Dr Paul Martin

Associate Professor in Digital Media and Communications, School of International Communications

International Communications / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Staff Profile Portrait Image



Room 333, IEB


University of Nottingham Ningbo China


199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China


+86 (0)574 8818 0172


BA, University College Dublin and DBS, Dublin 

MA, University College London 

PhD, Brunel University, London


I conduct research on computer games and computer game culture, focusing on three main areas: games and meaning; game cultures; and game studies as an academic field. In the first area I’ve published work on games as texts and the phenomenology of digital gameplay, and I have a particular interest in the relationship between embodiment and meaning. My work in game culture focuses on Chinese esports, and I am currently part of a project on the structure and meanings of esports at Chinese universities. Lastly, I investigate game studies itself as a scholarly project. In this area, I’ve published work on bibliometrics, game citation patterns and the regional turn in game studies.  

I am a founder member of the Chinese Digital Games Research Association (CDiGRA) and currently serve as its president. 


Research interests

Meaning, interpretation and digital games; phenomenology and digital games; Chinese computer game discourse; Chinese esports; citation patterns in game scholarship

Orcid Account: 0000-0002-3464-2103


Journals and book chapters

Martin, Paul. (2021). Realism in play: The uses of realism in computer game discourse. In D. Göttsche, R. Mucignat, & R. Weninger (Eds.), Landscapes of Realism: Rethinking Literary Realism in Comparative Perspectives, Vol. I (pp. 715–733). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/chlel.xxxii

Martin, Paul., & Song, W. (2021). Gaming on campus: The promotion of esports in Chinese universities. In D. Y. Jin (Ed.), Global esports: Transformation of cultural perceptions of competitive gaming (pp. 281–296). Bloomsbury Academic.

Martin, Paul. (2020). How to create different differences in game culture: A review of Future Gaming. Game Studies, 20(2). http://gamestudies.org/2002/articles/martin_review

Martin, Paul. (2020). The contradictions of pop nationalism in the manga Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There!, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 11(2): 167-181. doi: 10.1080/21504857.2018.1540439. 

Liboriussen, Bjarke, & Martin, Paul. (2020). Honour of Kings as Chinese popular heritage: Contesting authorized history in a mobile game. China Information, 34(3): 319-341. doi: 10.1177/0920203X20908120

Martin, P. (2019). Morphology and meaning in ‘Castle Wolfenstein 3D’. In E. Aarseth and S. Günzal (Eds.), Ludotopia. Spaces, Places and Territories in Computer Games (pp.271-294). Bielefeld: transcript. doi: 10.14361/9783839447307

Martin, P. (2018). Race, colonial history and national identity. Resident Evil 5 as a Japanese game. Games and Culture, 13(6). doi: 10.1177/1555412016631648

Martin, P. (2018). Carnal hermeneutics and the digital gameJournal of the Philosophy of Games, Online First. doi: 10.5617/jpg.2934.

Martin, P. (2018). The intellectual structure of game researchGame Studies, 18(1).

Martin, P. (2018). The contradictions of pop nationalism in the manga Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There!Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. (Online before print version). doi: 10.1080/21504857.2018.1540439.

Foster, D., Gilardi, F., Martin, P., Song, W., Towey, D. & White, A. (2018). Students as co-producers in a multidisciplinary software engineering project: addressing cultural distance and cross-cohort handoverTeachers and Teaching. doi: 10.1080/13540602.2018.1486295.

Liboriussen, B., & Martin, P. (2016). Regional game studiesGame Studies, 16(1).

Liboriussen, B., & Martin, P. (2016). Special issue: Games and gaming in ChinaGames and Culture, 11(3), 227-232. doi: 10.1177/1555412015615296

Martin, P. (2014). Socio-spatial relations in mobile gaming: Reconfiguration and contestation In X. Xu (Ed.), Mobile Media and Communications: Social, Political and Economic Implications (pp. 260-277). Hersey, PA: IGI Global.

Martin, P. (2014). A spatial analysis of the JBA headquarters in ‘Splinter Cell: Double Agent’Entertainment Computing, 5, 68-79. doi: 10.1016/j.entcom.2013.12.001

Martin, P. (2013). Embodiment in skateboarding videogamesInternational Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 9(2), 315-327. doi: 10.1386/padm.9.2.315_1

Martin, P. (2011). Ambivalence and recursion in Castlevania: Symphony of the NightEludamos, 5(1).

Martin, P. (2011). The pastoral and the sublime in Elder Scrolls IV: OblivionGame Studies, 11(3).

Martin, P. (2011). Toponymy in the videogame GTA: IVOnoma, 46, 5-28.

Conference proceedings

Frome, J. & Martin, P. (2019). Describing the game studies canon: A game citation analysis. In DiGRA ’19 – Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix, Kytoto.

Martin, P. (2015). A defence of academic game interpretationThe Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Berlin.

Martin, P. (2013). Landscape and gamescape in Dwarf FortressThe Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Bergen.  

Martin, P. (2012). A phenomenological account of the playing-body in avatar-based action gamesThe Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Madrid.