Game Research Lab selected publications 2002 – 2019

This is a selected publication list of the Gamelab research team. See also the list of Gamelab PhD and Master’s theses. There are also more information about recently published research available at the pages of the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies.


Alha, K., Koskinen, E., Paavilainen, J., & Hamari, J. (2019): Why do people play location-based augmented reality games: A study on Pokémon GO. Computers in Human Behavior, 93, 114–122.

Mäyrä, F., & Tyni, H. (2019): Transmedial Playthings: Games, Toys and Playful Engagement in Storyworlds. In: Coelsch-Foisner, Sabine, and Christopher Herzog, eds. Transmedialisierung: Wissenschaft und Kunst. Kulturelle Dynamiken / Cultural Dynamics. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter (2019).

Stenros, J. (2019): Guided by Transgressions: Defying Norms as an Integral Part of Play. In Jørgensen, Kristine and Karlsen, Faltin (eds.): Transgressions in Games and Play. Cambridge; The MIT Press.

Sotamaa, O. & Stenros, J. (2019): Through a Shot Glass, Darkly: The Study of Games in the Light of Drinking Games. Games and Culture, Vol 14, No 1.


Kultima, A., & Stenros, J. (eds.) (2018): Minun pelihistoriani. Henkilökohtaisia tarinoita suomalaisten pelaamisesta ja leikkimisestä. TRIM Research Reports.

Macey, J., & Hamari, J. (2018). Investigating relationships between video gaming, spectating esports, and gambling. Computers in Human Behavior80, 344-353.


Paavilainen J., Alha K., & Korhonen H. (2017). A Review of Social Features in Social Network Games. Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association 3 (2), 113-142.

Paavilainen J., Korhonen H., Alha K., Stenros J., Koskinen E., & Mäyrä F. (2017). The Pokémon GO Experience: A Location-Based Augmented Reality Mobile Game Goes Mainstream. Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York: ACM, 2493-2498.

Stenros, J. (2017): “The Game Definition Game: A Review.” Games and Culture, vol. 12, no 6.

Sjöblom, M., Törhönen, M., Hamari, J., & Macey, J. (2017). Content structure is king: An empirical study on gratifications, game genres and content type on Twitch. Computers in Human Behavior73, 161-171.

Tyni, H. (2017). Double Duty: Crowdfunding and the Evolving Game Production Network. Games and Culture. First published online on Dec 27th, 2017. doi:1555412017748108.


Alha, K. Koskinen E., Paavilainen J., & Hamari J. (2016). Critical Acclaim and Commercial Success in Mobile Free-to-Play Games. Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG.

Kultima A., Alha K., & Nummenmaa T. (2016). Design Constraints in Game Design Case: Survival Mode Game Jam 2016. Proceedings of the International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons, and Game Creation Events. ACM, 22-29.

Sotamaa, O. & Stenros, J. (2016): “Through a Shot Glass, Darkly: The Study of Games in the Light of Drinking Games.” Games and Culture. Available in OnlineFirst.

Tyni H. & Sotamaa, O. (2016). Material Culture and Angry Birds. In M. J. P. Wolf (ed.) Video Games and Gaming Culture. Routledge.


Hamari, J., Keronen, L., & Alha, K. (2015). Why do people play games? – A review of empirical studies on game adoption and use. In Proceedings of the 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, USA, January 5-8, 2015.

Hamari, J., & Nousiainen, T. (2015). Why Do Teachers Use Game-Based Learning Technologies? – The Role of Individual and Institutional ICT Readiness. In Proceedings of the 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, USA, January 5-8, 2015.

Paavilainen J., Alha K., & Korhonen H. (2015). Domain-Specific Playability Problems in Social Network Games. International Journal of Arts and Technology. 8(4), 282-306.

Stenros, J. (2015): “Behind Games: Playful Mindset as Basis for Ludic Transformative Practice.” In Deterding, Sebastian & Walz, Steffen P. (eds.): The Gameful World. Approaches, Issues, Applications. Cambridge; The MIT Press.


Alha, K., Koskinen, E., Paavilainen, J., Hamari, J., & Kinnunen, J. (2014). Free-to-Play Games: Professionals’ Perspectives. In Proceedings of Nordic Digra 2014, Gotland, Sweden, May 29, 2014.

