First Person Scholar

First Person Scholar (FPS) is an online middle-state games studies journal, based at the Games Institute of the University of Waterloo. What does that mean exactly? Middle-state writing occupies the space between traditional academic writing done by professors and students and blog style writing that is more informal and conversational in tone. First Person Scholar publishes essays, commentaries, interviews, and book reviews related to games and games culture. We don’t just publish students and professors either; we publish writing from members of the games industry, activists, and enthusiasts. In addition, FPS also runs a monthly podcast where members of the team and special guests discuss the latest game releases and trends.

The FPS team is comprised of graduate student members across academic disciplines including a full editorial team, podcast editor, web and social media team, and faculty advisors. All documents are reviewed by the editorial staff prior to publication. Supported by the IMMERSe Network, student researchers at the University of Waterloo are encouraged to translate their games related research into a medium that can reach a global audience through this middle-state publication.

Creating a Platform for Middle-state Games Publication

The goal of FPS is to publish work on games that is accessible to everyone both in terms of language and method. Advocating for a new dynamic, we aim to demonstrate our relevancy through timely, rigorous, and accessible criticism that challenges all players to engage in critical thinking in relation to games. Anyone can go to and read our articles, unlike many academic publications which require a university library card to access. Our articles are written with a more general audience in mind, without sacrificing any larger theoretical concepts that author may wish to employ. Our team works hard to ensure that our author’s arguments are clear and concise, while still publishing ground-breaking work in the field in an accessible language and style. FPS is constantly seeking unique and diverse perspectives that may be underrepresented in games writing, as well as those that exist between the industry-driven, journalistic view, and the more traditional academic position.  

In line with many themes in IMMERSe, First Person Scholar aims to create and sustain a critical conversation to challenge our understanding of games and what they are capable of. Examining the social implications of games, educational value, as well as the different forms that immersion can take in the games world, FPS offers content for readers of a wide range of interests.

Our articles have appeared on academic course reading lists, The Huffington Post, and The New Yorker.