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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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

Special Issue - EQ: 10 Years Later

by Eric Hayot, Edward Wesp

Reviews the place of EverQuest in the history of virtual world studies; lays out some of the critical issues that emerge from the study of MMORPGs; and introduces the essays in this issue.[more]

Befriending Ogres and Wood-Elves: Relationship Formation and The Social Architecture of Norrath

by Nick Yee

This paper explores how the social architectures in virtual worlds can lead to behavioral changes at the community level by shaping norms and expectations. [more]
Planes of Power: EverQuest as Text, Game and Community

by Greg Lastowka

This article describes EverQuest as a fictive text, a computer game, and an online community and explains how these three distinct frameworks lead to different legal regulatory modalities. It concludes that the optimal legal regulation for virtual worlds like Norrath is a question that must be addressed by the political process. [more]

Norrath: New Forms, Old Institutions

by Sal Humphreys

Explores issues of ownership, governance, labour, rights and obligations in MMOGs, using research conducted in EQ. The clash between product and service, between proprietary space and public space and between amateur and professional raise questions for policy makers and lawyers considering the rights and obligations of different stakeholders. [more]
The Worldness of EverQuest: Exploring a 21st Century Fiction

by Lisbeth Klastrup

This articles discusses online gameworlds as a new form of engaging fictional universes, and how to analytically approach and describe the player’s experience of “worldness” with EverQuest as an illustrative example. It argues that such an analysis should incorporate the study of design, aesthetics, means of expression and sociality. [more]

Two Players: Biography and ‘Played Sociality’ in EverQuest

by Bart Simon, Kelly Boudreau, Mark Silverman

This article experiments with a biographical method for exploring memories and play experiences of EverQuest in the lives of two player/researchers. We posit a notion of 'played sociality' modeled on biographical understandings of lifecourse and attempt to show how different forms of commitment to the game reverberate through the lives of players. [more]
Towards a Critical Aesthetic of Virtual-World Geographies

by Eric Hayot, Edward Wesp

This article addresses the interaction of players and designers in the creation of Norrathian geography. In the context of contemporary geographic theory, the authors examine the ways in which EverQuest players have worked both with and against the game’s delineation of meaningful places within the virtual world, arguing that the game’s virtual geography is best understood in the context of the real world geographies within which it is situated. [more]

Interview with Chris Lena

by Eric Hayot

Chris Lena worked as a Producer of EverQuest at Sony Online Entertainment where he was involved in the creation of the 6 most recent expansions. He has been Assistant Producer and Designer on EverQuest Online Adventures as well as a coordinator of game localization efforts for the company. He worked on EQ 2003-2006. [more]
Interview with Brad McQuaid and Kevin McPherson

by Eric Hayot, Edward Wesp

Brad McQuaid worked as co-designer of EverQuest and development manager from the project's inception until its launch. Kevin McPherson was one of the first EverQuest team members who primarily worked on the EverQuest client and writing the original background and setting for the Ruins of Kunark expansion. [more]


©2001 - 2009 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.