Hamari, J., Huotari, K., & Tolvanen, J. (2014). Gamification and economics. In S. P. Walz & S. Deterding (Eds.), The Gameful World: Approaches, Issues, Applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hamari, J., & Koivisto, J. (2014). Measuring Flow in Gamification: Dispositional Flow Scale-2. Computers in Human Behavior, 40, 133-143.  DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.07.048

Hamari, J., Koivisto, J., & Pakkanen, T. (2014). Do Persuasive Technologies Persuade? – A Review of Empirical Studies. In: Spagnolli, A. et al. (Eds.), Persuasive Technology, LNCS 8462 (pp. 118-136). Springer International Publishing Switzerland. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-07127-5_11

Hamari, J., Koivisto, J., & Sarsa, H. (2014). Does Gamification Work? – A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on Gamification. In Proceedings of the 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, USA, January 6-9, 2014. DOI: 10.1109/HICSS.2014.377

Hamari, J., & Tuunanen, J. (2014). Player Types: A Meta-synthesis. Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association, 1 (2), 29-53.

Harviainen, J. T., Lainema, T. & Saarinen, E. (2014). Player-reported impediments to game-based learning. Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association, 1 (2), 55-83.

Koivisto, J., & Hamari, J. (2014). Demographic differences in perceived benefits from gamification. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 179-188. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.007

Oulasvirta, A., Suomalainen, T., Hamari, J., Lampinen, A., & Karvonen, K. (2014). Transparency of Intentions Decreases Privacy Concerns in Ubiquitous Surveillance. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17 (10), 633-638.

Paavilainen, J., Korhonen, H., & Alha, K. (2014). Common Playability Problems in Social Network Games. In Proceedings of CHI ’14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. DOI:

Paavilainen, J., Alha, K. & Korhonen, H. (2014). Domain-Specific Playability Problems in Social Network Games. International Journal of Arts & Technology special issue on Advances on Computer Entertainment (in print).

Shernoff, D. J., Hamari, J., & Rowe, E. (2014). Measuring Flow in Educational Games & Gamified Learning Environments. In Proceedings of EDMedia World Conference on Educational Media and Technology, Tampere, Finland, June 23-26, 2014.

Tyni, H. & Sotamaa, O. (2014). Assembling a game development scene? Uncovering Finland’s largest demo party. Game: The Italian Journal of Game Studies 1 (3), 109-119. URL:

Stenros, J. (2014).In Defence of a Magic Circle: The Social, Mental and Cultural Boundaries of Play. Transactions of Digital Games Research Association, 1(2), 147-185. URL:


Hamari, J. (2013). Transforming Homo Economicus into Homo Ludens: A Field Experiment on Gamification in a Utilitarian Peer-To-Peer Trading Service. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 12 (4), 236-245.

Hamari, J. (2013). Pelillistäminen. In J. T. Harviainen, M. Meriläinen & T. Tossavainen (Eds.) Pelikasvattajan käsikirja. Helsinki: Mediakasvatus- ja kuvaohjelmakeskus.

Hamari, J., & Koivisto, J. (2013). Social motivations to use gamification: an empirical study of gamifying exercise. In Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Information Systems, Utrecht, Netherlands, June 5–8, 2013. DOI:

Harviainen, J. T., Lainema, T., Suominen, J. & Soinila, E. (2013). Editorial: Development of a Finnish community of game scholars. Simulation & Gaming, 44(6), 762-766.

Harviainen, J. T., Meriläinen, M. & Tossavainen, T. (Eds.) (2013). Pelikasvattajan käsikirja. Helsinki: Mediakasvatus- ja kuvaohjelmakeskus.

Harviainen, J. T. & Savonsaari, R. (2013). Larps in high schools. In A. Moseley & N. Whitton (Eds.), New traditional games for learning (pp 134-145). London: Routledge.

Mäyrä, F., van Looy, J., & Quandt, T. (2013). Disciplinary Identity of Game Scholars: An Outline. In Proceedings of DiGRA 2013 – DeFragging Game Studies. Atlanta, GA, USA: DiGRA. Retrieved from

Paavilainen, J., Hamari, J., Stenros, J. & Kinnunen, J. (2013). Social Network Games: Players’ Perspectives. Simulation & Gaming 44 (6), 794-820. URL:

Stenros, J. (2013). Between Game Facilitation and Performance: Interactive Actors and Non-Player Characters in Larps. International Journal of Role-Playing, No. 4, 78-95.

Tyni, H., Kultima, A. & Mäyrä, F. (2013). Dimensions of Hybrid in Playful Products. Proceedings of 17th International Academic MindTrek Conference (October 3, 2013). ACM, New York.


