Date of Award

December 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Stuart Moulthrop

Committee Members

Thomas Malaby, Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece, Lane Hall, John Murray


Games, Time


Video games are a medium uniquely immersed in time. While the topic of time and games has been broached by many in the field of game studies, its centrality to both how games function and the experience of playing games remains underexamined. Reading games as literary texts, this holistic study uses queer and social theories to survey the myriad of ways games play with time. I argue games are time machines, each idiosyncratically allows players to experience time differently from traditional linear time. Beyond games with literal time machines, this dissertation examines games which structure themselves around labyrinthine and existential loops. It also considers real-time, or games competitively organized around time and those which change over time, in a sense, aging. Regardless of the subject, this dissertation seeks to illuminate the complexities of games and time, and argues that, despite their many conflicting messages about the topic, they all have something meaningful to say about the human experience of time.