Results of international survey: State of Digital Games Research

Jan Van Looy writes:

Several years ago, many of you took part in an international survey on the State of Digital Games Research organized by the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), the Digital Games Research Temporary Working Group (now section) of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), and the Game Studies Special Interest Group (now division) of the International Communication Association (ICA).

The academic mill sometimes does not grind very quickly. However, we are happy to be able to announce that a journal article based on the results has now been published online in JoC.

Quandt, T., Van Looy, J., Vogelgesang, J., Elson, M., Ivory, J.D., Mäyrä, F., Consalvo, M. (in press). Digital games research: a survey study on an emerging field and its prevalent debates. Journal of Communication.

ABSTRACT: Digital games have become a popular form of media entertainment. However, it remains unclear whether a canon of accepted knowledge and research practices has emerged that may define an independent field of research. This study is a collaborative effort to analyze the outlines of digital games research (DGR) through a survey among the membership of 3 institutionalized structures focusing on the study of digital games (International Communication Association Game Studies Interest Group, European Communication Research and Education Association Temporary Working Group DGR, and Digital Games Research Association). The study reveals relatively homogeneous viewpoints among games researchers, even regarding controversial aspects of digital games. It mirrors the mainstream scholarly views on contentious issues of a recently emerged field within communication studies.

An earlier paper dealing with another part of the survey has been published in the proceedings of DiGRA 2013.

Mäyrä, F., Van Looy, J., Quandt, T. (2013, 26-29 August). Disciplinary Identity of Game Scholars: An Outline. Proceedings of DiGRA 2013, Atlanta, USA.



ABSTRACT: There has been academic research work directed at games and play for decades, but the field has been somewhat scattered, and around the turn of the millennium the idea of establishing a new discipline, dedicated to the study of games in their own right gained prominence. The conference, journal and other publication activity in games research has expanded during the last decade, but it remains unclear how many contemporary academics working on games could be seen to represent a unified group, sharing a common disciplinary identity. This paper reports the first results from an international survey (valid n = 544), carried out among the DiGRA mailing list subscribers, as well as among the members of ECREA and ICA games research groups, aimed at probing the background education, orientation and academic practices of games researchers. The findings highlight the great diversity of educational backgrounds and of the current self-identified research fields, but also the dynamic interdisciplinary changes from one field to another, and how strong the identification as a “digital games researcher” is among the survey respondents.

Thank you all for participating and we hope you will do so again in the future.

Best regards,

Jan Van Looy, also in name of the other organizers


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