Gaming the Publishing Industry: Exploring Diverse Open Scholarship Models in Digital Games Studies

By Jon Saklofske

Acadia University

The emergent field of digital game scholarship has developed along unique communicative lines, illuminating alternative models and diversified potentials for scholarly communication. Following the decline of print-based magazine journalism, the...

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The emergent field of digital game scholarship has developed along unique communicative lines, illuminating alternative models and diversified potentials for scholarly communication. Following the decline of print-based magazine journalism, the rise of moderated aggregator sites, such as Kotaku, Polygon, and Rock Paper Shotgun has exposed many independent voices to larger audiences. Much of the scholarship cited in current academic work can be found online at sites like Critical Distance (which uses “roundups, roundtables, podcasts, and critical compilations” to encourage dialogue between “developers, critics, educators and enthusiasts”), First Person Scholar, a middle-state publication that combines “the timeliness and succinctness of a blog, while retaining the rigor and context of a conventional journal article” (Hawreliak), highly polished and curated online zines such as Heterotopias, and from quality video bloggers such as Noah Caldwell Gervais and short-form documentary creators such as Gvmers. These heterogeneous alternatives collectively model a publishing plasticity and adaptiveness, establishing a culture of open scholarship practices, inclusive and diverse voices, and a rapid deployment of ideas and perspectives. This paper argues that emergent models of scholarly communication explored by the game studies community include but also moderate the reactive energies of social media and the toxicity of “gamer” culture.

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Original publication: Saklofske, Jon. 2020. “Gaming the Publishing Industry: Exploring Diverse Open Scholarship Models in Digital Games Studies.” Pop! Public. Open. Participatory. 2: n.p. DOI:10.48404/pop.2020.13