Dr Nicholas Thiel Taylor

Assistant Professor and Associate Professor

Teaching and Research Interests

My research interests broadly concern the role of digital gaming and play in our everyday lives, and the new and re-mediated forms of communication, sociality, work and labor that coalesce around digital games. I am particularly interested in the growing professionalization of video game play, through the rise of competitive gaming (aka "e-Sports") communities and the leagues, clans, and tournaments that constitute the emerging e-Sports industry.

Theoretically, this work integrates critical perspectives on gender, ethnicity and embodiment; notions of video game play as ludic networks, informed by posthumanist and cyberfeminist theories of agency, technics, and embodiment; concerns around the political economies of game-based surveillance and labor; and attention to the the material and embodied aspects of digital play.  Methodologically, my ethnographic research with gamers and gaming work makes extensive use of audio-visual data.

Publications

Refereed Articles

Taylor, N. (2016). Now you’re playing with audience power: The work of watching games. Critical Studies in
Media Communication, 33(4), 293-307.

 Taylor, N., Kampe, C. and Bell, K. (2015). Me and Lee: Identification and the play of attraction in The Walking
Dead. Game Studies, 15(1).

 Taylor, N. (2015). Play to the camera: video ethnography, spectatorship and e-sports. Convergence. DOI:10.1177/1354856515580282.

Taylor, N., Bergstrom, K., Jenson, J. and de Castell, S. (2015). Alienated playbour: relations of production in EVE Online. Games and Culture. DOI:10.1177/1555412014565507

 Bell, K., Taylor, N. and Kampe, C. (2015). Of headshots and hugs: Challenging hypermasculinity through The Walking Dead play. ADA: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, 7.

 Jenson, J., Taylor, N., de Castell, S. and Dilouya, B. (2015). Playing with our selves: Multiplicity and identity in online games. Feminist Media Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2015.1006652.

Ratan, R., Taylor, N., Hogan, J., Kennedy, T., and Williams, D. (2015). Stand by your man: an examination of gender disparity in League of Legends. Games and Culture. DOI: 10.1177/1555412014567228.

 de Castell, S., Jenson, J., Taylor, N. and Thumiert, K. (2014). Re-thinking foundations: theoretical and methodological challenges (and opportunities) in virtual worlds research. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, 6(1), 3-20. DOI: 10.1386/jgvw.6.1.3_1 

 Taylor, N., Jenson, J., de Castell, S. and Dilouya, B. (2014). Public displays of play: Studying online games in physical settings. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12054

 Chee, F. M., Taylor, N., and de Castell, S. (2013). Re-mediating research ethics: End-user license agreements in online games. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 32(6), 497-506.

 Jenson, J., Taylor, N. and de Castell, S. (2011). Epidemic: Learning games go viral. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 8(11).

 Taylor, N. (2011). Play globally, act locally: The standardization of pro Halo 3 gaming. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 3(1), 228-242.

 Taylor, N. (2009). Cheerleaders, booth babes, Halo hoes: pro-gaming, gender and jobs for the boys. Digital Creativity, 20(4), 239-252.

 Taylor, N. (2008). Periscopic play: Re-positioning “the field” in MMO studies. Loading… Journal of the Canadian Games Studies Association, 2(3).

 de Castell, S. and Jenson, J., and Taylor, N. (2007). Digital games for education: When meanings play. Intermedialities, 9, 45-54.

 Taylor, N. (2007). Mapping gendered play. Loading… Journal of the Canadian Games Studies Association, 1(1).

 Jenson, J., Taylor, N., and de Castell, S. (2007). Shifting design values: A playful approach to serious content. E-Learning, 4(4), 497-507.

 

Refereed Book Chapters

 

Taylor, N. (2012). “A silent team is a dead team”: Communicative norms in team-based Halo 3 play. In G.

Voorhees, (Ed.), Guns, Grenades and Grunts: First Person Shooter Games. New York: Continuum.