Harviainen, J. T. (2012). Ritualistic games, boundary control and information uncertainty. Simulation & Gaming, 43(3), 506-527.

Harviainen, J. T., Gough, R. D. & Sköld, O. (2012) Information phenomena in multiplayer game related social media. In G. Widén & K. Holmberg (Eds.), Social information research (pp. 149-171). Bradford: Emerald.

Huotari, K., & Hamari, J. (2012). Defining Gamification – A Service Marketing Perspective. In Proceedings of The 16th International Academic Mindtrek Conference, Tampere, Finland, October 3-5, 2012.

Kinnunen, J., Rautio, E., Alha, K. & Paavilainen, J. (2012). Gambling in Social Networks: Gaming Experiences of Finnish Online Gamblers. In Proceedings of 2012 DiGRA Nordic. URL:

Stenros, J., Waern, A. & Montola, M. (2012). Studying the Elusive Experience in Pervasive Games. Simulation and Gaming, 34(3), 339-355. Sage.

Mäyrä, F. (2012). Playful mobile communication: Services supporting the culture of play. Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture, 3(1), 55–70. doi:10.1386/iscc.3.1.55_1

Karppi, T. & Sotamaa, O. (2012). Rethinking Playing Research: DJ HERO and Methodological Observations in the Mix. Simulation and Gaming, 43(3), 413-429.

Tuunanen, J., & Hamari, J. (2012). Meta-synthesis of Player Typologies. Proceedings of Nordic Digra 2012 Conference: Local and Global – Games in Culture and Society, Tampere, Finland, June 6-8, 2012.


Harviainen, J. T. (2011). Sadomasochist role-playing as live-action role-playing: a trait-descriptive analysis. International Journal of Role-Playing 2, 59-70.

Kallio, K. P., Mäyrä, F., & Kaipainen, K. (2011). At Least Nine Ways to Play: Approaching Gamer Mentalities. Games and Culture, 6(4), 327 –353. doi:10.1177/1555412010391089

Kirman, B., Björk, S., Deterding, S., Paavilainen, J. & Rao, V. (2011) Social Game Studies in CHI 2011. In Proceedings of CHI’11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 17-20. DOI:

Paavilainen, J., Korhonen, H. & Saarenpää, H. (2011). Comparing Two Playability Heuristic Sets with Expert Review Method: A Case Study of Mobile Game Evaluation. In Lugmayer et al. (Eds.). Media in the Ubiquitous Era: Ambient, Social and Gaming Media. IGI Global, 29-52.

Tyni, H., Sotamaa, O., & Toivonen, S. (2011). Howdy pardner! On free-to-play, sociability and rhythm design in FrontierVille. In A. Lugmayr (ed.) Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments. New York: ACM, 22-29. URL:

Stenros, J., Paavilainen, J. & Mäyrä, F. (2011). Social Interaction in Games. International Journal of Arts and Technology, 4(3), 342-358. URL:

Stenros, J. & Montola, M. (2011). The Making of Nordic Larp: Documenting a Tradition of Ephemeral Co-Creative Play. Proceedings of Think Design Play, Digra 2011 Conference. Digra Digital Library. URL:

Stenros, J., Holopainen, J., Waern, A., Montola, M. & Ollila, E. (2011).Narrative Friction in ARGs: Design Insights from Conspiracy For Good. Proceedings of Think Design Play, Digra 2011 Conference. Digra Digital Library. URL:

Stenros, J. & Montola, M. (2011).Parasocial Interaction in Pervasive Role-Play: The Case of Sanningen om Marika. Henriksen, Thomas Duus, Bierlich, Christian, Hansen, Kasper Friis & Kølle, Valdemar (eds): Think Larp. Academic Writings from KP2011. Copenhagen: Rollespielsakademiet. URL:

Toivonen, S. & Sotamaa, O. (2011). Of discs, boxes and cartridges: the material life of digital games. In Proceedings of Think Design Play: The fifth international conference of the Digital Research Association (DIGRA). Hilversum: Utrecht University.


Hamari, J., & Lehdonvirta, V. (2010). Game design as marketing: How game mechanics create demand for virtual goods. International Journal of Business Science & Applied Management, 5 (1), 14-29.

Kultima A., & Alha K. (2010). “Hopefully Everything I’m Doing Has to Do with Innovation” Games industry professionals on innovation in 2009. Proceedings of the 2nd International IEEE Consumer Electronic Society’s Games Innovation Conference GIC 2010: IEEE, 41-48.

