New issue of G|A|M|E available: Video game subcultures: Playing at the periphery of mainstream culture

This issue of GAME Journal offers an overview and a series of case studies on video games from the point of view of subcultural theory.

G|A|M|E – n. 3/2014
Issue 3, 2014 – Video game subcultures: Playing at the periphery of mainstream culture
Edited by M. B. Carbone & P. Ruffino

Freely available online at:

There has been little work in game studies from this perspective, which offers a theoretical frame for the ever growing complexity of the audiences involved with the medium of the video game. The study of subcultures on the other hand has a long standing and complex tradition which culminates in what has been recently defined as the “post-subcultural” theoretical scenario.

As games are increasingly evoked for their interplay with other media and their role in defining and shaping our cultures, carrying artistic, cultural and social meanings – both ideologies and conversely “engaged”, “alternative”, or “redemptive” discourses –  it becomes increasingly important to accompany the merely descriptive and (inter)textualist analysis shared by many approaches in game studies with elements of social and subcultural theory.

The variety of the contributions collected in the present issue testifies how a study of video game subcultures is necessarily centrifugal: if we imagine the studies of the tendencies of the mainstream market as oriented towards the “centre” of video game culture, then analyses of marginalised and under-represented forms of reception look instead towards unlimited and dispersed directions.

In this issue we proudly welcome papers with very diverse geographical focuses, based on a variety of methodologies and interested in phenomena which occurred in different periods in the history of the video game industry.


Vol. 1 – Journal (peer-reviewed)
Cover Art: KINSHASA vs AKIHABARA (Giovanni Fredi –

M. B. Carbone & P. Ruffino – Introduction: games and subcultural theory
G. Zhang – The stroller in the virtual city: spatial practice of Hong Kong players in Sleeping Dogs
R. Gallagher – From camp to kitsch? A queer eye on console fandom
T. Plothe – “I’m a rogue night elf”. Avatars, gaming and The Big Bang Theory
I. Márquez – Playing new music with old games: The chiptune subculture
G. Menotti – Videorec as gameplay: Recording of playthroughs and video game engagement
A. Harvey – Twine’s revolution: Democratization, depoliticization, and the queering of game design
H. Tyni & O. Sotamaa – Assembling a game development scene?  Uncovering Finland’s largest demo party

Vol. 2 – Critical notes (non-peer reviewed)
Cover Art: Contradictions (Filippo Minelli –

M. Fuchs – Nordic game subcultures: between LARPers and avant-garde
T. Oliveira, E. Ferreira, L. Carvalho & A. Boechat – Tribute and Resistance: Participation and affective engagement in Brazilian  fangame makers and modders’ subcultures
R. Sampugnaro, S. Mica, S. Fallica, A. Bonaiuto & M. Mingrino – Participation at the Global Game Jam event: a bridge between consumer and producer worlds in digital entertainment

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