Category Archives: readings

Well Played 4.2 – Learning and Games


Well Played: volume 4 number 2
Stephen Jacobs and Ira Fay et al. 2015


Medulla: A 2D sidescrolling platformer game that teaches basic brain structure and function
Joseph Fanfarelli, Stephanie Vie

Play or science? a study of learning and framing in crowdscience
Andreas Lieberoth, Mads Kock Pedersen, Jacob Friis Sherson

Barriers To Learning About Mental Illness Through Empathy Games – Results Of A User
Study On Perfection
Barbara Harris, Mona Shattell, Doris C. Rusch, Mary J. Zefeldt

Zombie-based critical learning – teaching moral philosophy with The Walking Dead
Tobias Staaby
Distributed Teaching and Learning Systems in Dota 2
Jeffrey B. Holmes

An Analysis of Plague, Inc.: Evolved for Learning
Lorraine A. Jacques

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Video Games and Insightful Gameplay: Special Issue of COMPASO

The Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology has a new special issue on Video games and insightful gameplay, guest edited by Doris Rusch.

Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN 2068 – 0317
Special issue: 
Video games and insightful gameplay
Volume 6, Number 1

Guest Editor: Doris C. Rusch


Doris C. Rusch / Video games and insightful gameplay
[Full text / pdf]

Research articles – Special issue on Video Games and Insightful Gameplay
Matt Bouchard / Playing with progression, immersion, and sociality: Developing a framework for studying meaning in APPMMAGs, a case study
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Ioana Cărtărescu-Petrică / Those who play together stay together. A study of the World of Warcraft community of play and practice
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Joanna Cuttell / Arguing for an immersive method: Reflexive meaning-making, the visible researcher, and moral responses to gameplay
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Daniel de Vasconcelos Guimarães / Apocalyptic souls: the existential (anti) hero metaphor in the Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes games
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Mikhail Fiadotau / Paratext and meaning-making in indie games
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Sonja Gabriel / Serious games – How do they try to make players think about immigration issues? An overview
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Enrico Gandolfi / Once upon a bit: Ludic identities in Italy, from militant nostalgia to frivolous divertissement
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Kishonna Gray & Wanju Huang / More than addiction: Examining the role of anonymity, endless narrative, and socialization in prolonged gaming and instant messaging practices
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Scott Hughes / Get real: Narrative and gameplay in The Last of us
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Youn Jung Huh / Making sense of gender from digital game play in three-year-old children’s everyday lives: An ethnographic case study
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Xeniya Kondrat / Gender and video games: How is female gender generally represented in various genres of video games?
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Alina Petra Marinescu-Nenciu / Collaborative learning through art games. Reflecting on corporate life with ‘Every Day the Same Dream’
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Elisabeta Toma / Self-reflection and morality in critical games. Who is to be blamed for war?
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Max Watson / A medley of meanings: Insights from an instance of gameplay in League of Legends
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]


Other research articles
Yitzhak Alfasi, Moshe Levy & Yair Galily / Israeli football as an arena for post-colonial struggle: The case of Beitar Jerusalem FC
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Gautam Ghosh / An ‘infiltration’ of time? Hindu Chauvinism and Bangladeshi migration in/to Kolkata, India
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Adediran Daniel Ikuomola / An exploration of life experiences of left behind wives in Edo State, Nigeria
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Andra Jacob / Migrant’s houses as places and objects of cultural consumption and status display
[Abstract]          [Full text / pdf]

Book reviews
Alin Constantin /Book review – Roland Cvetkovski & Alexis Hofmeister, An Empire of Others: Creating Ethnographic Knowledge in Imperial Russia and the USSR, Central European University Press, Budapest, 2014.
[Full text / pdf]

Game Research Methods book out (for download)

