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Digital games histories


Project description

Digital Games Histories in an ongoing research project that aims to shed light on the local and global histories of digital games, play, and players by bringing together researchers from the areas of design, social research, computer science, history, and cultural critique.

The project looks at the emergence of digital games industries worldwide over the past four decades and in the present. It goes besides and beyond the well-known, canonical histories of games centred about global sales, the most influential designs, and major international companies, focusing instead on overlooked world industries, national and local contexts of production and consumption, and under-researched or marginalised geographical and social contexts, audiences, and social groups involved in play.

Digital Games Histories brings together a series of interdisciplinary perspectives on both the global and local dimensions of play, highlighting the interconnectedness and specificities of how games have been produced, played, and made meaningful in diverse ways and contexts for the lives of designers and players around the world.

The project is in its initial stage, evolving through a network of correspondents from various institutions and countries. It is expected to generate a series of research activities that will take shape over the course of the upcoming years.

The first output of this research is an upcoming edited collection of the histories, representations, and context of digital games in Italy in relation to European and global digital games consumption. This particular study has been partially funded by Italy's AESVI – Associazione Editori e Sviluppatori Videoludici Italiani.


Carbone, M. B. and Fassone, R. (Forthcoming 2020), Il Videogioco in Italia: Storie, Rappresentazioni, Contesti. Udine & Milano: Mimesis.

More research papers and dissemination initiatives are to follow on issues that include:

  • National financial frameworks aimed at supporting local industries;
  • Work and contractual conditions in the gaming industries;
  • Development policies and access to resources in different contexts;
  • Histories of designers from under-represented contexts and backgrounds;
  • The transnational circulation of digital games and its societal implications.

Digital Games Histories is currently looking for researchers and contributors. For more information: Dr Marco B Carbone marcobenoit.carbone@brunel.ac.uk