the international journal of computer game research


volume 5, issue 1

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Game Studies is a 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.

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. 

Where the Action is

by Jesper Juul, issue editor


The young field of computer game studies is in a state of productive chaos. It is an amalgam of researchers from different disciplines bringing wildly contradictory assumptions to the table, yet also an area with its own set of conferences, associations, and journals.


A survey method for assessing perceptions of a game: The consumer playtest in game design

John P. Davis, Keith Steury, and Randy Pagulayan
The computer and video game industry has only relatively recently burgeoned into one that rivals the film industry in terms of consumer spending. In the United States alone, the games industry reported about $6.9 billion in sales in 2002, and sales increased to $7 billion in 2003 and $7.3 billion in 2004 [1]. Increased sales have also led to increased competition among games developers, as they vie for a share of the growing wealth. Because higher-quality games tend to sell better, game developers are increasingly looking for ways to improve their games ...


The Hunt for Collaborative War Gaming - CASE: Battlefield 1942

by Tony Manninen and Tomi Kujanpää
This paper analyses the interaction forms of a contemporary multiplayer game in order to offer implications for multiplayer game design. The motivation for the research originates from the fact that the lack of intuitive and perceivable interaction cues is one of the distinctive features separating networked game settings from face-to-face encounters. The analysis of the interaction forms in multiplayer game sessions indicates that the players can use various forms of non-verbal communication and perceivable actions to reduce communication difficulties ...



Player-Centred Game Design: Experiences in Using Scenario Study to Inform Mobile Game Design

by Laura Ermi and Frans Mäyrä

There is need for systematic, research-based and tested game design methodologies that would take the needs and preferences of different players into better consideration than the current industry practises. In order to investigate the future of pervasive game playing on mobile devices the University of Tampere Hypermedia Laboratory’s research project Wireless Gaming Solutions for the Future (MOGAME) has developed a prototype ...


Formal Models and Game Design


by Stefan M. Grünvogel

In this article results from mathematics are used to create a formalism for games. Games are considered as systems and the design of games as the creation of models for games. By abstract control systems, a formalism for describing models of games is introduced. Methods to create new models from given ones are described. To handle complexity problems in game design, simulations of models by other models are explained ...
The Semiotics of Time Structure in Ludic Space As a Foundation for Analysis and Design

by Craig A. Lindley

The concept of a ludic systems encompasses a family of media forms and experiences involving elements of simulation, game play and narrative or story construction. These three elements can be regarded as different classes of semiotic systems, or systems of meaning, having their own structuring principles and methods of informing experience. For any particular ludic system, such as a computer game, time structure can be considered in terms of a number of distinct layers ...


What Wario Ware can teach us about Game Design


Chaim Gingold reviews Wario Ware
The story: Wario, realizing there is lots of money to be made in video games, decides to found his own game company. The resulting game: Play through a rapid-fire series of bizarre micro games. Each WarioWare level consists of 24 micro games, each about 5 seconds in length.
Wario Ware is a game about games ...

A Conversation with Raph Koster


Celia Pearce interviews Raph Koster
Celia Pearce: You’ve been on quite an an adventure the last few years between Ultima Online into Star Wars Galaxies. What’s that been like to go from Ultima to Star Wars? It’s almost like an evolutionary leap from one to the other. 
Raph Koster: I think the first thing that strikes me is some similarities, and then there are some differences. The big similarity is both are well-beloved universes, and working within the boundaries of that ...


Can A Table Stand On One Leg? Critical and Ludological Thoughts on Star Wars: Galaxies
Timothy Burke reviews Star Wars: Galaxies
In 2002, looking ahead at the next generation of massively-multiplayer online games (MMOG), some observers of the computer game industry placed their hopes for new innovations in the upcoming game Shadowbane (Wolfpack Studios 2003) with its strong emphasis on unregulated player-vs-player (PvP) combat. However, many more looked to Star Wars: Galaxies and The Sims Online (Maxis 2002).



Counter-Playing Tactics of Female Players

by Rika Nakamura and Hanna Wirman

Abstract: The primary goal of this paper is to argue that female players have to counter-play male-targeted computer games in order to experience the game features they prefer. Research concentrates on three computer games: Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001), Warcraft III: the Reign of Chaos (2002) and The Sims (1998), as well as game features suggested to be favoured by females.



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©2001 - 2005 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.