Despite lacking a formal peer-reviewed publication, the Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ) is widely applied in games research, which might risk the proliferation of erroneous study implications. This concern motivated us to conduct a systematic literature review of 73 publications, analysing how and why the GEQ and its variants have been employed in current research. Besides inconsistent reporting of psychometric properties, we found that misleading citation practices with regards to the source, rationale and number of items reported were prevalent, which in part seem to stem from confusion over the “manuscript in preparation” status. Additionally, we present the results of a validation study (N = 633), which found no evidence for the originally postulated 7-factor structure of the GEQ. Based on these findings, we discuss the challenges inherent to the “manuscript in preparation” status and provide recommendations for authors, researchers, educators, and reviewers on how to improve reporting, citation and publication practices.