Journal of Games Criticism Extending Play

For theory!

The Journal of Games Criticism is proud to announce the publication of its first special issue, edited by Aaron Trammell and Zack Lischer-Katz. Adapted from the Extending Play: The Sequel conference held at Rutgers University in 2015, this issue’s articles and interviews consider matters surrounding sequels and repetition in the world of video games and their study. The issue is available at and the full list of articles is listed below.

Considering the Sequel to Game Studies… by A. Trammell & Z. Lischer-Katz

The Extending Play conference at Rutgers University in 2015 underlined the importance of sequels and repetition to games and their study. Here the editors discuss these themes and introduce the interviews and articles that were adapted from the conference for this bonus issue.

The Replication of Ideology: An Interview with Adrienne Shaw and Marcus Boon by Melissa Aronczyk

Shaw and Boon examine the iterative and repeating forces of ideology that work within games as a culture industry and play as a cultural practice. They discuss the importance for scholars to take these visible and invisible forces of power into account within the study of games.

Liberating Play: An Interview with Anna Anthropy and Miguel Sicart by A. Gilbert

Anthropy and Sicart discuss the centrality of games within the discipline of game studies and consider how lessons learned from play studies might curb stagnation in the field.

Hanging in the Video Arcade by S. Tobin

This paper decenters play and the player in the arcade by exploring another subject I call hangers. It explores the genealogies of player control, engagement and the policing of play practices in the American video arcade in the 1980s.

Assessing Mass Effect 2 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Using Collaborative Criteria for Player Agency in Interactive Narratives by L. Joyce

This paper first establishes the criteria necessary to construct a digital interactive narrative game that contains both narrative agency and ludic agency before considering those criteria against two interactive narrative games: Mass Effect 2 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Imperialism in the Worlds and Mechanics of First-Person Shooters by A. Patel

This paper focuses on two highly popular first-person shooter games, Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3, and examines how elements of their game worlds and mechanics reinforce (and disrupt) imperialist narratives.

Ludic Spolia in Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth by E. McNeil

Using the art historical term spolia as a launching point, McNeil explores the reuse of gaming mechanics and visuals from Sid Meier’s Civilization V in Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth. She argues that this reuse was both practical and perhaps unintentionally subversive.

A Proceduralist View on Diversity in Games by G. Smith

Looking at diversity and inclusion through a proceduralist lens allows us to more deeply analyze current games, as well as prompt new questions and avenues for technical and design research.

JGC (ISSN: 2374-202X) is currently seeking submissions from game developers, designers, bloggers, journalists, and scholars for its Summer/Fall 2016 issue. This issue’s submission deadline is August 1, 2016 and will be published on October 8, 2016. We accept articles, book reviews, experimental game reviews, and letters to the editor for review. Our submission guidelines are available at

Analog Game Studies, volume 1

Analog game studies vol 1Your theoretical injection of the day: ETC Press has announced the first collected volume of Analog Game Studies, edited by Aaron Trammell, Evan Torner and Emma Leigh Waldron.


Reinventing Analog Game Studies: Introductory Manifesto

“Fun in a Different Way”: Rhythms of Engagement and Non-Immersive Play Agendas – Nick Mizer

Strategies for Publishing Transformative Board Games – Will Emigh

Misogyny and the Female Body in Dungeons & Dragons – Aaron Trammell

The Playing Card Platform – Nathan Altice

Orientalism and Abstraction in Eurogames – Will Robinson

From Where Do Dungeons Come? – Aaron Trammell

Larp-as-Performance-as-Research – Emma Leigh Waldron

Sex and Play-Doh: Exploring Women’s Sexuality Through Larp – Katherine Castiello Jones

O Jogo do Bicho: Pushing the Boundaries of Larp in Brazil – Luiz Falcão

A Nighttime Tale of Xiros – Adam Lazaroff

Visual Design as Metaphor: The Evolution of a Character Sheet – Jason Morningstar

Uncertainty in Analog Role-Playing Games – Evan Torner

Post-Larp Depression – Sarah Lynne Bowman and Evan Torner

Rules for Writing Rules: How Instructional Design Impacts Good Game Design – Ibrahim Yucel

Storium’s Analog Heritage – Lillian Cohen-Moore

Regarding Board Game Errata – Jan Švelch

The Curse of Writing Autobiographical Games – Lizzie Stark

Kinephanos journal: Exploring the Frontiers of Digital Gaming

For your theoretical perusal, a new issue of the Kinephanos journal:

Exploring the Frontiers of Digital Gaming: Traditional Games, Expressive Games, Pervasive Games

Special Issue, April 2016 / Numéro spécial, avril 2016
Edited by / Dirigé par Sébastien Genvo & Carl Therrien

Introduction: Exploring the Frontiers of Digital Gaming: 
Traditional Games, Expressive Games, Pervasive Games
Université de Lorraine & Université de Montréal
English | Français

Century of Play: 18th Century Precursors of Gamification
Leuphana Univesity

Football Manager: Mutual Shaping between Game, Sport, and Community
Université de Lorraine & CNRS

Welcome to the Dollhouse.
Constructing Bodies in Crytek’s Crysis and Mattel’s Kiddle Dolls.

Université de Montréal / Universiteit van Amsterdam

Replaying the Lost Battles:
the Experience of Failure in Polish History-Themed Board Games

Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Defining and Designing Expressive Games: The Case of Keys of a Gamespace
Université de Lorraine

Differentiating Serious, Persuasive, and Expressive Games
Université du Québec à Montréal

Bridging The Gap Between Game Designers and Cultural Institutions: A Typology to Analyse and Classify Cultural Pervasive Games
Université de Franche-Comté

World of Warcraft Dramaturgical Approach: A Drama that Plays with its own Limits
CAPES Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil / Federal University of Bahia

American Journal of Play 8.2

Here is American Journal of Play Volume 8, Number 2Winter 2016.

Though technically about the titular play, this journal is becoming increasingly intertwined with game studies.


ToDIGRA Journal vol 2, No 2 out

For your theoretical pleasure, here is ToDIGRA (Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association) Vol 2, No 2.


Game Developers Conference 2016 in tweets: March 16

Continued from yesterday, here is March 16 of the 2016 Game Developers Conference, in tweets:

GDC 2016-03-16VR wins again. The Game Developers Choice Awards and the IGF awards make their mark (“congrats”), as does the Satoru Iwata tribute. Marketeers have discovered twitter, hence encouragements to stop by a booth for a giveaway.

VR is so far the only theme to stand out. (Some years have clear themes, some don’t.)