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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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 Algorithmic Experience: Portal as Art

by Michael Burden, Sean Gouglas

Art requires criticism. Portal transcends videogame tropes: it explores the human struggle against algorithmic processes through complex parallels between the player, Chell, the companion cube, and GLaDOS. Increasingly complex frustrations are experienced directly through the game’s aesthetic of play - a freedom bounded by algorithmic control. [more]
In the Double Grip of the Game: Challenge and Fallout 3 

by Sara Mosberg Iversen

A broad notion of challenge, conceptualized as both demanding and stimulating situations, is here proposed as a basis for holistic analysis of digital games which takes both the games’ mechanic and semiotic dimensions into equal account. The offered framework is demonstrated through application in an analysis of Fallout 3. [more]

Death Loop as a Feature

by Olli Tapio Leino

This essay is a critical examination of the paradigmatic approach of interpreting computer games as games accessible for analysis and critique through 'research-play'. The essay justifies a differentiation between game design research and game studies, and explores the avenues of analysis and critique of single-player computer games for the latter. [more]
A Study of User Interface Modifications in World of Warcraft

by Sean Targett, Victoria Verlysdonk, Howard J. Hamilton, Daryl Hepting

This paper studies the effect that user created interfaces have had on WoW and its community of users through an online survey issued to WoW players. The survey results illustrate the varied nature of this community and provide information that may aid in the creation of communities dedicated to modifying the interfaces of other software packages [more]

Book Reviews

Best Before: The Red Queen Dilemma of Preserving Video Games?

by Staffan Björk

Best Before: videogames, supersession and obsolescence. James Newman, 2012. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York. ISBN-13: 9780415577915 [more]
Circles tend to return

by David Myers

The magic circle: Principles of gaming & simulation. Jan H. G. Klabbers, 2009. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. ISBN: 978908790 0076 [more]

Forever a moral subject

by Torill Mortensen

The Ethics of Computer Games. Miguel Sicart, 2009. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. ISBN-13: 9780262012652 [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.