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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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
Assessing Toxic Behaviour in Dead by Daylight : Perceptions and Factors of Toxicity According to the Game’s Official Subreddit Contributors

by Patrick Deslauriers, Laura Iseut Lafrance St-Martin, Maude Bonenfant

This article identifies 5 key aggravating factors that may lead to toxic in-game interactions according to players’ perception. We studied the Dead by Daylight community using a content analysis of players’ conversations on the game’s official subreddit to help us better understand how they perceive potentially toxic behaviour inside of the game. [more]
Dungeon Pirates of the Postcolonial Seas. Domination, Necropolitics, Subsumption and Critical Play in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

by Mateusz Felczak

This article is a close reading of a cRPG directly approaching the topic of colonialism in the fantasy setting. Its main goal is to present a framework inspired by the ideas of Achille Mbembe to assess the difficulties in applying potential elements of critical play that would transfer from the narrative into the game’s mechanics. [more]

Negotiating Textures of Digital Play: Gameplay and the Production of Space

by Justyna Janik

This paper analyzes the mechanisms of communication connecting different types of actant during the moment of digital gameplay. Gameplay is here interpreted in the context of Lefebvre’s concept of texture, developing a view of gameplay as a performative and communicative experience. [more]
Grades on Games: Gaming Preferences and Weekly Studying on College GPAs

by Kelsey Prena, Andrew J. Weaver

This study surveys college undergraduates to explore patterns across gaming, studying, and academic performance. Time studying on the weekends (positive), gender, and preferences for action games (negative) were significant predictors of academic performance. These results and complimentary results are discussed. [more]

Like Seeing Yourself in the Mirror? Solitary Role-Play as Performance and Pretend Play

by Jaakko Stenros, Tanja Sihvonen

This article analyzes the single-player digital role-playing game as performance and pretend play through character creation, character interaction, and game mechanics. These games are positioned as toys that are “pretend-played” with expectations. Players’ extended “pretend play” is conceptualized and analyzed as queering. [more]
Player customization, competence and team discourse: exploring player identity (co)construction in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

by Matilda Ståhl, Fredrik Rusk

This ethnographic study explores a participant’s perspective on local player identity (co)construction in Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Although there are individual variances, the identities (co)constructed orient towards a perceived competent player identity shaped by technomasculine norms in online game culture. [more]

From Dead-end to Cutting Edge: Using FMV Design Patterns to Jumpstart a Video Revival

by Carl Therrien, Cindy Poremba, Jean-Charles Ray

This paper argues that design patterns from full motion videogames are a useful source of design knowledge that can scaffold the development of new works. It presents results from a historical analysis of over ninety games using live-action full motion video. Methods for re-integrating this knowledge back into the design process are explored. [more]
(Re)Mastering Dark Souls

by Timothy Welsh

This paper argues that the aesthetic experience of playing Dark Souls changes over time as the player community shares its collective mastery of the game. It analyses how late-stage player practices often replace exploration and discovery with efficiency and productivity. In conclusion it raises the need for a historically situated poetics of play. [more]

Book Reviews

Shira Chess, Play Like a Feminist.

by Esther MacCallum-Stewart

Play like a Feminist. (2020) by Shira Chess. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262044387. 184 pp. [more]


©2001 - 2020 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.