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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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
“The hardest battles are fought in the mind”: Representations of Mental Illness in Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

by Jodie Austin

This paper explores the videogame Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice through a disability studies lens to highlight the challenges associated with representations of psychosis in videogames. Although the game succeeds in subverting many psychosis stereotypes, the challenge of critiquing Hellblade reveals the need for new critical frameworks. [more]
Dance With Me, Claude: Creators, Catalyzers and Canonizers in the Fire Emblem: Three Houses Slash-Ship Fandom

by PS Berge, Rebecca K Britt

This study performs an analysis of the Fire Emblem: Three Houses slash-shipper fandom, showing how the community centers the visibility of queer life through FE3H characters. We explore the structural layers of the network -- creators, catalyzers and canonizers -- and examine how these work in tandem in a queergaming fandom. [more]

Beyond Winning: A Situational Analysis of Two Digital Autobiographical Games

by Matthew Farber, Karen Schrier

This paper explores two digital autobiographical games, or playable narratives about the designers’ own lived experiences on illness and/or trauma. Findings suggest that these two games create conditions for inevitable player failure through constrained agency and choice, while also encouraging moments of reflection and hope. [more]
The Haunting of Ancient Societies in the Mass Effect Trilogy and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

by Dom Ford

This article examines the prevalent construction of the long-lost, yet technologically more advanced, society in two games through a hauntological lens. It investigates how nostalgia and haunting are produced in the gameworlds and fictional pasts depicted in the Mass Effect series and in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. [more]

At the Edge: Periludic Elements in Game Studies

by Daniel L Gardner, Theresa J Tanenbaum

We propose the concept of the periludic as an analytical lens for game studies that focuses on peripheral-to- play interfaces such as authentication and character configuration. This lens helps us better understand transactions of authority in games. [more]
Video Games as Public History: Archives, Empathy and Affinity

by Abbie Hartman, Rowan Tulloch, Helen Young

Through a case study of Valiant Hearts: The Great War (2014), this article explores how to theorise the ways in which the general public explores historical material through videogames. This theoretical framework includes three key concepts: the interactive archive, historical empathy and affinity spaces. [more]

Red Threads: Robert Maxwell and the Early UK and International Videogames Industry

by Alex Wade

The Maxwell family is notorious throughout the world. While Robert Maxwell’s contested acquisition of Tetris is well known, his involvement in the videogames runs far wider and deeper. This paper uncovers the byzantine world of Maxwell and early videogames, his involvement reflecting the illegal and unethical origins of local games histories. [more]

Book Reviews

Book Review: Game Production Studies

by Annakaisa Kultima

Game Production Studies (2021) Edited by Olli Sotamaa & Jan Švelch. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. ISBN: 9789463725439. 356 pp. [more]
Book Review: How Pac-Man Eats

by Raine Koskimaa

How Pac-Man Eats (2020) by Noah Wardrip-Fruin. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262044653. 384 pp. [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.