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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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

Meta-Game Studies

by Espen Aarseth

Leveling up the field of game studies. Did we succeed?[more]

Self-Reflexivity and Humor in Adventure Games

by Krista Bonello Rutter Giappone

This article focuses on the “adventure game” genre, its metafictional humor, and tendency towards self-parody in both its formative stage and its more recent ensuing nostalgic turn, with particular reference to Zork (Infocom, 1980), LucasArts’ Monkey Island games (1990-2000), and Telltale’s parodic-nostalgic “Reality 2.0” (Sam and Max, 2007). [more]
The Demarcation Problem in Multiplayer Games: Boundary-Work in EVE Online's eSport

by Marcus Carter, Martin Gibbs, Michael Arnold

Informal rules are fundamental to multiplayer game play. Based on the analysis of a thrown tournament final in EVE Online’s eSport, this article presents and argues for the theory of boundary-work for understanding the processes through which players develop and dispute informal social rules that mediate play in multiplayer games. [more]

Me and Lee: Identification and the Play of Attraction in The Walking Dead

by Nicholas Taylor, Chris Kampe, Kristina Bell

This micro-ethnographic account of gameplay in The Walking Dead examines the shifting nature of players’ relationship with Lee Everett, the game’s protagonist. It offers a provisional schema that accounts for the “attractors” that shape this relationship. The schema is applied to a brief but intense moment in two players’ experiences with the game. [more]
No Mastery Without Mystery: Dark Souls and the Ludic Sublime

by Daniel Vella

This article discusses sublime aesthetics as they apply to games, contextualized in an analysis of Dark Souls. It argues that the sublime is a crucial aspect of the player’s engagement with the game, resulting from the tension between the player’s drive towards mastery and the mystery resulting from the essential unknowability of the game object. [more]

Book Reviews

A Review of Jørgensen's "Gameworld Interfaces"

by Hans-Joachim Backe

Gameworld Interfaces (2013) by Kristine Jørgensen. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN: 978-0-26202686-4. 181 pp. [more]
A Manifesto, With Footnotes. A Review of Miguel Sicart’s “Play Matters”

by Sebastian Deterding

Play Matters (2014) by Miguel Sicart. Cambridge, MA, London: MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262027922. 176 pp. [more]

Call for Papers

Call For Papers - Game Studies Special Issue: “WAR/GAME”

by Guest Editors - Pötzsch & Hammond

Video games are an important sector of the global entertainment industry and AAA titles often have budgets and audiences similar to those of major Hollywood productions. Many of the commercially most successful games are war-themed titles that play out in what are framed as authentic real-world settings inspired by historical events. [more]


©2001 - 2015 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.