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). doi: