Submission guidelines

Game Studies Submission and Style Guide

Last updated: August 2022

***Please note that this document changes periodically and ensure you are referring to the latest version****

Game Studies will not accept for review manuscripts that are previously published, available online, or submitted for review elsewhere. We only review one submission from an author or author team at at time.

After following all instructions on this page, please email your paper to submit [at] gamestudies [dot] org.


Types of Submissions


Article Submissions

This guide is made up of four components which will ensure your manuscript is in the correct format for submission to Game Studies.

1.0 An Article Submission Checklist: Please review this and cut and paste it into your submission email

2.0 Game Studies Style Guidelines for Authors (and Copy-Editors)

3.0 Game Studies List of Preferred Spellings and Capitalizations

4.0 Game Studies Format for Citations and List of References

Failure to follow these submission guidelines will result in your paper being returned to you.

As this document is revised regularly, before submission please ensure that you are using the most recent version of the Game Studies Style Guide.

If you would like to notify us of any errors, typos or inconsistencies please email queries at gamestudies dot org.


Book Review Submissions

Book reviews are by invitation only. Game Studies will not consider unsolicited book reviews.

1.0 Article Submission Checklist

Please cut and paste this checklist into the body of your submission email and place an “X” beside each requirement to denote that you have read and met the requirement for submission.

  • If English is not your first language you have had your article reviewed or edited by an English language editor
  • You have read and reviewed the style guide and ensured that your article meets Game Studies style
  • Your article has not been published elsewhere or made available online
  • Your article is not submitted or undergoing review elsewhere
  • You do not already have an article currently undergoing review by Game Studies
  • You have titled and enclosed your article
  • You have added 5-10 keywords, a max 300 word abstract and a 350 (including blank spaces) character short description
  • Manuscripts should be no more than 8000 words (not counting the abstract)
  • You have removed all personal information from the main document and images for the double-blind review process, including ALL references to your own work in the text, and the author name and affiliation in the document properties list, please double check this, since we notice that a lot of authors tend to forget this
  • You have made a separate file with a mini-bio and all of your contact details: name, institution/ organisation, email, phone number, address
  • Your intext citations and your list of references conform to Game Studies style (see section 4.0 of this submission guide)
  • In addition to being included within your paper, your images are:
    -in jpeg or gif format
    -saved as individual files, with filenames that correspond to your captions
    -no larger than 350 pixels wide and less than 50K each
    -image only, with caption or source text in a separate text file
  • In addition to being included within your paper, your captions are listed on a separate page
  • The headings are in the appropriate headline style (first letter of important words capitalized, no bold, underline, italicize or all caps)
  • You have italicized game titles or book titles within the paper text
  • You have provided a reference for each game and source you mention and provided the appropriate references in your list of references.
  • You have used endnotes rather than footnotes
  • You have consulted the list of preferred spellings and searched your paper to be sure that you have only used those spellings/ words condoned by Game Studies (see section 3.0 of this submission guide)
  • You have verified that any URLs you have provided are correct, particularly those in your list of references

2.0 Game Studies Style Guidelines for Authors (and Copy-editors)

Sources: MLA Style Manual; References Chicago Manual of Style; Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association; Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors

Game Studies adopts a modified version of primarily APA Style guidelines unless otherwise noted. Due to the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of digital games research, our in-house style is composed of different research publication style guidelines. These guidelines are designed to help smooth the progress of your work to publication. Please keep in mind that you are submitting to an electronic journal. This means that some of the procedures required may differ from traditional submission procedures. Submissions that do not adhere to the styles listed below will be returned to you for amendments.

All of our scripts go through a rigorous copy-editing process. Our editors generally follow the house style outlined here. Because Game Studies has an international audience, our style guidelines are a mixture of British-English and American-English stylistic conventions.



We welcome submissions dealing with the aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games. We encourage interdisciplinary approaches where the main focus is computer games. Please check out past issues to have a clearer idea of the kind of papers we are interested in. We will only accept previously unpublished material.

