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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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

Two Decades of Game Studies

by Espen Aarseth

This issue of Game Studies marks the 20th anniversary of the journal.[more]

Animal Mayhem Games and Nonhuman-Oriented Thinking

by Marco Caracciolo

This article discusses a recent strand of videogames that foreground disruptive animal characters in an urban environment. I link this “animal mayhem” to recent debates on the nonhuman, showing that videogames like Goat Simulator and Untitled Goose Game (my case studies) evoke the inherent strangeness of human-nonhuman connectedness. [more]
Beyond the French Touch: The Contestataire Moment in French Adventure Digital Games (1984-1990)

by Filip Jankowski

This article attempts to suggest a revision of the historical aesthetic category frequently called the “French Touch.” The article focuses on games that matched the contestataire moment in the history of France from three development circles (Froggy Software, Cobra Soft and François Coulon), arguing that they escape this traditional categorization. [more]

The Child in Games: Representations of Children in Video Games (2009 - 2019)

by Emma Reay

This paper examines representations of children in contemporary video games through content analysis. Using a sample of over 500 games published between 2009 and 2019, it identifies the dominant functions of child characters and documents patterns of representation across genres and over time. [more]
“Twere Well It Were Done Quickly”: What Belongs in a Glitchless Speedrun?

by Martin Ricksand

This article analyzes speedruns, the practice of beating a game as fast as possible. The article applies theories from the philosophy of sport as well as the philosophy of fiction, and outlines a way of how to adjudicate on what strategies may be employed in different kinds of speedruns. [more]

"Actual history doesn't take place": Digital Gaming, Accuracy and Authenticity

by Eve Stirling, Jamie Wood

This paper examines university students’ perceptions of how playing historical videogames has affected their understanding of the past. It focuses on how active engagement in gameplay affects perceptions of historical time and sense of place, in particular the relative importance of accuracy and authenticity. [more]
Towards a Model of Objective-Based Reward Systems

by Agata Waszkiewicz, Mateusz Kominiarczuk

The article proposes a model of objective-based reward systems based on Gary Alan Fine’s frame analysis and Jesper Juul’s goal typology. The model reconceptualizes various reward-bound goals commonly encompassed under the categories “quests” and “achievements” in order to show them as non-homogenous and yet not dissimilar. [more]

Book Reviews

Review: Who Are You? Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance Platform

by Martin Roth

Who Are You? Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance Platform (2020) by Alex Custodio. Cambridge, Massachusetts & London: MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262044394. pp. 280. [more]
Review: Transnational Play: Piracy, Urban Art, and Mobile Games

by John Sharp

Transnational Play: Piracy, Urban Art, and Mobile Games (2020) by Anne-Marie Schleiner. Baltimore, Maryland: Project MUSE. ISBN: 9789048543946. pp. 182. [more]


©2001 - 2021 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.