The intellectual structure of game research

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This article maps out the main areas of game research through an analysis of co-citation and keyword co-occurrence patterns in 24,128 game research documents between 1966 and 2016. The keyword analysis identifies 4 communities: Education/Culture, Technology, Effects and Medical. Co-citation analysis identifies 5 communities: Education, Humanities/Social Science, Computer Science, Communications, and Health. Burst analysis of keywords reveals when key research themes emerged across the period. Key findings are: the main division in game research is between Communications and Health on the one hand and Education, Humanities/Social Science and Computer Science on the other; design is an important bridge between different communities; and there exists a gap in research on the game industry. The research is a broad overview and future research that targets specific communities to tease out more specific patterns is recommended, as is research targeting non-English language sources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGame Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Bibliometrics
  • Co-citation analysis
  • Game research
  • Invisible colleges
  • Keyword analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics


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