Game Studies will sometimes advertise call for papers on particular topics, but we are more interested in a continuous flow of submissions that conform to our general focus. All papers will be peer-reviewed (double-blind) by our board of reviewers. Accepted papers go through a process of proof editing before an agreement on a final version is reached, and authors can be asked to implement changes by the reviewers.

You can email your paper to submit [at] gamestudies [dot] org and the editors will start the review process if they decide that your submission is appropriate to Game Studies´ area of study and focus. They will inform you about the opinion of the peer reviewers and also set a deadline for you to do some re-writing if necessary.

Articles containing images or other files must be sent as one zipped file. Please note that each author is responsible for ensuring the appropriate use of copyrighted or protected materials.



Papers should be no longer than 8000 words including endnotes. We accept papers in .doc format (no templates, pre-formatted notes, etc.). Images have to be formatted as jpg or gif so as to keep a good quality/compression ratio, and use of other multimedia elements (like a flash plug-in) has to be previously discussed with the editors. Articles containing images or other files have to be sent in one zipped file. Please include 5-10 keywords for indexing purposes, and an abstract of no more than 300 words.



All manuscripts must be anonymized in accordance with the article submission checklist requirements. Please include a separate file listing author information, affiliation, contact information and mini-bio.

Before submission, please ensure that any automatic styling your word processor may have imposed has been cleared out (e.g., smart quotes in Microsoft Word)..

Text should be in block format (i.e., no paragraph indents) left-justified and should be double spaced. Please do not use tabs or indents.


Headings/ subheadings

Please capitalize all important words in headings and subheadings. The style for headings is as follows: first and last words and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, etc.) are capitalized. Articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor) and prepositions, regardless of length, are lowercased unless they are the first or last word of the heading or subheading.

Keep headings brief and to the point: we would prefer them to be kept to five or six words maximum.

Game Studies’ subheading guidelines deviate slightly from APA standard style. Lists, headings, etc., should not be indented and should have no other stylistic alterations (i.e., they should not be bold, underlined, italicized or indented).

Do not put a full point/ period at the end of your headings.



Please ensure that images do not exceed 350 pixels in width and are saved individually as web-ready gifs or jpegs (i.e., no more than 50 K in size), in addition to being included in the relevant spots within the text of your document.

Caption and source text should be saved in a separate text file, not within the gif or jpeg.



In addition to including captions within the text of your document, please provide a separate list of captions, indicating the file name of the image that the caption refers to.

Please ensure the name of your image files relates to your caption lists.



Do not italicize questions or answers in the text of interviews. Instead, adhere to the following style:

First reference to interviewer and interviewee:

Celia Pearce: Let's start with the Mod College. How did that come about?

Louis Castle: As we were developing…

All subsequent references:

CP: Flying vehicles. Wow. That will be cool.

LC: But it just shows us the strength…


Footnotes/ Endnotes

To accommodate our webpage format, please do not use footnotes. Game Studies uses endnotes.

Notes will be placed at the end of the paper prior to the list of references. Number notes consecutively throughout the paper e.g. [1], [2]. Place full stop of the sentence after the endnote not before. Use square brackets instead of parentheses.

Do not use 13a, 17b, etc. Do not use asterisks.

Quoting Lasse Seppänen (2001): “This is the core of mobile gamer whereas traditional gaming consists of a few long sessions, mobile gaming is all about multiple short sessions” [9].


Numbering Figures, Tables, Images

All images, figures, tables should be numbered in sequence: Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, etc. (see below for style). Game Studies’ modified APA style requires figure and table numbers (with accompanying descriptions) to appear underneath the figure or table. As with any prose extracts that you might use, please ensure that you have the appropriate copyright clearance and that you are supplying copy for the acknowledgment and for any source/caption. For example:

Figure 1. DOOM screenshot (idSoftware, 1993)

For images and tables appearing in the text, we may not be able to guarantee their exact position on the page. Avoid using phrases like “the following table shows,” rather use “as Table 1.1 shows,” etc. For example:

As one of the earliest first-person shooters, DOOM (Figure 1) allows one to play as a gun-toting soldier.



