Game Studies Download 2009: Top 10 Big Ideas in Gaming

Thursday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, game studies researchers presented their list of the top 10 most unexpected findings for video game designers over the past year. This marks the fourth year that researchers Ian Bogost, associate professor at Georgia Tech; Jane McGonigal, director of games research and development at the Institute for the Future; and Mia Consalvo, associate professor at Ohio University, have presented their list. But this year audience members - both at the panel and via Twitter - ranked the findings in order of their importance.

"Asking the audience to order the top 10 gave us an opportunity to get their feedback on which design problems feel more and less relevant to them. So not only can game designers learn what researchers are thinking about games, but game researchers can also look at the list and gain an understanding of the issues at the front of the minds of game developers," said Bogost.

Click for the slide presentation of the top 10 research findings

The findings of the Game Studies Download 2009 are:

10. Stewart Woods: "(Play) Ground rules: The social contract and the magic circle"

9. Jose Zagal and Amy Bruckman: "Novices, gamers, and scholars: Exploring the challenges of teaching about games"

8. Karen Collins: "Game sound: An introduction to the history, theory, and practice of video game music and sound design"

7. Charlie Briendahl: "Play to win or win to play? The material culture of gaming"

6. Gareth Schott: "Relating the pleasures of violent game texts"

5. Jesper Juul: "Fear of failing: The many meanings of difficulty in video games"

4. Matt Barton: "How's the weather: Simulating weather in virtual environments"

3. Betsy James DiSalvo, Kevin Crowley and Roy Norwood: "Learning in context: Digital games and young black men"

2. Michael Nitsche: "Video game spaces: Image, play, and structure in 3D worlds"

1. Susana Tosca & Lisbeth Klastrup: "Because it just looks cool!' Fashion as character performance--the case of WoW"

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.