ETC Press is excited to announce the release of “Game Research Methods: An Overview,” by Petri Lankoski & Staffan Björk, et al.
Games are increasingly becoming the focus for research due to their cultural and economic impact on modern society. However, there are many different types of approaches and methods than can be applied to understanding games or those that play games. This book provides an introduction to various game research methods that are useful to students in all levels of higher education covering both quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. In addition, approaches using game development for research is described. Each method is described in its own chapter by a researcher with practical experience of applying the method to topic of games. Through this, the book provides an overview of research methods that enable us to better our understanding on games.
For more information, and to purchase or download a copy, visit:


Well played volume 4, number 1

For your theoretical pleasure:

ETC Press is excited to announce the release of the first issue of the fourth volume of
Well Played: a journal on video games, value and meaning, co-edited by Sean Duncan and Caro Williams

Sean Duncan, Guest Editor

Where’s BattleTech in MechWarrior Online? A Case Study in Game Adaptation
Hans-Joachim Backe

One Click at a Time: Playing Porpentine’s howling dogs
Hanli Geyser

Cause No Trouble: The Experience of “Serious Fun” in Papers, Please
Oscar Moralde

Playing for the plot: Blindness, agency, and the appeal of narrative organization in Heavy Rain
Fanny A. Ramirez

Spore’s Playable Procedural Content Generation
Gillian Smith

PART TWO: Games Learning Society

Elder Scrolls Online: How ESO encourages group formation and cooperative play
Michelle Aubrecht, Jeff Kuhn, Justin Eames

Acting in the Light and on Fayth: Ritualized Play in Journey and Final Fantasy X
Kyrie Eleison H. Caldwell

Well Played & Well Watched: Dota 2, Spectatorship, and eSports
Chris Georgen

Magic the Gathering: A Learning Game Designer’s Perspective
Dan Norton

For the Records – Understanding Mental Illness Through Metaphorical Games
Doris C. Rusch

Gaming a Non-Game? A Long Term (Self)-Experiment about FarmVille
Heinrich Söbke

The Stanley Parable
Phil J. Dougherty III

*These essays were part of the Well Played Sessions at GLS 10, the 2014 Games+Learning+Society Conference in Madison, WI, as well as the Well Played Sessions at the 2014 DiGRA conference in Salt Lake City, UT.

Games Studies 14/02 is out

For your theoretical pleasure, Game Studies 14/02.

Ability, Disability and Dead Space
by Diane Carr
How does the horror game Dead Space use the idea of disability? How are able bodies represented in the game? What is the relationship between disability as threat, and the various sensations and pleasures offered by the game? In this essay these questions are explored using textual analysis.

“Take That, Bitches!” Refiguring Lara Croft in Feminist Game Narratives
by Esther MacCallum-Stewart
Tomb Raider’s 2013 reboot enabled a re-consideration of Lara Croft and the gender politics of representing her. This paper re-evaluates Tomb Raider ten years after Game Studies first addressed it.

Battle on the Metric Front: Dispatches from Call of Duty’s Update War
by David Murphy
This article analyzes the controversy over a software update applied to Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch, 2013) using assemblage theory (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). By combining information posted by players with a critical investigation of reward systems, the conflict is contextualized within a neoliberal climate of player/industry mistrust.

A Too-Coherent World: Game Studies and the Myth of “Narrative” Media
by Edward Wesp
This article revisits Jesper’ Juul’s oft-cited argument about video games’ “incoherent” fictional worlds to argue for a more open relationship between the study of video games and other media, based on the recognition that all media have complex relationships with the narratives and fictions they convey.

Book Reviews

De Koven’s “The Well-Played Game”by Gonzalo Frasca
The Well-Played Game. A Player’s Philosophy (2013) by Bernard De Koven. Cambridge. Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262019170. 176 pp.
Review of Karlsen’s A World of Excesses: On-line Games and Excessive Playingby Joyce Goggin
A World of Excesses. Online Games and Excessive Playing (2013) by Faltin Karlsen. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. ISBN-13: 978-1409427636. 178 pp.[more]

New issue of Eludamos: Vol 8, No 1

New issue of Eludamos: Vol 8, No 1, special issue on Digital Seriality.