Authors should download and carefully read the Guide for Authors. In addition to these guidelines, Authors should also be familiar with the journal’s focus and scope.

All submissions should use the Press Start template and should be no more than 8000 words including references. Since this is a student journal, authors must be current students or recent graduates (roughly within one year of graduation).

Note that if you are submitting only an abstract, you do not need to use the template and you can submit it just as you would a full article. Please include (abstract only) in the filename.

All submissions should be written in English. As a student-run journal with an international editorial board, we encourage non-native English speakers to submit their work. The Editorial Board will, to the best of our capacity, help those submitting to meet the editorial guidelines for the journal and a good standard of academic English. However, all submissions should be as well-written and clearly structured as possible. The editorial team can carry out some basic copy editing but submissions that contain a substantial number of typographical or grammatical errors will be returned to the author for revision. We can accept submissions written in American or International English, provided that the chosen form is used consistently throughout. Names of people, organisations, public events, game titles, other commercial products or major events must be capitalised. The titles of published work, including games, should be italicised.

Press Start uses the American Psychological Association (APA) 7th edition citation and formatting standards. For example:

Barr, M. (2014). Learning through collaboration: Video game wikis. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2(2), 119–133.

Barr, M. (2013). Computer games and learning: The current state of play. In B. Bigl & S. Stoppe (Eds.), Playing with virtuality: Theories and methods of computer game studies (pp. 229–312). Peter Lang.

BioWare. (2009). Dragon age: Origins [PlayStation 3]. Electronic Arts. 

Hemovich, V. (2017). “Charlie Oscar Delta”: An exploration of militarism and the Call of Duty franchise. In N. Garrelts (Ed.), Responding to Call of Duty: Critical essays on the game franchise (pp. 5–17). McFarland.

Nintendo EPD. (2017). The legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild [Nintendo Switch]. Nintendo.

Payne, M. T. (2012). Marketing military realism in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Games and Culture, 7(4), 305–327.


Please consult the official style guide here and be sure to double check that your citations and references are correct before submitting your essay. More examples of APA referencing style can be found for free on the Purdue University Web site here

URLs should be included in the references list. rather than reproduced in the main body of the text. When referring to commercial game titles, the game title should be italicised and the developer and year of release indicated the first time it's mentioned e.g. Dark Souls (FromSoftware, 2011). Please remember that game titles need to be cited and referenced in the same way you would books (but with developer in place of author). Do not list games in a separate “ludology” section. Titles are listed in sentence case in the references, including for published works like books or games, whereas journal titles are written in title case. 

Published pieces must also be original. The submitted work must be entirely that of the stated Authors, and be properly referenced, with due consideration of previous scholarship. All of the named Authors must have made a substantial contribution to the work. As a basic requirement, the work must not have been published elsewhere (e.g. in another journal). As a student journal, we are actively seeking essays, theses, and dissertations that students have produced as part of their studies and, as such, it is perfectly acceptable for such pieces of work to be submitted. However, the Author(s) must ensure that any research involving participants has been approved by the ethics board of the institution where the work was carried out and that there are no conflicts of interest.

An act of plagiarism is defined by the ACM as one “in which one misrepresents ideas, words, computer codes or other creative expression as one’s own… (and) can also represent a violation of copyright law, punishable by statute”. The ACM illustrates three forms of plagiarism:

  • "verbatim copying, near verbatim copying, or purposely paraphrasing portions of another author's paper";
  • "copying elements of another author's paper", e.g. illustrations or equations "that are not common knowledge"; or "paraphrasing sentences without citing the source"; and,
  • "verbatim copying... without clearly differentiating what... has been copied... not citing the source properly".

Neither the Editor nor the Editorial Board of Press Start will accept responsibility for authors who commit an act of plagiarism.

Copyright for papers and articles published in this journal is retained by the Authors, with first publication rights granted to the University of Glasgow. It is a condition of publication that authors license their paper or article under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence. Authors who make a successful submission to Press Start agree that the contents and appearance of their submissions may be altered and edited prior to publication.

Authors are also expected to respect the ownership of material by other individuals and organisations. Papers must not contain any imagery, data, quotations (e.g. from manuals or books), statements or linked media, which is copyright of other people or organisations, without written permission from the owners. Likewise, Authors must not submit material, which infringes any trademarks or patents owned by any person or organisation.

If a submission contains any material which is copyright of people or an organisation (with permission), the Authors must attribute it to the relevant people or organisation. The Editor and Editorial Board of Press Start will not accept responsibility for Authors publishing work in breach of copyright, trademark, patent or other rights of people or organisations.

All private and commercially sensitive material should be omitted from any files being submitted for consideration by the Editorial Board. Authors must seek permission from the relevant people and organisations before attempting to distribute and publish any information, which is commercially sensitive or personally private. Neither the Editor nor Editorial Board of Press Start will accept responsibility if an author publishes sensitive information without authorisation.

A statement on Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice may be viewed here.