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The intellectual structure of game research

Martin, Paul


Paul Martin


This article maps out the main areas of game research through an analysis of co-citation and keyword co-occurrence patterns in 24,128 game research documents between 1966 and 2016. The keyword analysis identifies 4 communities: Education/Culture, Technology, Effects and Medical. Co-citation analysis identifies 5 communities: Education, Humanities/Social Science, Computer Science, Communications, and Health. Burst analysis of keywords reveals when key research themes emerged across the period. Key findings are: the main division in game research is between Communications and Health on the one hand and Education, Humanities/Social Science and Computer Science on the other; design is an important bridge between different communities; and there exists a gap in research on the game industry. The research is a broad overview and future research that targets specific communities to tease out more specific patterns is recommended, as is research targeting non-English language sources.


Martin, P. (2018). The intellectual structure of game research

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 10, 2018
Publication Date May 22, 2018
Deposit Date May 23, 2018
Publicly Available Date May 23, 2018
Journal Game Studies
Electronic ISSN 1604-7982
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 1
Keywords game research, invisible colleges, keyword analysis, co-citation analysis, bibliometrics
Public URL
Publisher URL


TheIntellectualStructureOfGameResearch_NottEprint.pdf (6.4 Mb)

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