SA 443: Ethnographic Sensibility in Action: The Social Lives of Video Games

Contact info

For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Sociology / Anthropology by email or Ask a librarian.

For additional resources, also check the Library guide for Interactive Arts and Technology.

Other Library guides

You may also wish to consult the library guides for Anthropology and Interactive Arts and Technology.

Selected reference works

Encyclopedias, handbooks or textbooks provide overviews, definitions and identify key authors and ideas.

Search for "video games" within these reference books.  Be sure to put quotation marks (" ") around the phrase, "video games."

  • Construct game development beginner's guide : a guide to escalate beginners to intermediate game creators through teaching practical game creation using Scirra Construct [online]
  • Encyclopedia of video games : the culture, technology, and art of gaming [online]
  • The game developer's dictionary : a multidisciplinary lexicon for professionals and students [print]
  • Plunkett's games, apps & social media industry almanac 2023 : the only complete guide to the business of games, mobile applications and social media [online]
  • Routledge companion to actor-network theory [online]
  • Sage eReference
  • Virtual lives a reference handbook


Databases for journal articles

How to find journal articles" tutorial. 

The databases below will provide articles on information technology and society.  If the full-text of the article is not available, use the "Get@SFU" link to find it.  For more examples of search strategies and the keyword combinations that you could try, see the examples under the section, "Finding books - Keyword searches for topics" in this guide.

Example:   "video games" AND (sociolog* OR anthropolog* OR ethnolog* OR social OR societ*)

Selected journals

Find books in the Library

Library Catalogue search guide

Search the SFU Library Catalogue.   You can also use  SFU Library Catalogue: Advanced Search

Books by title

Books can be searched by title using the "Browse by title" search, Catalogue Search or the Advanced SearchThe "Browse by title" will not show book chapters or book reviews.

Keyword searches for topics

You can limit search results by "subject" and "resource type" of "books"


Combine different concepts using AND
Combine same concepts using OR
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
Use brackets for synonyms
Use asterisk (*) for different endings of words

Note:  For Catalogue Search, when combining concepts, use CAPITAL letters ( "OR", "AND")

Selected books

Below are examples of books from the results lists of the keyword searches above.

  • The Formation of Gaming Culture : UK Gaming Magazines, 1981-1995 [online]
  • Game changers : from Minecraft to misogyny, the fight for the future of videogames [print]
  • Game culture reader [online]
  • Gamer Nation : video games and American culture [online]
  • Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture [online]
  • Gaming disability : disability perspectives on contemporary video games [online]
  • Gaming Lives in the Twenty-First Century : Literate Connections [online]
  • Gaming representation : race, gender, and sexuality in video games [online] [print]
  • Gender and the Superhero Narrative [online]
  • How games move us: emotion by design [print]
  • Intersectional tech : Black users in digital gaming [online]
  • Manifestations of queerness in video games [online]
  • Masculinities in Play [online]
  • Playing with Feelings : Video Games and Affect [online] [print]
  • Queer Game Studies [online[
  • Queerness in Play [online]
  • Science fiction video games [online]
  • Technically wrong : sexist apps, biased algorithms, and other threats of toxic tech [online] [print]
  • Social exclusion, power and video game play new research in digital media and technology [online] [print]
  • Transnational Contexts of Culture, Gender, Class, and Colonialism in Play: Video Games in East Asia [online]
  • Understanding video games : the essential introduction [online] [print]
  • Video Games As Culture: Considering the Role and Importance of Video Games in Contemporary Society [online]
  • Values at play in digital games [online] [print]
  • Wome in classical video games [online]

Browse books by selected subject headings

Check subject headings of relevant titles in your list and click on the "subject" links.  You can also "browse by subject" to find books on a topic.  Examples  of relevant subject headings, below.

Databases for electronic books

Search:  "video game*" and design*

  • Springer LINK: Includes many titles on Computing Science and Engineering
  • Safari Tech Books Online: Electronic books on computer science and technical topics.
    • Within Safari, enter your SFU email address.  Please take a look at the "privacy" policy notice fpr this database.

Tutorials for creating games

  • LinkedIn Learning (LIL)  LinkedIn Learning (LIL) provides thousands of in-depth step-by-step video tutorials, taught by experts, on software development, design practices, business skills, web development, and photography. LIL was formerly known as
    • Note: the above link will take you to a page of instructions.  To access the tutorials, click on the box which says, "I have read and agree to the SFU Terms of Service for LinkedIn Learning."
    • Within the database, search for "video games"

Games room at Fraser Library (SFU Surrey)

Writing help

Selected resources on writing essays: