Bio and Publications

Jan Švelch is a game production studies scholar, currently based at Charles University, Faculty of Social Sciences. He is a member of the Prague Game Production Studies Group. His research interests include game production studies, industrial reflexivity, video game voice acting, paratextuality, monetization, and analog games such as Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. In 2018-2020, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies at Tampere University in Finland. In 2017, he defended his doctoral thesis about paratextuality in the context of video games and audience reception of video game trailers (PDF). Besides research, he has more than fifteen years of experience as a freelance journalist covering video games and music for various Czech magazines, including the Metacritic-aggregated Level. For a brief period in 2018, he worked as data analyst for the leading Czech video game studio Bohemia Interactive.  


Švelch, Jan. 2023. “Spoiling the Future Metagame: The Promotional Logic and Reception of Card Previews in Magic: The Gathering.” In Beyond the Deck: Critical Essays on Magic: The Gathering and Its Influence, edited by Shelly Jones. McFarland.

Fousek Krobová, Tereza, and Jan Švelch. 2023. “‘Never Good Enough’: Player Identities, Experiences, and Coping Strategies of Women in Czech Video Game Journalism.” Games and Culture, April, Online First.

Šisler, Vít, Jan Švelch, Shawn Clybor, and Ondřej Trhoň. 2023. “Adapting Contested National History for Global Audiences in Attentat 1942 and Svoboda 1945: Liberation.” Studies in Eastern European Cinema 14 (1): 69–84.  

Švelch, Jan. 2022. “Normalizing Player Surveillance through Video Game Infographics.” New Media & Society, June, Online First.  

Švelch, Jan. 2022. “Mediatization of Tabletop Role-Playing: The Intertwined Cases of Critical Role and D&D Beyond.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 28 (6): 1662–78.

Švelch, Jan. 2022. “Developer Credit: Para-Industrial Hierarchies of In-Game Credit Attribution in the Video Game Industry.” Games and Culture 17 (3): 374–98.

Švelch, Jan, and Jaroslav Švelch. 2022. “‘Definitive Playthrough’: Behind-the-Scenes Narratives in Let’s Plays and Streaming Content by Video Game Voice Actors.” New Media & Society 24 (5): 1097–1115.

Švelch, Jan, and Jaroslav Švelch. 2022. “Recasting Life Is Strange: Video Game Voice Acting during the 2016–2017 SAG-AFTRA Strike.” Television & New Media 23 (1): 44–60.

Švelch, Jan. 2022. “Book Review: Creator Culture: An Introduction to Global Social Media Entertainment.” New Media & Society 24 (8): 1952–54.

Sotamaa, Olli, and Jan Švelch, eds. 2021. Game Production Studies. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Open access PDF.
Van Roessel, Lies, and Jan Švelch. 2021. “Who Creates Microtransactions: The Production Context of Video Game Monetization.” In Game Production Studies, edited by Olli Sotamaa and Jan Švelch, 197–215. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Open access PDF.
Sotamaa, Olli, and Jan Švelch. 2021. “Introduction: Why Game Production Matters?” In Game Production Studies, edited by Olli Sotamaa and Jan Švelch, 7–25. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Open access PDF. 
Švelch, Jan. 2021. “Shadow Academy of Video Game Production—Industrial Reflexivity of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 38 (1): 18–31. 
Švelch, Jan. 2021. “Redefining Screenshots: Toward Critical Literacy of Screen Capture Practices.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 27 (2): 554–69.
Švelch, Jan. 2020. “Paratextuality in Game Studies: A Theoretical Review and Citation Analysis.” Game Studies 20 (2).

Švelch, Jan. 2020. “Mediatization of a Card Game: Magic: The Gathering, Esports, and Streaming.” Media, Culture & Society 42 (6): 838–56.

Švelch, Jan. 2019. “Resisting the Perpetual Update: Struggles against Protocological Power in Video Games.” New Media & Society 21 (7): 1594–1612.

Švelch, Jan. 2019. “Platform Studies, Computational Essentialism, and Magic: The Gathering.” In Analog Game Studies: Volume III, edited by Emma Leigh Waldron, Aaron Trammell, and Evan Torner, 62–75. Carnegie Mellon University: ETC Press.
Previously published as Švelch, Jan. 2016. “Platform Studies, Computational Essentialism, and Magic: The Gathering.” Analog Game Studies III, no. IV (July 11, 2016). Available online

Švelch, Jan. 2017. “Exploring the Myth of the Representative Video Game Trailer.” Kinephanos 7 (1): 7–36. Available online

Švelch, Jan. 2017. “Playing with and against Microtransactions: The Discourses of Microtransactions Acceptance and Rejection in Mainstream Video Games.” In The Evolution and Social Impact of Video Game Economics, edited by Casey B. Hart, 101–20. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.

