An interdisciplinary group for game studies scholars to share work, discuss topics in the field, and post CFPs and other relevant documents.


12 replies, 9 voices Last updated by  Cody Mejeur 1 day, 14 hours ago
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    Cody Mejeur

    Hi All!

    Let’s use this thread for introductions–and if you’re just joining the group, please introduce yourself!

    I’m Cody Mejeur, a PhD candidate at Michigan State University in the Department of English. I work with narrative in games, specifically the narrative construction of ludic realities in the lived, embodied experience of play. My dissertation, Queer Narrative, Queer Play: Player Experiences and Ludic Realities in Video Games, uses walking simulators and other first-person narrative games as case studies. My work is particularly informed by cognitive, queer, and feminist theories of narrative and personal experience. I’ve published on games in the English classroom, representations of queerness in games such as Bioshock and Pokémon Go, and experimenting with narrative form using digital humanities tools. Beyond my research, I work in the Digital Humanities & Literary Cognition lab at MSU, and help with coding and preservation efforts at the LGBTQ Video Game Archive, founded by Adrienne Shaw at Temple University. My visualizations of the archive, Queer Intersections: Visualizing the LGBTQ Video Game Archive, are available here:

    Looking forward to chatting with everyone and sharing work and ideas!


    Sarah Stang

    Hey everyone!

    I’m Sarah Stang, a PhD candidate at York University in Toronto, Ontario. I’m in the Communication & Culture program working under the supervision of Jennifer Jenson. My research focus is on issues of representation in games, especially around gender. My dissertation work is looking at how monsters in games function as symbolic representations of marginalized identities (focusing on gender, queerness, disability, madness, old age, and fatness). I’m drawing on scholarship on mediated monstrosity (especially in film and literature) and analyzing in-game monsters using textual analysis methods and the concepts of the abject and the grotesque.

    I’m also the essays editor at First Person Scholar and on the editorial board of Press Start. Those are both graduate-student run game studies publications, so if you’re interested in getting your work out there, feel free to chat with me 🙂


    Jared Hansen


    I’m Jared Hansen, a first-year PhD student at the University of Oregon. My MA thesis was on the effects of the damsel-in-distress stereotype on players of a classic Zelda game. I did a 2×2 experiment where I manipulated the genders of the hero and the victim. While I met the requirements for graduation, I’m still in the process of doing a follow-up study on that research. I co-authored a paper that was presented at ICA earlier this year that was a paratextual analysis of the Twitch Plays Pokemon event, where we analyzed the player-created pseudo-religious texts. And next month I’m presenting a paper at NCA about player motivations for playing dead MMORPGs.

    I’m still trying to figure out my research interests, but I’d say I’m fascinated with video game nostalgia, the platform of Twitch, and player-avatar relations. I really look forward to networking and getting to know other researchers in this group!


    Carlos Ramírez-Moreno

    Hi there!

    I’m Carlos Ramírez, a PhD candidate at the University of Seville, Spain. I’m in the Audiovisual Communication program, doing a research on cultural representation in video games, particularly on representations made by regions at the periphery of the mainstream industry. I’d love to meet new fellow researchers and, who knows, maybe someday organize something all together!


    Péter Kristóf Makai

    Cheerio, I’m Péter Kristóf Makai, a postdoc at Linnaeus University’s Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies. I wrote my BA and MA on the Monkey Island series and Disney theme parks’ creation of narrative structure and intermedial references to themed entertainment. I wrote my PhD on cognitive literary studies of novels featuring people on the autistic spectrum. My postdoc is about the investigation of evolutionary theory and Darwin’s thought across media borders, including video and board games, but also nonfiction, science fiction and TV documentaries. I have published in Wiley-Blackwell’s A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien on Tolkien-inspired game genres, and in Tolkien Studies about Tolkien as an early theorist of virtual reality. I have published on fairy tales and mythopoetics in computer games in Postmodern Reinterpretations of Fairy Tales: How Applying New Methods Generates New Meanings, and have been active in the game studies and intermedia communities in the past few years.


    Cody Mejeur

    So exciting to meet everyone! Péter, it’s awesome to see another cognitive humanities/literary studies person doing games work too! Please keep sharing the group in your networks. Hopefully we can build an active community here to support one another, and I’ll keep adding resources as I’m able–please do the same!


    Cody Mejeur

    Oh! And if anyone wants to be an admin and help grow the group, lmk! More the merrier.


    Damian Stewart


    I’m Damian, just started an MA in Game Studies and Engineering at Alpen Adria Universität in Klagenfurt, Austria.

    Originally (a long time ago) from New Zealand, i’ve spent the last 15 years in between music, and art, and software development both in and out of games.

