Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research has just published its latest issue (Volume 14, Issue 1, July 2014).
Game Definitions: A Wittgensteinian Approach
by Jonne Arjoranta
This article looks at how games have been constantly redefined in game studies without reaching an agreement. It is argued that such an agreement is not necessary, and a Wittgensteinian approach to game definitions is preferable. This approach sees the cycle of redefinition as a hermeneutic circle that advances the understanding of games.
The Heuristic Circle of Real-Time Strategy Process: A StarCraft: Brood War Case Study
by Simon Dor
The heuristic circle of real-time strategy process is a summary of key ideas about the cognitive and perceptive processes in StarCraft competitive play. It describes the way strategy in the game relies on the inference of three levels of game states and on the use of three kind of strategic plans at the same time.
Magic Nodes and Proleptic Warfare in the Multiplayer Component of Battlefield 3
by Johan Höglund
This article explores the construction of ludic spaces in the multiplayer map Grand Bazaar in Battlefield 3. It observes that this map constitutes a “magic node” that encircles a ludic space where only certain activities are possible. It concludes that the map Grand Bazaar represents a civilian Middle-Eastern locale as a permanent battleground.
Bioshock: Complex and Alternate Histories
by Ryan Lizardi
This article performs a close reading on the Bioshock series and determines that it encourages a comparative and contemplative look at the historical, cultivated through counterfactual and alternative experiences of accepted histories and reinforced through both ludic and narrative elements.
A Practiced Practice: Speedrunning Through Space With de Certeau and Virilio
by Rainforest Scully-Blaker
Through a discussion of Michel de Certeau and Paul Virilio, this article puts forth a language to discuss speedrunning, the practice of beating a game as fast as possible without cheating, as it relates to games as spatial narratives. A new set of terms for discussing game rules as they relate to speedruns is also applied to the analysis.
Play and Possibility in the Rhetoric of the War on Terror: The Structure of Agency in Halo 2
by Gerald Voorhees
This essay contends that Halo 2 helps attitudinally position players in relation to the War on Terror. It considers a range of possible, potentially-overlapping affective responses to Halo 2, foregrounding both the rhetorical efficacy of digital games and the player’s agency to determine their rhetorical effect.
Sound in a Participatory Culture
by Kristine Jørgensen
Playing with Sound. A Theory of Interaction with Sound and Music in Video Games. (2013) by Karen Collins. Cambridge. Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262312288 .
Play Redux is Solo-Play
by Hanna Wirman
Play Redux: The Form of Computer Games. (2010) by David Myers. University of Michigan Press. ISBN: 978-0472050925