University of Nottingham Ningbo China
School of
International Communications
  • Intranet

Dr Paul Martin

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

Paul Martin

Personal details


Trent 436,

199 Taikang East Road,

Ningbo, 315100,   

+86 (0)574 8818 0172 profile


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. 

Teaching and learning


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

Liboriussen, B., & Martin, P. (2020). Honour of Kings as Chinese popular heritage: Contesting authorized history in a mobile game. China Information, 1–23. 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 game. Journal of the Philosophy of Games, Online First. doi: 10.5617/jpg.2934.

Martin, P. (2018). The intellectual structure of game research. Game 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 studies. Game Studies, 16(1).

Liboriussen, B., & Martin, P. (2016). Special issue: Games and gaming in China. Games 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 videogames. International 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 Night. Eludamos, 5(1).

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

Martin, P. (2011). Toponymy in the videogame GTA: IV. Onoma, 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 interpretation. The Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Berlin.

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

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

  • Book Reviews

Martin, P. (2020). How to create different differences in game culture: A review of Future GamingGame Studies20(2).