Dr Nicholas Thiel Taylor

Assistant 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