Švelch, Jan. 2017. “The Virmire Survivor.” In 100 Greatest Video Game Characters, edited by Jaime Banks, Robert Mejia, and Aubrie Adams, 196–98. Rowman & Littlefield.

Švelch, Jan, and Tereza Krobová. 2016. “Historicizing Video Game Series through Fan Art.” Transformative Works and Cultures 2016 (Vol 22). Available online

Švelch, Jan. 2016. “‘Footage Not Representative’: Redefining Paratextuality for the Analysis of Official Communication in the Video Game Industry.” In Contemporary Research on Intertextuality in Video Games, edited by Christophe Duret and Christian-Marie Pons, 297–315. IGI Global. Fulltext PDF (link) or available online (paid access):

Švelch, Jan, and Tereza Krobová. 2016. “Who Is the Note-Worthy Fan? Featuring Players in the Official Facebook Communication of Mainstream Video Games.” Replay. The Polish Journal of Game Studies 3 (1): 81–100.

Švelch, Jan. 2016. “Regarding Board Game Errata.” In Analog Game Studies: Volume I, edited by Aaron Trammell, Evan Torner, and Emma Leigh Waldron, 179–85. ETC Press. Available online:
Previously published in 2014 as: Švelch, Jan. 2014. “Regarding Board Game Errata.Analog Game Studies I, no. V (December 2, 2014). Available online:

Švelch, Jan. 2015. “Towards a Typology of Video Game Trailers: Between the Ludic and the Cinematic.” G|A|M|E, the Italian Journal of Game Studies 2015 (4). Available online:

Švelch, Jan. 2015. “Negotiating a Glitch: Identifying and Using Glitches in Video Games with Microtransactions.” In New Perspectives in Game Studies: Proceedings of the Central and Eastern European Game Studies Conference Brno 2014, edited by Tomáš Bártek, Jan Miškov, and Jaroslav Švelch, 55–70. Brno: Masaryk University. Available online:

(In Czech)

Švelch, Jan. 2016. “Paratextual Analysis as a Complementary Method of Research of Historical Reception. Language and National Identity in Paratexts of Czech and Foreign Sound Films Screened in 1930 in Czechoslovakia.” Iluminace 28 (3): 71–88.

Švelch, Jan. 2013. “O pomíjivosti audiovizuálních médií a paratextech.” Iluminace, Volume 25, 2013, no. 4 (92), pp. 122-125. Available online:

Conference Papers

Generation Analog 2023, 26-27 July 2023, online conference organized by Analog Game Studies and Game in Lab
DiGRA 2023, University of Sevilla, 19-23 June 2023, Sevilla, Spain
  • Prestige or Promotion: Industrial Reflexivity and Political Economy of the Game Awards
  • Repurposing Concept Art: Video Game Art Books as Industrial Reflexivity (co-authored with Jaroslav Švelch)
Generation Analog 2022, 27-28 July 2022, online conference organized by Analog Game Studies and Game in Lab
Global Perspectives on Platforms and Cultural Productio, University of Amsterdam, 1-2 June 2022, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Resisting Platform Logics: Critical Role's Privileged Use of
Spring Seminar 2022: Gamebooks, Tampere University, 4-6 May 2022, Tampere, Finland
  • Industrial Reflexivity in Video Game Art Books (co-authored with Jaroslav Švelch)
SCMS 2022, online conference, 3 March - 3 April 2022
  • Theorycrafting Upcoming Metagames: Exploring the Role of Card Previews in Magic: The Gathering
SCMS 2021, online conference, 17-21 March 2021
  • Para-Industrial Construction of Videogame Authorship through In-Game Credits

Clash of Realities 2019, Cologne Game Lab, TH-Köln, 19-21 November 2019, Cologne, Germany
  • Paratext as Methodology: Highlighting and Obscuring Game Phenomena 

CEEGS 2019, Jagellonian University, 26-28 September 2019, Krakow, Poland
  • Playing Cards with Abominations: Posthuman Monstrosity in the Hecatomb Card Game (co-authored with Jaroslav Švelch)
  • From Tabletop to Esports: Magic: The Gathering in the Era of Live-Streaming