Lists should be bulleted with simple round bullets. Do not use asterisks, dashes, diamonds, etc. In addition, please note the following (source: Chicago Manual of Style):

  1. Vertical lists are best introduced by a grammatically complete sentence (i.e., a sentence that is still a sentence all by itself, without the help of the list), followed by a colon.
  2. No full points/ periods are required at the end of entries unless at least one entry is a complete sentence, in which case a period is necessary at the end of each entry.
  3. Items in a list should be syntactically similar.
  4. If items are numbered, as they are in this example, a period follows each number, and each entry begins with a capital letter--whether or not the entry forms a complete sentence.
  5. Bulleted lists are considered appropriate mainly for instructional or promotional material and are treated the same as numbered lists in terms of capitalization and punctuation.
  6. If a list completes the sentence that introduces it, items begin with lowercase letters, commas or semicolons are used to separate each item, and the last item ends with a period; such lists are often better run into the text rather than presented vertically.

Indirect Quotations (short, within text)

Please use double quotes to quote material within the text.

With the exception of citation of video games, follow APA style for citation: author’s last name, year. For example, note, in particular, the placement of the full stop/ period:

Lara too has a beautiful surface that is appealing and charming to man [which] masks either an "interior" that is mechanical or an "outside" that is deceitful (Mulvey, 1996).


Direct Quotations (short, within text)

When you directly quote a source, end with quotation marks and give the author, year and page numbers in parentheses:

Many others agree with the assessment that “this is a seriously flawed study” (Methasa, 1994, p.22) and do not include its data in their own work.


Long Quotations (Display Matter)

Use line breaks to separate quotes longer than about 40 words off from the text. Do not indent or italicize the quote. Please do not use tabs. Do not enclose display matter in quotation marks. Quotations within displayed matter should be in double quotes. Try to avoid long blocks of quotes: they should not be more than around 200 words.



Consistency is all-important, especially with non-English names and words that have variable spellings in English, such as Arabic place and personal names. We primarily ask that authors be consistent with their spelling, and make sure to retain the original spelling in italics (versus quotation marks).

Avoid hyphenating words where an alternative exists (e.g., we use email instead of e-mail); avoid using accents for foreign words common in English, but do use them on proper names and where necessary in quotes.

Please note that Game Studies accepts British-English and American-English spelling variants of common words (e.g., “rumour” versus “rumor”, organisation versus organization, etc.). Whichever the author chooses, we stress that spelling styles stay internally consistent throughout the article. However, do not change spelling, punctuation (except quote marks) or capitalization in quoted material.

A list of preferred spelling appears at the end of this document.



Because Game Studies is an online medium, we prefer short paragraphs to long ones. (Also avoid overlong sentences with numerous sub-clauses.)



Quotation marks

Use double quotation marks throughout; use single quotes for a quotation within a quotation.

The placement of punctuation inside quotation marks follows American-English conventions. Full points/ periods and commas are placed inside the quotation marks. For example:

Jonathon (2005) argued that games should never be classified according to “mechanics.”

Colons and semicolons are placed outside of the quotation marks. The dash, question mark and exclamation point appear inside the quotation marks when the punctuation marks apply to the quotation and outside the quotation marks when the punctuation marks apply to the whole sentence. For example:

He asked, “Is Counter Strike a fun game?” (The quotation is a question.)

Does the author claim that the crux of the argument is “game movement”? (The quotation is a statement.)


In a series, place commas after each item but not before the final and. For example:

Arcade, console and PC.

Abbreviations, acronyms and contractions

Avoid unnecessary abbreviations and acronyms, but if they are essential, please provide a separate list at the end of your paper. In first reference please spell out the abbreviation/ acronym, providing the abbreviation/ acronym in parentheses; in subsequent references use the abbreviation/ acronym. If the abbreviation is at the beginning of a sentence spell out the abbreviation/ acronym. For example:

Electronic Arts (EA) is the largest game publisher today. Electronic Arts has managed to gain market domination in an industry once littered with individual game houses. However, EA’s position in the market is being challenged.

