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Digital games histories

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

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Marco Benoît Carbone - Marco joined Brunel in December 2018 and is a Lecturer in Media, Culture & Society. He convenes and contributes to various modules in Research Methods, Media Histories, and Critical Theory. He has taught on cultural and media studies and social sciences at various universities at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including University College London, the University of the Arts, London (LCC and CSM), and LSBU.  Marco's main research interests are in regionalism and globalisation, identity and ethnicity, public histories and popular culture. He specialises in Critical Theory, Reception Studies, and Ethnography. Most of his interdisciplinary research revolves around the representational and social dynamics of construction of identity.  Prior to joining Brunel, his funded PhD ethnography in Intercultural Studies at UCL explored the contemporary reception of Greek antiquity in postcolonial perspective in the media and in everyday life in South Italy. He was also involved in a Higher Education research project on attainment gaps among underprivileged students in the UK, from an intersectional perspective looking at class and ethnicity.He has researched and published in areas that include heritage and historical reception; youth cultures; pornography and visual cultures; national representations in media industries; gender in the creative industries; systemic inequality in the UK Higher Education; representations of monstrosity and speciesism. Over the past decade, Marco has also contributed widely to the field of digital games studies as a Founding Editor of GAME Journal, and he is active in the British and Italian chapters of DiGRA. His latest work includes an edited collection on the national video games industry in Italy, part of a broader project on Global Gaming.  Marco is currently working on a monograph and a number of publications on the political and ideological reception of antiquity in popular histories and in the media representations of refugees. He is in the Editorial Board of JICMS – Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies and an advisor and peer-reviewer for various research communities.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 21/06/2021