Describing the game studies canon: a game citation analysis

Jonathan Frome, Paul Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix, DiGRA 2019, Kyoto, Japan, August 6-10, 2019
PublisherDigital Games Research Association
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019
EventDigital Games Research Association Conference 2019: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo Mix - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 6 Aug 20199 Aug 2019


ConferenceDigital Games Research Association Conference 2019: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo Mix
Abbreviated titleDiGRA 2019


  • citation analysis
  • scientometrics
  • game studies
  • canon
  • pedagogy


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