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Digital Games Research Association

Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) is a nonprofit international learned society whose work focuses on game studies and associated activities. DiGRA was formally established in 2003 in Finland.[1] It is a leading academic organization in the field of digital games.[1]

Digital Games Research Association
"DIGRA" in stylized green font with words "Digital Games Research Association" underneath
Formation 2003
Type Non profit
Headquarters Finland
William Huber

Frans Mäyrä was the Founding President from 2003-2006.[2] DiGRA aims to coordinate activities related to academic research of games in different disciplines, in different parts of the world. For this purpose, several local chapters and special interest groups (SIGs) have been set up within DiGRA. Together with local organisers, DiGRA has so far produced eight conferences. DiGRA has also supported smaller regional conferences and, starting in 2014, DiGRA's conference is run annually. The published papers from these conferences are collected and made available online in the DiGRA digital library. Starting in 2013, DiGRA began publishing, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University's ETC Press, an open access refereed journal called Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association (ToDiGRA).

In 2014, during the Gamergate controversy, DiGRA became the subject of a conspiracy theory promoted by YouTuber Carl Benjamin, who claimed that it was being co-opted by feminists.[3] Mia Consalvo, president of DiGRA at that time, said that the effort to discredit its members' research demonstrated "hostility to feminism" and a failure to understand academic research in humanities.[3]


Main ActivitiesEdit

DiGRA conferencesEdit

One of DiGRA’s primary activities is the organization of its yearly conference. The conference is not conceived as a significant revenue stream for the organization, but rather as a mechanism for encouraging and disseminating interest and scholarship in game studies. While the organization's board determines where the conference will be held each year, it is the result of a process that begins with an open "Call for Hosts". The final decision on who the conference host will be is based on a combination of factors. The primary ones include: how well-known, respected, and trusted the local organizers are; how much support the local team can count on; where the last conference was held (ideally it should move around different continents to allow a broader diversity of attendees); ease of access to the venue/location; and the expected expense of the conference to attendees.[4] To date, DiGRA has hosted, in collaboration with local organizers, the following conferences:

  • DiGRA 2003 – "Level Up", November 4–6, 2003, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • DiGRA 2005 – "Changing Views – Worlds in Play", June 16–20, 2005, Vancouver, Canada.
  • DiGRA 2007 – "Situated Play", September 24–28, 2007, Tokyo, Japan.
  • DiGRA 2009 – "Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory", September 1–4, 2009, West London, UK.
  • DiGRA Nordic 2010 – "Experiencing Games: Games, Play, and Players", August 16–17, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • DiGRA 2011 – "Think, Design, Play", September 14–17, 2011, Hilversum, The Netherlands.
  • DiGRA Nordic 2012 – "Local and Global: Games in Culture and Society", June 6–8, 2012, Tampere, Finland.
  • DiGRA 2013 – "DeFragging Game Studies", August 26–29, 2013, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
  • DiGRA Chinese 2014, April 19–20, Ningbo, China.
  • DiGRA Nordic 2014, May 29–30, Visby (Gotland), Sweden.
  • DiGRA Australia 2014 – "What is Game Studies in Australia?", June 17, Melbourne, Australia.
  • DiGRA 2014 – "<Active Noun> the <Verb> of game <Plural Noun>", August 3–6, 2014, Snowbird, Utah.
  • DiGRA 2015 – "Diversity of play: Games – Cultures – Identities", May 14–17, 2015, Lüneburg, Germany.
  • DiGRA Australia 2015 – "Inclusivity in Australian Games and Games Studies", June 29–30, Sydney, Australia.
  • DiGRA Chinese 2015 - "Program for Digital Games in China: Past, Present and Future", July 11-12, Beijing, China.
  • DiGRA Chinese 2016 - “Decoding the Academic-Industrial-Gameplay Complex: Digital Game Practice, Research and Study in China, Taiwan and Chinese-Speaking Regions”, July 1-2, Taichung City, Taiwan.
  • DiGRA and FDG 2016 - "First Joint International Conference", August 1-6, 2016, Dundee, UK

The conference in 2016 was held jointly with the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) [5] series, an annual conference event, organised by the Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games (SASDG) which emerged in 2009 from the Microsoft Academic Days on Game Development in Computer Science Education (GDCSE) which had been running from 2006.


Digital LibraryEdit

DiGRA archives and disseminates the proceedings of the various DiGRA conferences via its digital library. The DiGRA Digital Library is the full-text collection of all articles published in its conference proceedings as well as white papers. DiGRA uses an Open Access (OA) publishing model and authors retain copyright of their publications. DiGRA is granted non-exclusive publishing rights.

Transactions of Digital Games Research AssociationEdit

In 2013 DiGRA launched the journal Transactions of Digital Games Research Association (ToDiGRA). The journal is refereed, open access, and dedicated to furthering the aims of the organization by disseminating "the wide variety of research within the game studies community combining, for example, humane science with sociology, technology with design, and empirics with theory".[6] The journal does not accept unsolicited submissions, rather it publishes special issues that are usually dedicated, or drawn from, DiGRA conferences. Selected papers form the conference are usually invited to the journal where they can be further elaborated on and they undergo a round of peer review.


  1. ^ a b Crawford, Garry (2011-08-04). Online Gaming. Routledge. pp. 3–. ISBN 9781135178871. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Günzel, Stephan (2011). Digarec Keynote-Lectures 2009/10. Universitätsverlag Potsdam. pp. 14–. ISBN 9783869561158. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Straumsheim, Carl (November 11, 2014). "#Gamergate supporters attack Digital Games Research Association". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Zagal, J. (2016) "On Chairing a Games Research Conference", Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association, Vol.2 No. 2 pp.5-20,
  5. ^ FDG homepage,
  6. ^ ToDiGRA: Focus and Scope,

External linksEdit