Research Articles

Game Studies’ Material Turn

Author: Darshana Jayemane (The University of Melbourne)

  • Game Studies’ Material Turn

    Research Articles

    Game Studies’ Material Turn



This article argues that among the burgeoning approaches to game studies there is a crucial re-imagining of digital games in their material contexts across different scales and registers: the machine, the body and the situations of play. This re-imagining can be seen in a number of approaches: platform and software studies, which examine the materiality of code and/or the technological infrastructure through which it is enacted; critical studies of digital labour; and detailed ethnographic studies that examine the cultures of online worlds and situate gaming in relation to everyday practices. The article traces these three strands, focusing on how they demonstrate a heightening of the stakes in game studies research by providing access to scale and connecting digital games research to wider interdisciplinary contexts.

Keywords: platform studies, media ecologies, materiality, game studies, ethnography, digital labour

How to Cite:

Jayemane, D., (2017) “Game Studies’ Material Turn”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 9(1), 5-25. doi:

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Published on
13 Jun 2017
Peer Reviewed