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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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
A Survey of First-person Shooters and their Avatars

by Michael Hitchens

A survey of over 550 first-person shooters, The titles are compared by year of release, platform and game setting. Characteristics of avatars within the surveyed titles are also examined, including race, gender and background, and how these vary across platform and time. The analysis reveals definite trends, both historically and by platform. [more]
Against Procedurality

by Miguel Sicart

This article proposes a critical review of the literature on procedural rhetoric, from a game design perspective. The goal of the article is to show the limits of procedural rhetorics for the design and analysis of ethics and politics in games. The article suggests that theories of play can be used to solve these theoretical flaws. [more]

The Pastoral and the Sublime in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

by Paul Martin

The landscape in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is seen here as a central aspect of the game’s theme of good versus evil. The analysis looks at the game’s distinction between the pastoral and the industrial realms and the way the player’s encounter with the landscape transforms over the course of the game from the sublime to the picturesque mode [more]
Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams: Popular Music, Narrative, and Dystopia in Bioshock

by William Gibbons

The soundtrack of Bioshock includes popular music of the 1930s-50s, which serves several functions, signifying the time period of the game, yet ironically commenting on the dystopian environment. The lyrics also allow the music to remark obliquely on the game's action, spurring players to reflection without removing them from control. [more]


©2001 - 2011 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.