There is an interesting article on Gamasutra about Game Taxonomies The references also pointed to a new group doing game design patterns: http://www.gamedesignpatterns.org. They are still hiding their pattern database, but there are some interesting articles in the publications section.
Maybe I should move to northern europe. That seems to be where all the interesting programming and game design research is going on ;^)
Another interesting note is that the the Call To Power II source code has been released.