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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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

Not Gay as in Happy: Queer Resistance and Video Games (Introduction)

by Bonnie Ruberg, Amanda Phillips

The place where queerness meets games is a site of radical potential. This introduction, and this issue, ask how we can push queer game studies beyond desires for inclusion and representation and instead embrace a queer tradition of rejecting the status quo. [more]

Queer Games After Empathy: Feminism and Haptic Game Design Aesthetics from Consent to Cuteness to the Radically Soft

by Teddy Pozo

This article re-contextualizes debate in queer game studies over "empathy games," within debates over empathy in feminist theory. New terms for haptic game design aesthetics such as consent, cuteness, and the radically soft emerge from readings of Curtain, Hurt Me Plenty, SABBAT: Director's Cut, and The Truly Terrific Traveling Troubleshooter. [more]
Time and Reparative Game Design: Queerness, Disability, and Affect

by Kara Stone

This essay uses a personal account of the process of creating a videogame to explore themes of queerness, disability, and labour. It intermixes theories of queer time with crip time to detail possible approaches to a queer, accessible art practice that takes seriously social inequalities yet moves towards healing. [more]

When (and What) Queerness Counts: Homonationalism and Militarism in the Mass Effect Series

by Jordan Youngblood

This paper examines how two BioWare-developed titles--2010’s Mass Effect 2 and 2012’s Mass Effect 3-- integrate various depictions of LGBTQ-affiliated characters into a larger systemic process of thinking about populations as “war assets” to be expended, rendering queer identity as useful only when considered as a “positive” resource in the fight. [more]
“theyre all trans sharon”: Authoring Gender in Video Game Fan Fiction

by Brianna Dym, Jed Brubaker, Casey Fiesler

Video game fans use fan fiction to critique video game narratives that exclude or misrepresent diverse gender identities in their design. Fans also recraft the video game narrative to include the representation they want to see, providing insight into how marginalized and minority players respond to diversity in games. [more]

Queering Control(lers) Through Reflective Game Design Practices

by Jess Marcotte

This article makes the case that control and controllers are a key entry point into altering the status quo of mainstream game design. In it, I analyze and subsequently queer five core aspects of control in videogames. Examples are drawn from the work of queer creators, including my own, in order to queer each aspect. [more]
Coin of Another Realm: Gaming’s Queer Economy

by Christopher Goetz

This essay explores gaming's "queer economy," joining intimate frameworks based on the study of affect and individual psychology with wider, systemic and economic analyses of the cultural and economic meaning of videogame play. [more]

Daddy’s Play: Subversion and Normativity in Dream Daddy’s Queer World

by Braidon Schaufert

This article argues that the popular indie game Dream Daddy renormalizes the subversive gay daddy figure by replacing boundary-pushing depictions of sex with the positivity, joy, and optimism of the suburban upper- middle class. Attending to negative feelings, or “bad dreams,” in the game can wake players up to messier, kinkier, and queerer worlds. [more]
Backtrack, Pause, Rewind, Reset: Queering Chrononormativity in Gaming

by Matt Knutson

Applying Elizabeth Freeman’s concept of chrononormativity to play, this article examines time in high-stakes, professional play as a normative structure against which to recognize a set of queer temporalities, including backtracking, rewinding and resetting. A discussion of Life Is Strange illustrates both queer content and queered time in games. [more]

The Affectively Necessary Labour of Queer Mods

by Tom Welch

This article examines queer videogame modifications as a specific form of free and affective labour. Drawing on multiple modders, I describe the varying relationships between queer players, developers, and the game object through mods. [more]
Queer Easter Eggs and their Hierarchies of Play

by Eric Andrew James

Some of the earliest queer representations in mass-market games are Easter eggs, hidden artifacts that often present queer experiences as zany and noncanonical. Contrasting Easter eggs with representational politics that emphasize player choice, this article instead advocates for ambivalent design that confronts players with queer irresolvability. [more]

Engineering Queerness in the Game Development Pipeline

by Eric Freedman

With its focus on video game engines, this essay proposes how a queer analysis of the labors and technologies that undergird the work in progress might strengthen more generalized discussions of the representational politics of video games, their audiences, and their production communities. [more]


©2001 - 2018 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.