have worked together for almost half a decade. Their work together focuses on how games tap into and can be mechanisms for learning about personal and universal truths - like grief, trauma, and redemption - and how games can be used to teach mental health skills. Their recent work has concentrated on Final Fantasy VII through an annual lecture series on how different concepts connect to Final Fantasy VII delivered as a panel at PAX East.


  1. Final Fantasy VII For PlayStation Hits Million-Unit Mark; Latest Sell-Through Numbers Make Square’s Final Fantasy VII Worldwide Best Seller. (1997). Business Wire.
  2. McLaughlin, R. (2017). IGN Presents: The History of Final Fantasy VII. IGN.…
  3. Bahri, S. (2023). Final Fantasy VII Hits Staggering Milestone For Copies Sold. IGN Southeast Asia.…
  4. Hull, S. (2024). Nerdcore rapper Mega Ran returns to Orlando to perform a classic album and celebrate Final Fantasy. Orlando Weekly.…
  5. Reddit: Top communities. (2024). [Forum]. Reddit.