Espen J. Aarseth is an important figure in the field of video game studies. He belongs to a school of thought known as "ludology," which is comprised of scholars who believes video games do not constitute true narratives, but instead, constitute a form unique to games, with the dynamics of play and interaction being the most important and fundamental part of the game. In opposition to the ludologists, are "narrativists" such as Janet Murray.
Aarseth's works include Nonlinearity and Literary Theory and Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, which explores the typology of cybertext which allows ergodic texts to be classified by their functional qualities.
Aarseth co-founded the Department of Humanistic Informatics  at the University of Bergen. He is currently Principal Researcher at the Center of Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen .