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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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
Technology Trees: Freedom and Determinism in Historical Strategy Games

by Tuur Ghys

This article deals with the representation of the history of technology in historical strategy games by the use of evolutionary tree diagrams called technology trees, in relation to the concept of technological determinism. It does so by comparing four important strategy games: Age of Empires, Empire Earth, Rise of Nations and Civilization IV. [more]
Tombstones, Uncanny Monuments and Epic Quests: Memorials in World of Warcraft

by Martin Gibbs, Joji Mori, Michael Arnold, Tamara Kohn

In this paper memorials in World of Warcraft are described and analysed. The repertoires of materials used to build these memorials within the game world are discussed. We argue that game designers draw on diverse cultural materials to create memorials that resemble and allude to traditional and contemporary forms of memorialization. [more]

Constitutive Tensions of Gaming’s Field: UK gaming magazines and the formation of gaming culture 1981-1995

by Graeme Kirkpatrick

The paper describes a study of UK gaming magazines in the 1980s and 90s. It argues that a structural transformation of gaming discourse can be discerned in these publications, one which has been fateful both for our understanding of what computer games are and for the identity of the modern ‘gamer’. [more]
The Agony and the Exidy: A History of Video Game Violence and the Legacy of Death Race

by Carly A. Kocurek

Released in 1976, Exidy's Death Race precipitated the first moral panic in video gaming. The incident resonates with contemporary debates about video gaming and provides insight into the evolution of violent games as a topic of special concern for moral guardians and the industry. [more]

"Interactive Cinema" Is an Oxymoron, but May Not Always Be

by Kevin Veale

This article engages with the critical history of 'interactive cinema' as a term in order to explore why it has been so problematic, and uses close analysis of case-studies in the context of their affective experience to argue for a class of game texts that are neither 'watched' nor 'played.' [more]

Book Reviews

Pretty Hate Machines: A Review of Gameplay Mode

by Ian Bogost

Gameplay Mode: War, Simulation, and Technoculture. Patrick Crogan, 2011. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-5334-8 [more]


©2001 - 2012 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.