The International Journal of Computer Game Research

Our Mission - To explore the rich cultural genre of games; to give scholars a peer-reviewed forum for their ideas and theories; to provide an academic channel for the ongoing discussions on games and gaming.

Game Studies is a non-profit, open-access, crossdisciplinary journal dedicated to games research, web-published several times a year at

Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome. Proposed articles should be jargon-free, and should attempt to shed new light on games, rather than simply use games as metaphor or illustration of some other theory or phenomenon.

Game Studies is published with the support of:

The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)

The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences

Blekinge Institute of Technology

IT University of Copenhagen

Lund University

If you would like to make a donation to the Game Studies Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation established for the purpose of ensuring continuous publication of Game Studies, please contact the Editor-in-Chief or send an email to: foundation at gamestudies dot org
The Accidental Carjack: Ethnography, Gameworld Tourism, and Grand Theft Auto

by Kiri Miller

This article investigates the affinities of gameplay, tourism, and ethnographic fieldwork. I show how Grand Theft Auto players think and behave like tourists and ethnographers as they engage in collaborative performances that comment on urban American life and commercial media. [more]
Quests in Context: A Comparative Analysis of Discworld and World of Warcraft

by Faltin Karlsen

This article investigates how quests relate to, and are influenced by, mainly three different contextual elements: the producers, the players and the overall game environment. I analyse how these elements influence the way quests are designed, how they are used and what meaning-production and aesthetics they might be subject to. [more]

How’s the Weather: Simulating Weather in Virtual Environments

by Matt Barton

When game developers, theorists, and critics discuss what features are most important when creating a realistic virtual world, they tend to focus on aesthetics and kinetics, or, in simpler terms, graphics and animation. Some aspects of "reality," such as lighting effects and shadows, draw more attention than other, less dramatic, natural phenomena. [more]
Making the Water Move: Techno-Historic Limits in the Game Aesthetics of Myst and Doom

by Andrew Hutchison

This paper proposes that the technical and other circumstances of a game’s creation are critical to the useful analysis of the game, and of games in general. Such considerations are often missing from the current analysis of games, and this is problematic, since these aspects have an enormous impact on the overall aesthetic of these experiences. [more]

Electronic Empire: Orientalism Revisited in the Military Shooter

by Johan Höglund

Using Said’s concept of Orientalism, this article examines a set of military computer games and their construction of the Middle East. It addresses the problem of the realistic and the real in these games and concludes that these games render the Middle East a site of perpetual war, enlisting, through marketing strategies and game semiotics, the gamer as a soldier willing to fight the virtual war and support the ideology that functions as the games’ political rationale. [more]
“I Hope You Never See Another Day Like This”: Pedagogy & Allegory in “Post 9/11” Video Games

by Marc A. Ouellette

This paper considers the interactions between play and narrative in two games which function as allegorical and pedagogical responses to the terrorist attacks of 11 Sept. 2001. [more]

Improving Computer Game Narrative Using Polti Ratios

by Kirsty Baird, Richard Hall

Computer games are criticised sometimes as lacking in narrative. Here we introduce a model of stories (Polti ratios) into which computer games (meeting particular criteria) can be abstracted. Using this model, we designed a process to analyse and explore computer game narrative and applied it to a game under development, Street Survivor. [more]


©2001 - 2008 Game Studies Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the journal, except for the right to republish in printed paper publications, which belongs to the authors, but with first publication rights granted to the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.