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I review the historical context for modeling skilled performance in games. Using Newell's (1990) concept of time bands for explaining cognitive behavior, I categorize the current papers in terms of time scales, type of data, and analysis methodologies. I discuss strengths and weaknesses of these approaches for describing skill acquisition and why the study of digital games can address the challenges of replication and generalizability. Cognitive science needs to pay closer attention to population representativeness to enhance generalizability of findings, and to the social band of explanation, in order to explain why so few individuals reach expert levels of performance.