Paavilainen, J. (2010). Critical Review on Video Game Evaluation Heuristics: Social Games Perspective. In the Proceedings of 2010 Conference on Future Play. DOI:

Paavilainen, J., Saarenpää, H., Syvänen, A., Seisto, A. & Federley, M. (2010). Creating a Design Framework for Educational Language Games: A Hybrid Media Scenario Study. International Journal of Intelligent Games and Simulation 6(1), 3.

Stenros, J. & Montola, M. (eds.) (2010). Nordic Larp. Stockholm: Fëa Livia. URL:

Sotamaa, O. (2010). When The Game is Not Enough: Motivations and Practices Among Computer Game Modding Culture. Games and Culture 5 (3), 239-255.

Sotamaa, O. (2010). Play, Create, Share? Console Gaming, Player Production and Agency. Fibreculture Journal 16, FCJ-109.

Sotamaa O. (2010). Game Achievements, Collecting and Gaming Capital. In K. Mitgutsch, C. Klimmt, H. Rosenstingl (eds.) Exploring the Edges of Gaming. Wien: Braumüller, 239-250.


Montola, M., Stenros, J. & Waern, A. (2009). Pervasive Games. Theory and  Design. Morgan Kaufmann.

Nummenmaa, T., Kuittinen, J., & Holopainen, J. (2009). Simulation as a game design tool. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Computer Enterntainment Technology (ACE ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 232-239.  URL:

Waern, A., Montola, M. & Stenros, J. (2009). The Three-Sixty Illusion: Designing for Immersion in Pervasive Games. Proceedings of  CHI 2009. Boston, USA.


Harviainen, J. T. (2008). A hermeneutical approach to role-playing analysis. International Journal of Role-Playing 1, 66-78.

Mäyrä, F. (2008). An Introduction to Game Studies: Games in Culture. London & New York: Sage Publications.

Montola, M. & Stenros, J.(eds.) (2008). Playground Worlds. Creating and Evaluating Experiences of Role-Playing Games. Jyväskylä, Ropecon. The book for Solmukohta 2008. URL:


Kuittinen, J., Kultima, A., Niemelä, J. & Paavilainen, J. (2007). Casual Games Discussion. In Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Future Play. DOI:

Mäyrä, F. (2007). The Contextual Game Experience: On the Socio-Cultural Contexts for Meaning in Digital Play. In: Proceedings of DiGRA 2007 – Situated Play. Tokyo: DiGRA Japan. Retrieved from

Sotamaa, O. (2007). Let Me Take You to The Movies: Productive Players, Commodification, and Transformative Play. Convergence, 13:4 (October 2007), 383-401.

Sotamaa, O. (2007). On modder labour, commodification of play, and mod competitions, First Monday, 12:9 (September 2007).

Stenros, J., Montola, M., Waern, A. & Jonsson, S. (2007). Play it for Real: Sustained Seamless Life/Game Merger in Momentum. In Baba, Akira (ed.): Proceedings of DiGRA 2007 Situated Play conference. 121-129. September 24.-28. The University of Tokyo. URL:


Ermi, L., & Mäyrä, F. (2005). Fundamental Components of the Gameplay Experience: Analysing Immersion. In Proceedings of DiGRA 2005. Vancouver: DiGRA & University of Vancouver. Retrieved from

Ermi, L., & Mäyrä, F. (2005). Player-Centred Game Design: Experiences in Using Scenario Study to Inform Mobile Game Design. Game Studies, 5(1). Retrieved from

Sotamaa, O., Ermi, L., Jäppinen, A., Laukkanen, T., Mäyrä, F., Nummela, J. (2005). The Role of Players in Game Design: A Methodological Perspective. In Proceedings of the 6th DAC Conference. Copenhagen: IT University of Copenhagen, 34-42.


Järvinen, A., Heliö, S., & Mäyrä, F. (2002). Communication and Community in Digital Entertainment Services: Prestudy Research Report. Tampere: Tampere University Press. Retrieved from

Sotamaa, O. (2002). All The World’s A Botfighter Stage: Notes on Location-based Multi-player Gaming. In F. Mäyrä (ed.) Computer Games and Digital Cultures: Conference Proceedings. Tampere: Studies in Information Sciences, University of Tampere, 35-44.

Mäyrä (ed.) (2002). Computer Games and Digital Cultures: Conference Proceedings. Tampere: Studies in Information Sciences, University of Tampere.

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