Omit the full point/period after abbreviations if the final letter of the abbreviation is the same as the word it is abbreviating, for example:





In non-parenthetical material avoid using abbreviations if possible: spell out ‘for example’ rather than using “e.g.” and use “that is” in preference to “i.e.” I Full points/ periods are not required in abbreviations and acronyms, such as US, UK, NATO, EC.

Plurals of Abbreviations

To form the plurals of most abbreviations and statistical symbols, add a single “s”, without italics and without an apostrophe.

IQs, Eds., vols.

Do not add an s to make abbreviations of units of measurement plural.

To form the plural of the reference abbreviation p. (page), write pp.; do not add an s.

Latin Abbreviations

Use the following standard Latin abbreviations only in parenthetical material; in nonparenthetical material, use the English translation of the Latin terms:


compare i.e.,

that is,

for example, viz.,

, etc.

, and so forth vs.

versus, against


Omit the comma before the final “and” in lists of three or more items (e.g. red, white and blue) unless the list is complicated and made up of unrelated points and the comma adds clarity. Commas are unnecessary preceding or following a parenthetical dash and before the opening of parentheses.


Use a three-dot ellipse to indicate omitted material in a quoted passage. For example, “More enlightened designers... began to question the universality of their designs.” The Game Studies style prescribes no space before the ellipse, and one space after it.


Use “s” for the possessive case in names and surnames ending in “s” wherever possible, such as in Charles’s, St Thomas’s, etc. There is no apostrophe in plurals of capital abbreviations such as NGOs, or in decades, e.g. 1970s. However, use an apostrophe for possessives (EA’s dominance).


Omit the hyphen wherever reasonable, particularly in words such as email, macroeconomic, coordination, etc. Please see list of preferred spellings below if in doubt.


Use square brackets [ ] in quotations for material not in the original. Otherwise use parentheses ( ).


Place no space before a slash, but one space afterward. For example:

The console/ PC market is enlarging.

Dashes vs Hyphens

Use hyphens to separate ranges of numbers and dates in charts, figures and tables. But write out “to” and “or” when ranges appear in the paper’s text. For example:

pp. 23-39 (figure); pages 23 to 29 (text)

1997-2002 (figure); 1997 to 2002 (text)

Instead of en dashes, use single hyphens (-) and instead of em dashes use double hyphens (--).


Internet addresses

Do not manually underline or italicize internet addresses. Also, please verify any URLs that you provide. Drop the http:// in text references, but retain protocols for secure sites, etc. For example:


Numbers and Dates

In general, spell out numbers one to nine inclusive and use figures for 10 upwards. However, if there are several numbers in a paragraph, only one or two of which fall below 10, then use all figures. Numerals are used even when measures are spelled out.

Spell out numbers in the following instances:

• One through nine

• Numbers at the beginning of a sentence

• Numbers where used in the approximate sense. For example:

The area has roughly two hundred viable sites (not 200)

About 15 thousand soldiers were killed (not 15,000 or fifteen thousand)



Use 10 a.m. or p.m. instead of “10 o’clock.” Note the use of periods/ points with a.m. and p.m. due to the fact that they are latin abbreviations.



Spell out “percent” in the main text; the symbol % can be used in tables, etc. Use figures for all numbers with percent or measurements or time, for example, “8 percent,” not “eight percent.”



24 years old; 11 months old; a 34-year-old woman; in her thirties (not 30s).



When possible identify currency by country when it appears in text. For example:

US$200 (not U.S.) and CAN$200

Do not use $ with USD (e.g., $20 USD), as it is redundant.



Dates should appear as 4 October 1989 (no commas). Spell out centuries: “the nineteenth century” or “twentieth-century madness’” (hyphenate when used adjectivally).

Write “between 1997 and 1999.” However, from 1997–1999 (the en dash stands in for “to”).

