ICA Game Studies LogoICA Game Studies Division

Welcome to the official site of the ICA Game Studies Division (GSD)!

The study of games and the game experience offers opportunities for the study of human communication that involve multidisciplinary approaches that merge the disciplines of conventional communication studies and research, arts and visual design, cognitive studies, computer sciences, cultural studies, engineering social sciences, health sciences, and information design.

Although the common ground for the Game Studies Division is digital and video games, the group encompasses a broad range of inquiry topics and methods. The group serves as fertile meeting ground for the exchange of ideas among a very broad spectrum of disciplines and hosts a number of activities at ICA's annual conference.

Should you have any questions about our Division's interests and opportunities, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our Division officers - each of which is more than happy to respond to your questions via the e-mail addresses provided on that page. 

As the 2015 ICA Puerto Rico conference has passed, the Division is not actively accepting paper or panel proposals. However, check back later in 2015 for our official Call for Papers for the 2016 ICA conference, hosted in Fukuoka, Japan. Current Vice Chair Julia Kneer (Erasmus U, Netherlands) will be organizing the GSD program for that conference, and can address any specific questions or comments you have about submitting to or being a reviewer for our Division. 

Join us!

We welcome members from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives who are interested in scholarship and research related to games and communication.

To become a member of the Special Interest Group, you must first be a member of the International Communication Association, our parent organization.

  • If you are not yet an ICA member, you can apply for ICA membership and join the Game Studies Special Interest Group when you become an ICA member.
  • If you are already an ICA member and want to join the Game Studies Special Interest Group, log in to your ICA profile and change your section information.

Recent News

BEA Research Symposium "Video Games: A Medium That Demands Our Attention" 

The Broadcast Education Association (of the United States) is accepting 4000-word empirical reports and theoretical syntheses for their 2017 research symposition on the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social demands of video game play. The Symposium is chaired by Nick Bowman (West Virginia U, USA) and complete details can be found online at: http://www.beaweb.org/wp/?page_id=3345.


CfP, "Media Use and Well-Being" - a special issue of Journal of Media Psychology

Colleagues Leonard Reinecke (Hamburg U, Germany) and Allison Eden (Michigan State U, USA) are editing a special issue of the Journal of Media Psychology focused on how media - such as video games - might play a role in hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Authors are asked to submit a 1000-word abstract by June 15, 2016, and complete details are available online at: http://bit.ly/1XYmI89.


CFP, Games & Gaming, HICSS

The Games and Gaming minitrack at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) is looking for submissions broadly related to digital games and sociality. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods papers are welcome, ranging from interviews to big data analyses, or more broadly theoretical papers looking at digital gaming practices in general. Types of games studied may include mobile, social, free to play, AAA, MMOGs, PC, console, multiplayer, and indie games. As part of the Digital and Social Media track, papers should contain a social dimension in the analysis, examining, for example, sociability, social practices, communities (in-game, out-game, across multiple spaces or time), use of social affordances, or some other social dimension. Possible topics include: Social affordances of games. Network analysis of groups and communities in games. Social practice (in-game, out-game, both). Player communities. Fans and fan communities. Community management. Toxicity online. Multiplayer games. Cooperative and competitive play. eSports. Fantasy sports leagues. Multigenerational play. Intercultural play. Streaming gameplay (e.g., Twitch). Game curation via sites like Steam. Games & Gaming minitrack:http://www.hicss.org/#!games-and-gaming/cdx2Digital and Social Media track:http://www.hicss.org/#!track3/c1xcj HICSS general CFP and author instructions:http://www.hicss.org/#!authors/ccjp 

Submission dates: Submission site opens on April 1, and closes on June 15

Conference details: January 4-7, 2017 Hilton Waikoloa Village, on the Big Island Also, it’s the 50th anniversary, so it should be even better than usual! Hope to see you in Hawaii!

Minitrack co-chairs: Nat Poor and Mia Consalvo


This site was created by Jieun Shin for the Game Studies Division and is maintained by the Division's Officers.

  • What's New:

    • For 2016, the Executive Committee of GSD is proposing several by-laws changes for our Division. An annotated version of these proposed changes can be found here
    • Traveling to Tokyo for the "Just Games" pre-conference? View our hotel and travel accomodations here
    • Daniel Pietschmann (TU-Chemnitz) has been named as the GSD secretary, as of the 2016 conference. 
    • On Thursday, 21 May 2015, outgoing Chair James Ivory (Virginia Tech U, USA) had the privledge of announcing that our group had been promoted as ICA's newest Division via Twitter. The announcement came nearly 10 years after the first ICA Game Studies meeting.
    • Photos from ICA 2015 Puerto Rico can be found on our official Facebook page, or by selecting the "Images and Video" menu on the web page.
  • Twitter: @icagames and #ica_gs