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Open access helps to build a larger and stronger Board Games Studies community

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Board games are not only entertainment, they are a complex cultural phenomenon worth studying from many viewpoints. The Board Games Studies Journal, taking advantage of openness, aims to integrate this new and interdisciplinary field of research. And since the current issue, it does it in cooperation with De Gruyter Open. I am pleased to present an interview with Professor Jorge Nuno Silva, the journal’s Managing Editor.

What was the origin of Board the Game Studies Journal?

Board Games Studies was first published in 1998, an initiative inspired by the colloquia on board games held at Leiden University, the Netherlands, in 1995 and 1997. The main idea behind its launch was to promote the historical and systematic understanding of board games​. This goal includes efforts by historians, archaeologists, linguists, mathematicians, psychologists, computer scientists, etc. The first seven volumes were published in the traditional, subscription based model.

Could you tell me a little bit about the field of Board Game Studies?

The study of board games was, until the beginning of 20th century, mainly a small part of historical research. Chess was the only game whose history deserved a vast bibliography. However, the second half of the century witnessed the broadening of the field. On one hand, several other games caught the attention of the researchers, like mancala and draughts; on the other hand, the connections between Board Games Studies and several other areas, like anthropology, archeology, psychology to name just a few, started being investigated.

A board game is more than the board and the pieces, it is a complex cultural phenomenon worth studying under many a viewpoint.

What is the usual background of researchers in this field, what are important areas of current studies?

Most experts have backgrounds in history, archaeology, linguistics, psychology, mathematics, computer science, culture studies etc.

Which audiences do the journal aims to reach?

As promoters of a young academic area, we want to reach the academic community. However, we also intend to be read by people that might have other kinds of expertise that could join our efforts in the understanding of Board Games.​ Not all of our potential readers are professional scholars, but its still probably the majority of them.

Why had you decided to make your journal open access? What role can open access play for the journal?

We started open access with our 8th issue in 2014, aiming to increase our audience. ​Open access gives us the opportunity to spread our message more effectively. It helps build a larger and stronger Board Games Studies community.​

How is the journal funded?

​The journal is funded by a Portuguese research center (CIUHCT), which is funded by the Minister of Science, and a private association Ludus​.

Why have you decided to start a cooperation with a professional publisher, De Gruyter Open?

We started cooperation with De Gruyter Open since the current, 10th issue of the journal, in order to promote our work and reach a large and sophisticated audience.​ Now I think it was the right move.

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