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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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

Game Studies: How to play -- Ten play-tips for the aspiring game-studies scholar

by Espen Aarseth

If you are a beginning player in the strange, interdisciplinary field of game studies, here are some tips and tricks that may make your life easier, as you strive to level up your academic avatar.[more]

“Gotta Catch ‘Em All” - Can Playing Pokémon Go Influence Mood and Empathy?

by Tracy Packiam Alloway, Rachel Carpenter

In the present study, we investigated whether (AR) games induced empathy, mood, and affect. The findings indicated a decrease in negative affect after participants played Pokémon Go, but not in the Control condition. [more]
Don't Fear the Reapers, Fear Multiculturalism: Canadian Contexts and Ethnic Elisions in Mass Effect

by David Callahan

The first three Mass Effect games are widely understood as leveraging respect for difference, albeit not without attracting critique. This article revisits Canadian multiculturalism in the games, adding Indigeneity and ethnic flattening to the analysis. [more]

The Indiepocalypse: the Political-Economy of Independent Game Development Labor in Contemporary Indie Markets

by Nadav D. Lipkin

This article explores the discourse surrounding the concept of the Indiepocalypse circa 2015 compared to experiences of members of the New York City independent game community. This analysis calls for greater emphasis on worker motivations and incentives in understanding the unique properties of labor in independent game production spaces. [more]
The Open, the Closed and the Emergent: Theorizing Emergence for Videogame Studies

by Joan Soler-Adillon

This paper argues that the use of emergence in games research falls short in capturing the full potential of the idea. It advocates separating what refers to -- or is a result of -- openness and what is indeed emergence in a strict sense, thus allowing for a triad of concepts: closed, open and emergent, instead of the duality for the first two. [more]

Book Reviews

Review of Gaming the Iron Curtain

by Jaakko Suominen

Gaming the Iron Curtain: How Teenagers and Amateurs in Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games (2018) by Jaroslav Švelch. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262038843. 351pp. [more]


©2001 - 2019 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.