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Games & Gaming @ IUB

One-stop guide to all things games, gaming, and game studies at IU Libraries and the Bloomington campus

Welcome & Introduction

Welcome to the Games & Gaming at Indiana University Libraries guide

This resource is meant to help introduce and orient users to all of the collections relevant to games and gaming at IU Libraries. This includes an overview of research resources relevant to game studies, game history, and game design; a summary of our electronic game, game console, and tabletop game collections; information about using our collections and the Media Services unit of the Libraries; and special features relevant to gaming, such as an introduction to gaming "generations," identity and representation in games, and a playlist of video game music from across time. 

The subject specialists and collection managers for the gaming collections are nicholae cline & Monique Threatt. If you would like to contact them, please use the profile box located on the left-hand side of this page. If you would like to request a purchase for our collections, you can use this form. We also welcome potential donations of games and gaming-related items for our collections; please reach out to us if you would like to discuss a potential donation.

To navigate through this guide, you can use the links we've provided in this introduction or the navigation menu on the left-hand side of the guide.

Featured | Music in Games

Music has long been an integral part of the experience of games, with sound being just as important a design element as the visual. In many cases, the composers of video game soundtracks have become well-known for their beautiful work, from Koji Kondo's formative contributions to early Nintendo games to the haunting compositions of Akira Yamaoka for the Silent Hill series. Moreover, it was announced in 2022 that video game scores will be celebrated in their own category for the first time at the Grammy's in 2023, joining the BAFTA's in acknowledging and further cementing the significance and legacy of music in games.

In this feature and playlist, we want to highlight some of the most memorable musical moments and soundtracks across video game history, from the bleeps and bloops of Super Mario Bros to the orchestral beauty of games like Journey and Kentucky Route Zero. To learn more, consult some of the resources and lists we used to create this overview below, as well as books from our collection relevant to game music in the second tab of this feature.

Featured | Transgender Worldmaking in Video Games

Screen grab from GENDERWRECKED (2018)

Videogames and gaming in general has often created spaces where people can escape, join a new community, and redefine reality - even if only for a couple hours. As such, videogames have become a wonderful resource for gender diverse and transgender people as they can log in and change how they appear in a world that they control. This feature shares the concept of transgender video game worldmaking and character building as well as spotlighting several games that transgender and gender diverse people created in order to process the stresses and pressures of gender norms in everyday life. 

Further Readings

  • Rivera, Sien. 2022. “From Battleground to Playground: The Video Game Avatar as Transitional Phenomenon for a Transgender Patient.” Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 70 (3): 485–510. doi:10.1177/00030651221104487
  • Kosciesza, A.J. 2023. “The Moral Service of Trans NPCs: Examining the Roles of Transgender Non-Player Characters in Role-Playing Video Games.” Games and Culture 18 (2): 189-208–208. doi:10.1177/15554120221088118.
  • McKenna, J.L., C.R. Williams, K. McGregor, E.R. Boskey, and Y.-C. Wang. 2022. ““You Can’t Be Deadnamed in a Video Game”: Transgender and Gender Diverse Adolescents’ Use of Video Game Avatar Creation for Gender-Affirmation and Exploration.” Journal of LGBT Youth, January. doi:10.1080/19361653.2022.2144583.
  • Thach, Hibby. 2021. “A Cross-Game Look at Transgender Representation in Video Games.” Press Start 7 (1): 19–44.
  • Shaw, A. 2009. “Putting the Gay in Games: Cultural Production and GLBT Content in Video Games.” Games and Culture 4 (3): 228-253–253. doi:10.1177/1555412009339729.
  • Heritage, Frazer. 2022. “Politics, Pronouns and the Players: Examining How Videogame Players React to the Inclusion of a Transgender Character in World of Warcraft.” Gender & Language 16 (1): 26–51. doi:10.1558/genl.20250.
  • Tarik Sabry. 2017. “Talking to Gaymers: Questioning Identity, Community and Media Representation.” Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 9 (1). doi:10.16997/wpcc.150. 
  • Ruberg, Bo, Chris J. Young, and Greig de Peuter. 2019. “The Precarious Labor of Queer Indie Game-Making: Who Benefits from Making Video Games ‘Better’?” Television & New Media 20 (8): 778–88. doi:10.1177/1527476419851090.
  • Hester, Jennessa. 2023. “Nintendo Switch-Ing Genders: Bowsette and the Potentiality of Transgender Video Game Mechanics.” Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation, March, 1–15. doi:10.1080/01973762.2023.2184234.