Before the late 20th century, the academic study of games was mostly a topic that was tangentially related to communication at best. Since the advent of digital games as a popular entertainment medium and a significant cultural force beginning in about the 1970s, however, scholarship related to games has taken a prominent place in the field of communication. While opinions differ among scholars as to what methodological approaches to scholarship on games are described by the term game studies, a broad understanding of the term can be used to encompass all research on games and their messages, mechanics, users, effects, and social and cultural roles. This entry provides a review of the ways in which the term game studies has been applied to ...
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