Describing the Game Studies Canon: A Game Citation Analysis


This article analyzes how game studies scholars cite videogames in their research. A content analysis of over 580 articles from the field’s two main journals is used to identify the currently-invisible canon of most-frequently cited games in game scholarship. We show that the canon is far more varied than previously suggested and demonstrate ways that it has changed over time. The article’s research implications include explicating different functions of game citation as well as providing an empirical basis for identifying under-researched games. Our findings also identify the games with which familiarity is most important to understand existing research. Finally, we propose ways the game studies canon can help address pedagogical, technological, and legal obstacles to the development of game studies as a discipline.

Proceedings of DiGRA 2019