Describing the Game Studies Canon: A Game Citation Analysis

Jonathan Howard FROME, Paul MARTIN

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paperpeer-review


This article analyses how game studies scholars make use of videogames in their research. Examining articles from the field’s two main journals, we identify the currently-invisible canon of games most frequently cited in game scholarship. The article thus provides an empirical basis for understanding which games are overlooked in research and also provides a list of games that it is important to be familiar with in order to understand existing work. We build upon previous literature in this area by adopting a more thorough content analysis of articles and by analyzing how the canon has changed over time. Our results partly support existing research, but we show that the canon is far more varied than previously suggested and demonstrate ways that it has changed over time. These findings are discussed in relation to several research and teaching issues facing game studies as it develops.
Original languageEnglish
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
Abbreviated titleDiGRA 2019
Internet address


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


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