Historiographies of Game Studies: What It Has Been, What It Could Be

Historiographies of Game Studies offers a first-of-its-kind reflection on how game studies as an academic field has been shaped and sustained. Today, game studies is a thriving field with many dedicated national and international conferences, journals, professional societies, and a strong presence at conferences in disciplines like computer science, communication, media studies, theater, visual arts, popular culture, and others. But, when did game studies start? And what (and who) is at the core or center of game studies? Fields are defined as much by what they are not as what they are, and their borderlands can be hotly contested spaces.

In this anthology, scholars from across the field consider how the boundaries of game studies have been established, codified, contested, and protected, raising critical questions about who and what gets left out of the field. Through more than two dozen chapters, and interviews with leading figures including Espen Aarseth, Kishonna Gray, Henry Jenkins, Lisa Nakamura, Kentaro Matsumoto, Ken McAllister, and Janet Murray, the contributors offer an array of insightful provocations that address the formation, propagation, and cultivation of game studies, interrogating not only the field’s pasts but its potential futures and asking us to think deliberately about what it is we build together.