Ninth century, 20th century; 1960–65; 1960s (not 60s); the sixties; 6 October 2003;

April 2002 (no comma); C.E. 1200; 1000 B.C.E.; April 18, not April 18th



Hyphenate fractions whether you use them as adjectives or nouns. For example:

a two-thirds majority; one-third of those present


“Mid -”:

•Hyphenate numbers or numerals: mid-thirties (age), mid-1800s (years)

• Use hyphens with an open compound: mid-19th century, mid-Cold War


Numbered items

Numbered items such as parts of a book or figures are capitalized when referred to in the text of the paper. For example:

Chapter 5, Part 2, Figure 5


Ordinals (nd or rd):

22nd, rather than 22d; 23rd, rather than 23d


Quantities (source: Chicago 8.18):

• Use numerals above nine and spell out measurement: 26 millimeters, five miles, 15

kilometres (not km); but in tables, OK to use 26 mm, 5 gm, 10 mph

• Express round numbers above ten million in numerals + words: 20 million

• 20 percent, but in tables, OK to use %

• Use commas in four-digit numbers: 1,409; but not page numbers (p. 1409)



Where dealing with more than one series of quantities, use numerals for one of the

series: The first shape had 4 sides, the second had 7… and the twelfth had 3

Where small numbers occur in a group with large numbers, set them all in numerals

for consistency. For example:

3 fish, 25 cows, 17 orangutans

Decimal fractions: use initial zero only if number can equal or exceed 1. For example:

• 0.3-1.5

• according to a Chi-square test yielding a value of 4.2, p < .05

• Kappa = .33, p < .05

• Use N for sample sizes, but use n for subgroups of samples


Italics and Bold

Use italics for:

Foreign words not in common usage (see the MLA Style Guide for guidance on this), titles of published games, books, journals, TV and radio programmes, etc.

You can also use italics for emphasis (do not use caps or bold for emphasis), but sparingly!

Do not use italics for:

Game publishers, game consoles, article titles, chapter titles -- these should be enclosed in quotation marks.

3.0 Game Studies List of Preferred Spellings and Capitalizations

Please note that Game Studies accepts both British-English and American-English spelling. We ask that when authors select a spelling style, they maintain internal consistency throughout the article. Below is a list of terms more specific to discussing game technologies, brands and related concepts.

artificial intelligence, subsequent references AI, not A.I.
euros, dollars
fansite not fan site
first-person shooter, subsequent references FPS (no periods)
Game Boy
Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Color
game engine
game genres are lowercase (rogue-like, platformer, etc.)
gameplay not game play
gamespace not game space
gameworld not game world
hi-tech (NOT high tech)
ludology not Ludology
microworld not micro world
multiplayer not multi-player
narratology not Narratology
Nintendo DS
Nintendo 64
Nintendo Wii
Nintendo Switch
Nokia N-Gage
Non-player character (NPC, NPCs)
percent not per cent
PlayStationPortable, subsequent references PSP
PlayStation 2, subsequent references PS2 (likewise for PS3, PS4, etc.)
prestudy not pre-study
Q1, Q2, Q3
RPGs (first reference roleplaying games)
roleplaying or roleplay not role-play or role play
Super NES
multiuser dungeon, object oriented, subsequent references MOO, MOOs
multiuser dungeon, subsequent references MUD, MUDs
Television, subsequent references TV
transnational/ multinational
UK not U.K.
US not U.S.
videogame or video game
World War II
Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, etc.

4.0 Game Studies Format for Citations and List of References


Intext citations

Game Studies follows APA style for citations, except in the case of game citation and references. Please note in particular APA format for electronic sources.

Please use (author, year) for intext citations. For example:

Finally, Counter-Strike (The Counter-Strike Team, 2000) players resemble a youth subculture (Hebdige, 1979; Thornton, 1996) that can enter "liminoid" or liminal-like genre that promotes a temporary "limbo" of statuslessness, flow and movement (Turner, 1982), a refashioning of time and community (Bruckman, 1996; Bryce and Rutter, 2000).

Please use (developer, year) for intext citations of GAMES.

Final Fantasy X (Square Co., Ltd, 2001)

Grand Theft Auto III (Rockstar Games, 2001)

If you are referring to a series of games rather than a specific installment of the series, it is acceptable to reference the series by name without providing developer and year details.