DiGRA 2019, Ritsumeikan University, 6-10 August 2019, Kyoto, Japan
  • Who Creates Microtransactions: The Production Context of Video Game Monetization (co-authored with Lies van Roessel)

DiGRA Nordic 2018, University of Bergen, 28-30 November 2018, Bergen, Norway
  • Transgressive Content, or Toxic Developers? Exploring Online Discussions about Controversial Video Games

CEEGS 2018, Film Faculty of Prague's Academy of Performing Arts, 11-13 October 2018, Prague, the Czech Republic
  • Documentation, Promotion, or Art? A Holistic Approach to Video Game Screenshots
  • Who Creates Monsters? The Work of Enemy Design in Video Games (co-authored with Jaroslav Švelch)

Games and Literary Theory 2018, IT University of Copenhagen, 15-17 August 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark (a part of the Triple Game Studies Conference)
  • Studying Video Game Authorship Using the Paratextual Framework

DiGRA 2018, University of Turin, 25-28 July 2018, Turin, Italy
  • Beyond Paratexts, Towards Paratextuality: A Case for Granular Analysis of Video Game Paratextuality
  • Beyond the Core Development Team: Exploring Emerging Roles and Responsibilities in the Global Game Industry (a panel with Peichi Chung, Lies van Roessel, and Heikki Tyni)

Games and Literary Theory 2016, Jagellonian University, 18-20 November 2016, Krakow, Poland
  • Rethinking Video Game Paratextuality

CEEGS 2016, Maria Curie Sklodowska University, 20-22 October 2016, Lublin, Poland
  • "Magic: The Platform" – Applying Platform Studies Framework to Analog Games
  • Games of Our Lives: Complex Continuous Fannish Histories of Mainstream Video Game Series (co-authored with Tereza Krobová)

Interdisciplinary Play and Interplay in the Postdigital Age, Ústav svetovej literatúry Slovenskej akadémie vied, 5-6 October 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Resisting the Perpetual Update: Protocolar Power in Digital Game (and Media) Distribution (co-authored with Jaroslav Švelch)

FROG 2016: Beyond Gameplay - Game Cultures and Practices, Vienna, 23-25 September 2016
  • "Patron My Porn": Crowdfunding NSFW Video Game Fan Cultures

DiGRA-FDG 2016: First Joint Conference, Abertay University, 1-5 August 2016, Dundee, Scotland
  • Paratextuality 2.0: Updating Genette’s Framework for Complex Game Systems
  • Hidden Paratextuality: Concealing the Factual Aspects of Video Games
  • Resisting Patches and Errata: Motivations and Tactics
  • Crowdfunding NSFW Video Game Fan Art
  • Gendering Magic – Men, Women and Eldrazi of Magic: the Gathering (co-authored with Tereza Krobová)

ICA 2016, 9-13 June 2016, Fukuoka, Japan
  • Invisible Europe? Analysing European agenda in party communication during the 2014 EP election campaign on Facebook in the Czech Republic (co-authored with Václav Štětka)

CEEGS 2015, Jagellonian University, 21-24 October 2015, Krakow, Poland
  • Distributing Patches and Errata: A Comparative Approach to the Study of Technical Updates for Digital and Analog Games
  • Who Is the Note-Worthy Fan? – Player Individuality and Community in Official Communication of Mainstream Video Games (co-authored with Tereza Krobová)

DiGRA 2015, Leuphana University, 14-17 May 2015, Lüneburg, Germany
  • The Ludic, the Cinematic and the Paratextual: Towards a Typology of Video Game Trailers
  • The Joy of Discovery, Experimentation or Just Exploitation? The Roles of Glitches in Video Game Culture (co-authored with Jaroslav Švelch)
  • What’s So Funny about Glitches: The Practice of Making Glitch Based Gameplay Videos (co-authored with Jaroslav Švelch)

CEEGS 2014, Masaryk University, 10-11 October 2014, Brno, the Czech Republic
  • Glitching the Microtransactions: Mass Effect versus Dead Space

Fan Studies Network Conference 2014, Regent's University, 27-28 September 2014, London, United Kingdom
  • Fan Art in Official Promotion of Video Games (co-authored with Veronika Veselá)

Titles, Teasers and Trailers, University of Edinburgh, Centre for Film, Performance and Media Arts, 22-23 April 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • The Lore, the Canon and the Trailer: Transmedia Storytelling in Video Game Trailers