Category Archives: readings

ToDiGRA Special Issue, Nordic DIGRA 2012

Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association has published Vol 1, No 2 (2014). This is a special Issue, with selected articles from Nordic DIGRA 2012.

Introduction: Exploring Nordic Game Research HTML PDF
Raine Koskimaa, Frans Mäyrä, Jaakko Suominen
Digital Materialities and Family Practices: The Gendered, Practical, Aesthetical and Technological Domestication of Play HTML PDF
Jessica Enevold
Player Types: A Meta-synthesis HTML PDF
Juho Hamari, Janne Tuunanen
Player-reported Impediments to Game-based Learning HTML PDF
J. Tuomas Harviainen, Timo Lainema, Eeli Saarinen
A Practical Guide to Using Digital Games as an Experiment Stimulus HTML PDF
Simon Järvelä, Inger Ekman, J. Matias Kivikangas, Niklas Ravaja
Should I stay or should I go? A Study of Pickup Groups in Left 4 Dead 2 HTML PDF
Jonas Linderoth, Staffan Björk, Camilla Olsson
In Defence of a Magic Circle: The Social, Mental and Cultural Boundaries of Play HTML PDF
Jaakko Stenros

Special Issue on Religion in Digital Games

The Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet has launched a special issue on Religion in Digital Games. Multiperspective and Interdisciplinary Approaches.

Table of Contents


Complete Edition of “Religion in Digital Games” (Online – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet) PDF
Simone Heidbrink (ed.), Tobias Knoll (ed.)

Let’s Talk Video Games! Introduction to the Special Issue on Religion in Digital Games PDF
Simone Heidbrink, Tobias Knoll

Theorizing Religion in Digital Games. Perspectives and Approaches PDF
Simone Heidbrink, Tobias Knoll, Jan Wysocki

Studying Religion in Digital Gaming. A Critical Review of an Emerging Field PDF
Gregory Price Grieve, Heidi A. Campbell

Developing a Framework for Understanding the Relationship Between Religion and Videogames PDF
Richard E. Ferdig

Locating the Locus of Study on “Religion” in Video Games PDF
J.D.F. Tuckett, David G. Robertson

Game Cultures as Sub-Creations. Case Studies on Religion & Digital Play PDF
Elke Hemminger

Maker’s Breath. Religion, Magic, and the ‘Godless’ World of BioWare’s Dragon Age II (2011) PDF
Kristin M.S. Bezio

‘The Lamb of Comstock’. Dystopia and Religion in Video Games PDF
Frank G. Bosman

Religion as Resource in Digital Games PDF
Ryan Clark Thames

‘When people pray, a god is born… This god is you!’ An Introduction to Religion and God in Digital Games PDF
Markus Wiemker, Jan Wysocki

The Lord is My Shepard. Confronting Religion in the Mass Effect Trilogy PDF
Joshua A. Irizarry, Ita T. Irizarry

Religion(s) in Videogames. Historical and Anthropological Observations PDF
Alessandro Testa

Socialization of Teenagers Playing The Sims. The Paradoxical Use of Video Games to Re-enchant Life PDF
Pascaline Lorentz

Fátima Postmortem PDF
Luís Lucas Pereira, Licínio Roque

The Mythic Scope of Journey. A Comparative Assessment Concerning the Spirit at Play and Cybernetic Shamanism PDF
Robert William Guyker

Review: „eGods. Faith versus fantasy in computer gaming“ PDF
Moritz Maurer

Well Played vol 3, number 1

New issue of Well Played.

Assassin’s Creed III: The Complete Unofficial Guide, a Teacher’s Limited Edition
Wade Berger, Patrick Staley

Fiasco and Failure: Uncovering Hidden Rules in a Story Game
Sean C. Duncan

Ninja Gaiden Black and the Tutorial-Less Tutorial
Jason Mathias

Interaction Images promote Character Identification in Heavy Rain
Michael Nixon, Jim Bizzocchi

Replaying the remnants in Mark of the Ninja
Pierre-Marc Côté

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Values of Digital Objects in FarmVille2
Jane Gruning

Ascension: a Case Study in Deckbuilding Games
Andy Nealen

The Journal of Games Criticism

We have a new contender: The Journal of Games Criticism vol 1, issue 1 is out.