 

Jenson, J., de Castell, S., Taylor, N., Droumeva, M. & Fisher, S. (2012). Learning instruments: Baroque culture gets

game. In J. Fromme & A. Unger (Eds.), Computer Games, Game Cultures: A Handbook on the State and Perspectives of Digital Games Studies. New York, NY: Springer.

 

de Castell, S., Jenson, J., and Taylor, N. (2010). Educational games: Moving from theory to practice. In D. 

Kaufman and Louis Sauvé, (Eds.), Educational Gameplay and Simulation Environments. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

 

Taylor, N. Jenson, J., and de Castell, S.  (2005). Pimps, players and foes: Playing Diablo II ‘outside the box’. In

Nathan Garrets, (Ed.), Digital Gameplay: Essays on the Nexus of Games and Gamer. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

 

Works in Progress or Under Review

 

Taylor, N. and Elam-Handloff, J. (Accepted). Above the action: The cultural politics of watching play. Cultural

Politics.

 

Harper, T., Blythe-Adams, M., and Taylor, N. (Forthcoming). Queer Studies / Game Studies: Playing Out Binaries.

New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

 

Taylor, N. and Voorhees, G. (Forthcoming). Masculinity and Gaming: Mediated Masculinities in Play. New York:

Palgrave-Macmillan.

 

Taylor, N. and Chess, S. (Forthcoming). Not so straight shooters: Gaming between straight white men. In N.
Taylor and G. Voorhees (eds.), Masculinity and Gaming: Mediated Masculinities in Play. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

 

Taylor, N. and Hammond, R. (Forthcoming). Outside the lanes: Supporting a non-normative League of Legends
Community. In T. Harper, M. Blythe-Adams and N. Taylor (eds.), Queer Studies / Game Studies: Playing Out Binaries. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

 

Taylor, N., de Castell, S. Jenson, J. and Hurley, R. (Forthcoming). Management (im)material: Negotiating
leadership in virtual worlds. In K. Lakkaraju, G. Sukthankar and R. Wigand (eds.), Social Interactions in the Virtual Worlds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

 

Evans, S., Craig, E. and Taylor, N. (Forthcoming). Couples who slay together, stay together: Benefits, challenges, and relational quality among romantic couples that game. In K. Lakkaraju, G. Sukthankar and R. Wigand (eds.), Social Interaction in Virtual Worlds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, N. (2016). Now you’re playing with audience power: The work of watching games. Critical Studies in

Media Communication, 33(4), 293-307.

 

Taylor, N., Kampe, C. and Bell, K. (2015). Me and Lee: Identification and the play of attraction in The Walking

Dead. Game Studies, 15(1).

 

Taylor, N. (2015). Play to the camera: video ethnography, spectatorship and e-sports. Convergence.

DOI:10.1177/1354856515580282.

 

Taylor, N., Bergstrom, K., Jenson, J. and de Castell, S. (2015). Alienated playbour: relations of production in

EVE Online. Games and Culture. DOI:10.1177/1555412014565507

 

Bell, K., Taylor, N. and Kampe, C. (2015). Of headshots and hugs: Challenging hypermasculinity through The

Walking Dead play. ADA: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, 7.

 

Jenson, J., Taylor, N., de Castell, S. and Dilouya, B. (2015). Playing with our selves: Multiplicity and identity in

online games. Feminist Media Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2015.1006652.

 

Ratan, R., Taylor, N., Hogan, J., Kennedy, T., and Williams, D. (2015). Stand by your man: an examination of

gender disparity in League of Legends. Games and Culture. DOI: 10.1177/1555412014567228.

 

de Castell, S., Jenson, J., Taylor, N. and Thumiert, K. (2014). Re-thinking foundations:

theoretical and methodological challenges (and opportunities) in virtual worlds research. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, 6(1), 3-20. DOI: 10.1386/jgvw.6.1.3_1 

 

Taylor, N., Jenson, J., de Castell, S. and Dilouya, B. (2014). Public displays of play: Studying online games in

physical settings. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12054

 

Chee, F. M., Taylor, N., and de Castell, S. (2013). Re-mediating research ethics: End-user license agreements in

online games. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 32(6), 497-506.

