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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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
Audio and Gameplay: An Analysis of PvP Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft

by Kristine Jørgensen

This article addresses how audio works as support for gameplay while remaining true to the perceived reality of the game world in World of Warcraft's PvP Battlegrounds. The argument is that the interpretation of game audio is highly contextual, and that the player must understand the specific situation as a whole in order to understand what a specific auditory signal indicates. [more]
A Procrustean Probe

by Tom Tyler

Applying McLuhan’s four laws of media to digital games, this essay suggests that the “tetrad” highlights the particular ways in which this distinctive cultural form enhances diverse modes of play, obsolesces traditional television viewing, retrieves lost means of participation, and reverses into pervasive and persistent play. [more]

Virtual Torture: Videogames and the War on Terror

by Mark L. Sample

This article explores the theoretical, political, and pedagogical dimensions of torture-interrogation in videogames set in the context of the US's Global War on Terror. Paying attention to both narrative elements and ludic aspects of gameplay, I argue that the few games that incorporate interrogation, which include Splinter Cell and 24: The Game, reveal much about how we conceive of torture, and what the limits of our conceptions are. I then propose an oppositional pedagogical approach to gaming that counters the lessons of virtual torture. [more]
Defining Game Mechanics

by Miguel Sicart

This paper proposes a formal definition of game mechanics as methods invoked by agents for interacting with the game world and applies it to a number of games, explaining how it can be used to illuminate a range of relevant topics, from player emotions and gameplay to game actions and input devices. [more]

Novices, Gamers, and Scholars: Exploring the Challenges of Teaching About Games

by José P. Zagal, Amy Bruckman

Games education is surprisingly complex. We present the results of a study that explored the challenges faced by instructors of games studies classes, describe solutions adopted to overcome these challenges and discuss misconceptions about the knowledge of expert players. Finally, we discuss how these courses may limit diversity in game studies. [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.