From Nicholas Hanford’s editorial:

With this journal, it is our aim to create a space for all members of the game studies, game journalism, and game development communities to publish criticism that influences both the making of games and betters our understanding of games as cultural artifacts.

Table of contents:


Editorial: Standing on the Horizon of the Second Generation

by N. Hanford

Welcome to the inaugural issue of our open access, peer reviewed journal. Drawing out the assumptions and ideals of the journal, this text serves as an introduction for the current and future issues of the Journal of Games Criticism.

The Other Side of the Valley; Or, Between Freud and Videogames

by K. Aardse

This paper explores the root of the uncanny valley as based in Freud’s uncanny and posits that the uncanny valley allows us to engage in acts of violence and enjoy a masochistic relationship with the videogame; this relationship would break down if the uncanny valley is conquered.


Across Worlds and Bodies: Criticism in the Age of Video Games

by B. Keogh

This article highlights the values inherited by game studies that have resisted the creation of a toolkit for close, descriptive analysis of individual texts. It suggests one path forward grounded in the phenomenological pleasures of videogame play across worlds and bodies.

“You’re Just Gonna Be Nice”: How Players Engage with Moral Choice Systems 

by A. Lange

Are you a Paragon, or a Renegade? Light Side, or Dark Side? I surveyed over 1000 gamers to see how they engaged with moral choice systems in video games. The results are sadly predictable: You’re all too nice.

Public Memory and Gamer Identity: Retrogaming as Nostalgia

by D. S. Heineman

This essay adopts a critical perspective to analyze the rise of retrogaming culture and its related practices. Specifically, it considers the role of nostalgia in both constructing a retrogamer identity and in contesting histories of the medium.

Visualizing Game Studies: Materiality and Sociality from Chessboard to Circuit Board 

by A. Trammell & A. Sinnreich

In this essay, we describe a paradigm shift in the social function and reception of games, from metaphors to social instruments. We also offer a taxonomic visualization of the Game Studies field in order to show the history of this paradigm shift.


Gaming for Better Life: A Review of Jane McGonigal’s Reality Is Broken

by Q. Ji

Jane McGonigal’s groundbreaking work Reality Is Broken challenged the negative-effects-oriented rhetoric of game criticism by reconciling the contradictory relationship among games, individual well-being, and social change from a game designer’s perspective.

Game Studies 13/2 on Game History

This article explores the landscape of British computer games through a case study of Elite. Utilising archival methodologies inherent in media archaeology, combined with approaches from platform studies, a history of Elite is approached through both its original development and the players’ responses to the game at the time. [more]


A Pedestal, A Table, A Love Letter: Archaeologies of Gender in Videogame History
by Laine Nooney

This article is a methodological exploration of gender as it relates to the writing of game history. This contribution presents three case studies, focused on the biography of Sierra On-Line cofounder and lead designer Roberta Williams, to analyze this historical mechanisms through which women are located — and left out of — game history. [more]


by David Parisi

This archaeological analysis of gamic electroshock charts changes in the way that electricity has been employed as a game mechanic, opening with an examination of the 18th century ‘electric kiss’ game, moving to a treatment of early 20th century arcade electricity, and concluding with a discussion of ludic electric shock in recent game art. [more]


The Foundation of Geemu: A Brief History of Early Japanese video games
by Martin Picard

The paper presents a short history of the beginning of the Japanese video game industry (from 1973 to 1983). It argues that specific local developments of a video game industry and market took place in Japan, which has never been addressed in Western histories of games, mainly interested in Japanese video games through a global perspective. [more]


Say it with a Computer Game: Hobby Computer Culture and the Non-entertainment Uses of Homebrew Games in the 1980s Czechoslovakia
by Jaroslav Švelch

Based on historical research into computer games in the 1980s Czechoslovakia, this article traces the uses of the medium in the context of an amateur community. It argues that the entertainment function of local homebrew games was often overshadowed by their potential as a means of communication among the community of users. [more]