Direct intext citations

When you directly quote a source, end with quotation marks and give the author, year and page numbers in parentheses:

Many others agree with the assessment that “this is a seriously flawed study” (Methasa, 1994, p.22) and do not include its data in their own work.



Notes will be placed at the end of the paper prior to the list of references. These should be endnotes; we do not use footnotes. Number notes consecutively throughout the paper e.g. [1], [2]. Place full stop of the sentence after the endnote not before. Use square brackets instead of parentheses. Do not use 13a, 17b, etc. Do not use asterisks.

Quoting Lasse Seppänen (2001): “This is the core of mobile gamer whereas traditional gaming consists of a few long sessions, mobile gaming is all about multiple short sessions” [9].


References list

Game Studies style for documentation is based on the APA documentation style. A brief overview of general forms of referencing is provided below. Please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for a comprehensive listing of reference types. NOTE IN PARTICULAR THE REFERENCE FORMAT FOR GAMES.

Information may be omitted from game citations if not applicable to certain games. For instance, the "directed by" portion of a game citation may be added if the title has a clear creative lead role in its credits, or omitted if such a role is unidentifiable or inappropriate for the game in question. Likewise, if a lead designer is more applicable than a game director for attribution, the "directed by" portion of a game citation may be replaced with "designed by [name of lead designer]."

Reference Type


Book Author, A.A. (Year). Title of work (Edition number if applicable). Publisher. DOI or another database link if available.
Book section Author, A.A. & Author, B.B. (Year). Title of section. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C.Editor (Eds.), Book Title ( Publisher. DOI or database link if available.
Electronic journal Author, A.A., Author, B.B., & Author C.C. (Year). Title. Title of Journal, Vol.(Issue). DOI or database link if available.
Online source (webpage) Author, A.A. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL.
Game Developer. (Version, Year) [Year of original release if different]. Title [Platform]. Digital game directed by director, published by publisher. Accessed month day, year if online only or streamed. URL if online only.
Game example - version number available Blizzard Entertainment. (v. 2.4.1, 2008) [2004]. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade [Microsoft Windows]. Digital game designed by Rob Pardo, Jeff Kaplan, and Tom Chilton, published by Blizzard Entertainment.
Game example - version number unavailable MicroProse. (1991). Sid Meier's Civilization [Microsoft Windows]. Digital game directed by Sid Meier, published by MicroProse.
Game example - played via streaming service Bulkhead Interactive. (2020). The Turing Test [Google Stadia]. Digital game directed by David Jones, published by Bulkhead Interactive. Accessed May 25, 2020.
Game example - available on webpage only OnRamp Arts. (2002). Tropical America [Online Game]. Digital game published by OnRamp Arts. Accessed September 15, 2003.
Journal Article Author, A.A., Author, B.B., & Author, C.C. (Year). Title. Journal, Vol.(Issue), Pages. DOI or database link if available.

Permissions and Copyright

On certain occasions you might need to think about permissions and copyright. The following are guidelines if the situation does arise, however.

Unless you have made alternative arrangements with Game Studies you will be expected to obtain all permissions needed to make use of extensive quotations, photographs, tables or other illustrations in which you do not hold copyright -- and for any tables and/or diagrams taken from other books.

We ask you to supply us with the appropriate text for the required form of acknowledgment (this varies from source to source), which should be submitted with your paper. You should also supply copy for sources, where appropriate, to tables, line drawings, photos and any other illustrations. If you have difficulty in obtaining permission, please let us know -- we may be able to help. Finally, you should clear all reproduction/permission fees. Throughout the EU, copyright applies to all unpublished work, artistic creations and work published in the lifetime of the author for a period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author died. The exception to this is material falling within “fair dealing.” Unfortunately, “fair dealing” is difficult to define, but the following are generally agreed to be the main points:

A single prose extract from one source up to 400 words

A series of prose extracts from the same source up to 800 words, provided each is less than 300 words

It is crucial that the clearance of permission and payment of fees are properly documented. You should review the list of material you want to reproduce in good time before your paper goes for typesetting, eliminating any expensive material, and excluding any material for which, for whatever reason, you have not been able to obtain clearance and agree a fee.