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Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome.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
“Why do I have to make a choice? Maybe the three of us could, uh...”: Non-Monogamy in Videogame Narratives

by Meghan Blythe Adams, Nathan Rambukkana

This paper investigates non-monogamy in videogame narratives with a focus on games that include scripted non- monogamous gameplay options, such as Mass Effect (BioWare, 2007), and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED, 2007), along with the current limitations on this form of representation in mainstream games. [more]
Why Do Players Misuse Emotes in Hearthstone? Negotiating the Use of Communicative Affordances in an Online Multiplayer Game

by Jonne Arjoranta, Marko Siitonen

This article analyses Hearthstone players' forum discussions. The analysis illustrates how forum participants interpret the game's limited emote system and talk about ways of misusing the emotes for negatively loaded purposes, despite the designers' intention of making player-to-player interaction positive. [more]

The Semiotics of the Game Controller

by Johan Blomberg

How the video game experience can be characterized is an important question in video game research. I argue that the video game controller has a crucial role for the interactive experience. This paper presents a semiotic analysis of the relation between player, video game, and controller. [more]
Same but Different: A Comparative Content Analysis of Trolling in Russian and Brazilian Gaming Imageboards

by Ahmed Elmezeny, Jeffrey Wimmer, Manoella Oliveira dos Santos, Ekaterina Orlova, Irina Tribusean, Anna Antonova

Using a qualitative content analysis, this study analyses the differences between trolling strategies and reactions to trolling in two nationally distinct gaming image boards (Russia and Brazil). The research shows that while there are differences in both samples, overall trolling is somewhat homogenous, indicating a transcultural standard. [more]

Minecrafting Masculinities: Gamer Dads, Queer Childhoods and Father-Son Gameplay in A Boy Made of Blocks

by Rob Gallagher

Narrated by a father who bonds with his autistic son via Minecraft, Keith Stuart’s novel A Boy Made of Blocks highlights the important role videogames now play in discourses of gender, ability, education and parenting. This article draws on Stockton’s work on 'queer childhood' to assess the book’s implications for conceptions of gamer masculinity. [more]
Walking, Talking and Playing with Masculinities in Firewatch

by Melissa Kagen

The story, mechanics and genre of Firewatch subvert traditional, hypermasculine videogame norms and encourage players to perform a care-oriented masculinity. [more]

No Straight Answers: Queering Hegemonic Masculinity in BioWare’s Mass Effect

by Theresa Krampe

This article discusses the ludic and narrative presentation of non-hegemonic masculinities in BioWare's Mass Effect trilogy from an intersectional queer game studies perspective. In-depth and multidimensional character analyses reveal the complex power structures permeating the game and regulating its identity politics. [more]
The Wasteland of the Real: Nostalgia and Simulacra in Fallout

by Kathleen McClancy

This article discusses how the intersection of fictional worlds, game rules, and narratives in videogames challenges the creation and ideological employment of Baudrillard's simulacra through an examination of the Fallout franchise's engagement with Cold War nostalgia and computer technology. [more]

Everything Merges with the Game: A Generative Music System Embedded in a Videogame Increases Flow

by Joshua D. Sites, Robert F. Potter

Designers strive to create games conducive to flow, "the optimal experience." This study demonstrates that a generative music system in place of a traditional game soundtrack can help players reach flow, even when they are unaware of the novel music system. The benefits of a generative system were most apparent in the first minutes of gameplay. [more]


©2001 - 2018 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.