 

Jenson, J., Taylor, N. and de Castell, S. (2011). Epidemic: Learning games go viral. Journal of the Canadian

      Association for Curriculum Studies, 8(11).

 

Taylor, N. (2011). Play globally, act locally: The standardization of pro Halo 3 gaming. International Journal of

Gender, Science and Technology, 3(1), 228-242.

 

Taylor, N. (2009). Cheerleaders, booth babes, Halo hoes: pro-gaming, gender and jobs for the boys. Digital

Creativity, 20(4), 239-252.

 

Taylor, N. (2008). Periscopic play: Re-positioning “the field” in MMO studies. Loading… Journal of the

Canadian Games Studies Association, 2(3).

 

de Castell, S. and Jenson, J., and Taylor, N. (2007). Digital games for education: When meanings play.

Intermedialities, 9, 45-54.

 

Taylor, N. (2007). Mapping gendered play. Loading… Journal of the Canadian Games Studies Association, 1(1).

 

Jenson, J., Taylor, N., and de Castell, S. (2007). Shifting design values: A playful approach to serious

content. E-Learning, 4(4), 497-507.

 

 

Refereed Book Chapters

 

Taylor, N. (2012). “A silent team is a dead team”: Communicative norms in team-based Halo 3 play. In G.

Voorhees, (Ed.), Guns, Grenades and Grunts: First Person Shooter Games. New York: Continuum.

 

Jenson, J., de Castell, S., Taylor, N., Droumeva, M. & Fisher, S. (2012). Learning instruments: Baroque culture gets

game. In J. Fromme & A. Unger (Eds.), Computer Games, Game Cultures: A Handbook on the State and Perspectives of Digital Games Studies. New York, NY: Springer.

 

de Castell, S., Jenson, J., and Taylor, N. (2010). Educational games: Moving from theory to practice. In D. 

Kaufman and Louis Sauvé, (Eds.), Educational Gameplay and Simulation Environments. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

 

Taylor, N. Jenson, J., and de Castell, S.  (2005). Pimps, players and foes: Playing Diablo II ‘outside the box’. In

Nathan Garrets, (Ed.), Digital Gameplay: Essays on the Nexus of Games and Gamer. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

 

Works in Progress or Under Review

 

Taylor, N. and Elam-Handloff, J. (Accepted). Above the action: The cultural politics of watching play. Cultural

Politics.

 

Harper, T., Blythe-Adams, M., and Taylor, N. (Forthcoming). Queer Studies / Game Studies: Playing Out Binaries.

New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

 

Taylor, N. and Voorhees, G. (Forthcoming). Masculinity and Gaming: Mediated Masculinities in Play. New York:

Palgrave-Macmillan.

 

Taylor, N. and Chess, S. (Forthcoming). Not so straight shooters: Gaming between straight white men. In N.
Taylor and G. Voorhees (eds.), Masculinity and Gaming: Mediated Masculinities in Play. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

 

Taylor, N. and Hammond, R. (Forthcoming). Outside the lanes: Supporting a non-normative League of Legends
Community. In T. Harper, M. Blythe-Adams and N. Taylor (eds.), Queer Studies / Game Studies: Playing Out Binaries. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

 

Taylor, N., de Castell, S. Jenson, J. and Hurley, R. (Forthcoming). Management (im)material: Negotiating
leadership in virtual worlds. In K. Lakkaraju, G. Sukthankar and R. Wigand (eds.), Social Interactions in the Virtual Worlds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Evans, S., Craig, E. and Taylor, N. (Forthcoming). Couples who slay together, stay together: Benefits, challenges, and relational quality among romantic couples that game. In K. Lakkaraju, G. Sukthankar and R. Wigand (eds.), Social Interaction in Virtual Worlds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Responsibilities

- conducting communications-based inquiry into digital media (and gaming) communities, practices and industries

- teaching Department of Communication and CRDM courses at the graduate and undergraduate level

- supervising graduate students in the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media (CRDM) program and the Masters of Science in Communication

- collaborating in the supervision of the Circuit "Collaboratory"

Education

  • PhD in Language, Culture and Teaching from York University, 2009