Games cannot be reduced to abstract rulesets or narrative structures. They exist in and emerge from distinct material cultures of play. They are designed and produced using resources and labor; they require boards, dice or electronic interfaces; and they interact with the player’s bodies and the spaces around them.

The first thematic special issue of Spiel|Formen investigates ludomaterialities, that is, the materiality of games and play from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is a contribution to the growing field of Material Game Studies which encompasses research on themes of corporeality and materiality in relation to games. 

Combining English translations of already published articles with new contributions, the issue links up German Game Studies’ discourse with the 'material turn' as proclaimed in the Anglo-American world, while explicitly addressing analogue game equipment at the same time. With the collected contributions, the volume focuses on the areas of design and fan production, interface research, exploitation of devices and data, media education and art history. The tensions between material, form and rules as well as between work and play are central themes that permeate the issue.


GamesCoop (Hg.):

Special Issue: Ludomaterialities


Claudius Clüver; Max Kanderske; Finja Walsdorff; Timo Schemer-Reinhard; Arvid Kammler; Tim Glaser:

Game, Play and Material. An Introduction

S. 1-12


Felix Raczkowski:

Paper and Polygon. Theming and Materiality in Game Studies and Game Design

S. 13-28

Claudius Clüver:

Dice, Cards and Boards. Material Elements of Games and the Play-Form

S. 29-51

Arvid Kammler:

Playing with Light. On the Materialities of Video Game Spaces

S. 52-64

Andreas Rauscher:

Materialities of the Mise-en-Game. Playing with Cineludic Forms

S. 65-86

Pablo Abend; Max Kanderske:

Playful Metadata. Between Performance Careers and Affect Modulation

S. 87-115

Timo Schemer-Reinhard:

On the Reification of Game Culture Using the Example of Sharing. How Multiple Social Practices Have Turned Into a Single Button

S. 117-137

Tim Glaser:

Steam and the Platformization of Virtual Goods. An Analysis of the Weapon Skin Economy in Counter Strike: Global Offensive

S. 139-162

Finja Walsdorff:

Video Game Modding and Money. From Precarious Playbor to Reimbursed Labor of Love

S. 163-188

Hanns Christian Schmidt:

Papercrafting Utopia. Gaming Literacies from Bauhaus to Nintendo Labo

S. 189-208

Ina Scheffler:

Lyonel Feininger's Locomotives and Trains. Experiencing Materials and Colors Through Toys as Learning Materials at the Bauhaus

S. 209-224

Claudius Clüver; Max Kanderske:

Losing the Game. How Blockchain and NFT Technology Turns Games Into Work and Destroys Humanity in the Process

S. 225-232