    I’m probably mostly going to lurk here but I am interested in finding an online space for informal discussion of papers/ideas (Struggling to find one to be honest! The relevant-seeming reddit forums are fairly dead. Maybe there’s a Discord or Slack or a Discourse-like wen forum I haven’t heard of? Any pointers gladly received!)


    Cody Mejeur

    Hi Damian, it’s great to have you here! There are a few places for discussion I’m aware of, but they aren’t all particularly active–I think it’s unfortunate reality of folks being grad students and faculty with extremely busy schedules. But there’s the Game Studies Open Forum on Facebook, the GamesNetwork listserv (I believe run out of Finland, but used internationally), and DiGRA has a discord. I’ll add some of these resources to a new doc shortly!


    Ea Christina Willumsen

    Hi all,

    Found this group thanks to Cody’s post on the DiGRA Students Group. Great initiative! I personally like to keep my academic engagements off social media as much as possible.

    My name is Ea and I’m a PhD student at the University of Bergen in Norway. I’m a part of the Media Aesthetics Research Group and the Institute for Information Science and Media Studies, but fortunately I am not forced to build my diss around aestehtic theory; rather, it’s very game studies-centric, theoretical, some might even say FORMALIST or STRUCTURALIST, although those terms may be derogatory to some (constantly changing my mind on that, hence I attempt to avoid labels).

    My dissertation is focused on the relationship between avatars and gameworlds and is rooted in a data-set consisting of analysis of 100 different titles. While this make it seem as if it’s an empirically driven project, it’s actually more of a theoretical investigation where I attempt a pragmatic approach to avatar-typologization through a bottom-up approach. I engage with a bunch of different avatar theories (Vella, Klevjer, Banks, Bayliss, Westecott, etc.), primarily to problemitize the idea of “one-definition-to-rule-them-all”. Rune Klevjer and Kristine Jørgensen are my supervisors.

    I have a MA in Game Analysis from the IT University of Copenhagen, where I did my thesis on what I term Automated Avatar Actions and Character Autonomy, under the supervision of Espen Aarseth. I have a BA in Communication and Computer Science and like to occasionally dive in to the more technical aspects of games, for example how reading of source code can contribute to more formal game analyses.

    I’m excited to follow the development of this forum!


    Kristopher Purzycki

    Hello all,

    My name is Kris Purzycki, a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. My overarching research focus is media studies but that branches out into publication production and editing, broadcasting, computer games and philosophy, and multimodal writing.

    Though my background is English, my dissertation pulls from anthropology, geography, philosophy, and architecture to examine the phenomenon of game experience and how games enable placemaking. Just finished a chapter about Pokemon Go and places-out-of-place. So much fun but I’m a little tired of thinking about that particular game…

    I also do a lot of work in various modes of publication and broadcasting. On the print side, I am an editor for the Proceedings of the Computers and Writing Conference and founding editor of OneShot: A Journal of Critical Games and Play, an experimental publication of games as critical texts whose inaugural issue should be out early next year. I also do a bit of live streaming but am not thrilled with the current platforms and would like to develop another service that is more academically friendly (creative commons, archiving, no advertising of connection to some global corporation…). Also have a little radio show here in Milwaukee, Screens, where Allain Daigle and I talk about screen based media every week.

    Sorry about the long bit – so thrilled that Cody started this and hope we all can uncover new ways to connect, collaborate, and create some great work! I saw interest in a Discord channel. That would be fantastic.

    Finally, would anyone be interested in a monthly meetup in MOO-space? I am co-wizard of PhronesisMU, a fledgling MOO (MUD object oriented) and would be thrilled to host a regular gathering place.


    Cristian Mancilla

    Hi, everyone.

    I used to write a blog (in Spanish) on the study of video games while completing both my undergradute and graduate programs. I thought of undertaking a PhD during the 2nd half of 2017 and the 1st half of this year, but couldn’t find a professor who accepted to supervise my project. So, decided to develop this project independently, because making it happen is more important to me than getting a PhD—game studies have waited for too long now. I’d be delighted, then, if any of you had some comments on the project I’m about to start working on, which is published in Research Gate.


    Cody Mejeur

    Hi Cristian! I’m really interested in your project, and particularly how you see it fitting into/relating to other game studies projects that look at form and structures in games. The ludology camp of game studies in particular has long focused on game structures, forms, and ontologies (almost to the exclusion of anything else), and the two examples that are coming to mind are Espen Aarseth and the folks at IT Copenhagen that have been working on game taxonomies and classification systems, and Markku Eskelinen’s Cybertext Poetics. I’m attaching an article I had in my Zotero here (if it will let me!).

    If you’d like to discuss the project further, please make a new thread so we can keep the discussion going!

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