Game Studies


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The study of games and the game experience offers opportunities for the study of human communication that involve multidisciplinary approaches that merge the disciplines of conventional communication studies and research, arts and visual design, cognitive studies, computer sciences, cultural studies, engineering social sciences, health sciences, and information design.

Although the common ground for the division is digital and video games, the group encompasses a broad range of inquiry topics and methods. It serves as fertile meeting ground for the exchange of ideas among a very broad spectrum of disciplines.


 Call for Papers: June 2016

Hear The Music, Play The Game

Music And Game Design: Interplays And Perspectives

Edited by Hillegonda C. Rietveld and Marco Benoît Carbone


Music composition and sound design in video games are important dimensions in the experience of play, gaining increased acknowledgement and attention within the game industry. The growing relevance and success of several kinds of music-based games, and their codification in novel genres and sub-genres, illustrates one tendency in this shift of focus towards the aural in relation to the usually visual dominance of the medium. This calls for an attempt to reconsider the often-overlooked impact of music and its role in defining games. Arguably, a distinction can be made between games in which music functions in the background, and games in which music is an integral part of the game mechanics. For example, attention to game music demands a reconsideration of the importance of sonic content in past productions, and to look at practices like the revival of chip music, associated with early arcade, console, and home computer games. Meanwhile, the music industry has recognized the importance of game music, as demonstrated by the growing amount of releases of game sound tracks as well as occasional in-game music sales in and across new and different markets. Composers and sound designers have too often been regarded as contributors to the final phases of game development, despite the central affective power of music production in game design and the experience of play.

So far, academic research has focused mostly on general aspects of sound design. There seems to exist a vastly unexplored area of analysis for thinking about how technological change, market differentiations, and evolving social contexts of media consumption have affected game-music interactions over the past decades. With this call for papers, we encourage research on music as a multi-faceted creative and professional practice, of importance to the development and understanding of video games. Through a focus on music in relation to the overall game architecture we wish to emphasize the aural as a crucial dimension.

Encouraging contributions from video game and music scholars, including musicologists, semioticians and media researchers, we are interested in papers exploring the intersections, interaction, and growing reciprocal influences between these fields.

We are particularly interested in analyses that focus on aspects and issues at the intersection of game and music studies that include, but not are limited to, the following themes:


  • The general impact of music in game experience, on the acoustic space of games and on how a game is played within its sonic architecture.
  • Non-linear approaches to music in game making: interactive sonicscapes, audio environments, immersive experiences.
  • The impact of technologies in music creation: audio chips, storage devices, gaming systems and their relation with music design and musicians.
  • Music game genres, streams, prototypes and innovative programming and/or performance, seen in professional, audience, and cultural context.
  • Composers and music makers within game production teams or as game makers, seen through their specific background and contexts as composers, DJs, singers, voice actors, from different disciplinary perspectives.
  •  Game musicians as game personalities and their impact on defining leading franchises, brands, and gaming universes.

Authors are encouraged to submit an initial proposal of 500 words (excluding bibliography) by the 15 October 2015 as a word document or PDF to and The proposal should describe the topic, outline the main aims and question or argument, and provide relevant references. Notification of acceptance to the issue will be communicated by the 5 of November 2015. Authors of successful proposals will then be asked to submit a full article of no more than 7,000 words by the 25 February 2016. Papers will undergo a double-blind peer review process. Accepted contributions will be published in a 2016 issue of GAME – Games as Art, Media, Entertainment.



Marco Benoît Carbone (London College of Communication) -

Prof Hillegonda C. Rietveld (London South Bank U) -



Call for Papers: The 100 Greatest Video Game Characters (working title)

Robert Mejia (State U of New York, Brockport), Co-Editor

Jaime Banks (West Virginia U), Co-Editor

Aubrie Adams (U of California, Santa Barbara), Co-Editor

The field of game studies has grown substantially since the turn of the century, and yet the field lacks a rigorous reference collection on the cultural significance of video game characters. Such a reference collection is needed as it can be difficult for even well-versed scholars to keep track of the range and complexity of the many significant characters that populate the industry.

Hence, we are seeking essays for an edited collection on the cultural and historical significance of 100 video game characters. The collection, titled “The 100 Greatest Video Game Characters,” will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in early 2017. This collection will serve as a companion volume to the edited collection, titled “The 100 Greatest Video Games.”

Academics, game industry personnel, gaming journalists, and others are invited to submit proposals addressing the historical and cultural significance of a specific video game character. Suggested characters include (but are not limited to):

Aerith Gainsborough

Final Fantasy VII


American McGee’s



Carmen Sandiego

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego

Chris Redfield

Resident Evil

Chun Li

Street Fighter


The Walking Dead

Cloud Strife

Final Fantasy VII


Shadow of the Colossus

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong

Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem


Oregon Trail

Elaine Marley

Monkey Island


Assassin’s Creed

Fat Princess

Fat Princess



Gordon Freeman Half Life



Mecha-HitlerWolfenstein 3D


Beyond Good & Evil




God of War

Lara Croft

Tomb Raider

Lee Everett

The Walking Dead

Lich King



Final Fantasy XIII

Little Sisters



Legend of Zelda


Mario Bros.


Mario Bros.

Master Chief


Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy

Mega Man

Mega Man

Nathan DrakeUncharted



Origami Killer

Heavy Rain




Mario Bros.

Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright



Progenitor Virus

Resident Evil


Little Big Planet

Samus Aran



Final Fantasy VII

Shiva Alomar Resident Evil 5

Solid Snake

Metal Gear


Sonic the Hedgehog




Final Fantasy VI


Legend of Zelda


We welcome (1) proposals focusing on characters listed above or (2) proposals suggesting characters not listed above. The hope is that this collection will serve as a rigorous reference guide to the historical and cultural significance of 100 of the most important video game characters. Likewise, considering that the field of game studies consists of academics, industry professionals, and journalists, we encourage contributors to submit with an eye toward academic and non-academic audiences alike.

Please submit the following: (1) an abstract (250 word max) addressing the rationale for inclusion of your selected or proposed character in terms of the character’s cultural and historical significance; (2) a short bio (250 word max); and (3) a 1-page CV or 1-page publication list emphasizing expertise in game studies to by 1 November 2015. Authors will be notified by 1 December 2015 if their proposals have been accepted. Full essays should be within the range of 800 – 1000 words, submitted as a Word or Rich Text Format. Full essays will be due by 15 January 2016. Multiple submissions are acceptable. For more information please contact the co-editors at



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