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The Future of Esports: Challenging Work and Gender Issues in Pro Gaming

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MadLab

36-40 Edge Street

Manchester

M4 1HN

United Kingdom

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'Esports’ or electronic sports is the umbrella term for organised, competitive computer gaming usually played by paid professionals. It is an emerging entertainment market worth an estimated $1.5 billion and is comparable in size to many traditional sports, with audiences of tens, even hundreds, of millions of people worldwide. This one-day symposia seeks to build expertise between early career researchers, professional players, and industry experts who are interested in problematising the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of Esports. Sociological research on Esports has begun to highlight the precarious working conditions, such as temporary contracts and exploitative pay practices that characterise professional computer gaming. Similarly, early research into women and Esports suggests that these competitive gaming environments tend to reproduce ‘hegemonic masculinities’ which can leave women isolated and a structural disadvantage in terms of employment opportunities. At this moment, there is the need to launch fruitful and long-term collaborative research agendas to understand the nature of these issues, and establish the networks needed to bring about practical and sustainable social change. Papers and talks will be presented by academics, organisers, and campaigners, addressing a range of issues from exploitative labour practices, gender representation, social inclusion, as well as the challenges of studying player careers, and the complexities of different Esports ecologies.


Registration is free of charge. Complimentary lunch and refreshments will be provided. Tickets are limited.


This event is supported by The Sociological Review Foundation.

This event is coorganised by Tom Brock, Mark Johnson and Jamie Woodcock.


A draft programme is listed below:


09:30 Registration and coffee/tea

10:00 Introductions

10:30 Session 1.

-Rob Black: Development of Career Verticals and Pathways within the Esports Industry

-Christopher Paget: The Professionalization of Esports: Demystifying Player Contract

-Jamie Woodcock: Labour, Professionalisation and Esports

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Session 2.

- Mark Johnson: Research Esports Players and Broadcasters: Lives, Careers, Practices, and Methodological Challenges

-Mark Carrigan: The Imperative to be Seen: The Moral Economy of Celebrity Video Game Streaming

-Josh Jarrett: Esports Ecologies and their Discontents: A League of Legends Case Study

2:30 Coffee/Tea Break

3:00 Session 3.

- Ying Ying Law: ‘Where are all the female gamers?’ Female Gamers and Competitive Gaming in Esports

-Marie-Claire Isaaman: Esports: Levelling the Playing Field?

-Tom Brock and Emma Fraser: Togetherness in Women’s Esports: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation.

-Carleigh Morgan: Virtualities of Twitch: How the Performative Language of Streamers Genders Viewers.

5:00 Close

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Location

MadLab

36-40 Edge Street

Manchester

M4 1HN

United Kingdom

View Map

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