Presenter Bios

Crystal Abidin is a lecturer in Digital Media with the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Postdoctoral Fellow with the Media Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC) at Jönköping University, Researcher with Handelsrådet (Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council), and Adjunct Research Fellow with the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT) at Curtin University. Crystal lives in Perth and rotates across Australia, Singapore, and Sweden for work.

Mia Consalvo is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design at Concordia University in Montreal. She is the co-author of Players and their Pets, co-editor of Sports Videogames and author of Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames. She has most recently completed the book Atari to Zelda: Japan's Videogames in Global Context, about Japan's influence on the videogame industry and game culture.

Kishonna L. Gray is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Gender and Women’s Studies. She is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.  She also previously served as a MLK Scholar and Visiting Professor in Women and Gender Studies and Comparative Media Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Esther Hammelburg MA is a PhD-candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam (supervisor prof. dr. José van Dijck), and lecturer at the Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The proposed chapter is based on research for her dissertation focussed on liveness within the mediatised experience of cultural events. Esther's research and teaching areas include liveness, media and citizenship, media representations, media literacy, visual culture, media and art philosophy.

Mark R Johnson is a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta. His research examines intersections between play and money, such as Esports, live streaming, loot boxes, and gamification. He has published in journals including "Information, Communication and Society", "The Sociological Review", "Convergence", and "Games and Culture".

Giada Marino is PhD candidate in Sociology of Communication at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo. She is studying everyday Social Network Sites uses by different perspectives, such as information consumption, political engagement, etc. Her research project is focused on studying how live features and users self-presentation needs are mutually shaping.

Colten Meisner is a second-year master’s student and laboratory instructor in the Department of Communication Studies at Texas Christian University. A first time AoIR attendee, Colten situates his academic interests around media, technology, and culture, with a particular focus on digital labor, identity, and self-branding practices.

Felan Parker is Assistant Professor of media studies at St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto, specializing in digital media, media industries, and game studies. His current research, supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, explores the production, distribution, and reception of “indie” digital games.

Will Partin’s research examines the platformization of culture with a special emphasis on digital games, livestreaming, and e-sports. His interdisciplinary approach to studying platforms draws on science and technology studies, political economy of communication, and organizational communication. His popular writing on gaming and e-sports has been published in The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Jacobin, and Deadspin, among many others. He mains Bastion.

Simeona Petkova is an Assistant Professor at Amsterdam School of International Business, Amsterdam University of Applied Science where she teaches and researches in the field of digital marketing through a web epistemological perspective.


Andrew "Andy" Phelps is a Professor of Art & Design at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He is the also the founder of the RIT School of Interactive Games & Media, the founder of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction & Creativity (MAGIC) and the founder of MAGIC Spell Studios at RIT, the last of which is a $25M public-private partnership between RIT and the State of New York to help expand the games, film, and media industries in New York.

Noémie Roques has two master’s degrees, one in Sociology (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) and the other in Education Sciences (Paris 13). She worked on the influence of NICT on tabletop role-playing game and on the interactions between audience and game videos producers.

Ugo Roux is a PhD in information and communication sciences. His thesis was about viral communications in social medias. Since then, he has redirected a part of his researches towards game studies. Now they particularly focus on the study of the evolution of tabletop role-playing game during digital era.

Sébastien Savard is a PhD student at Université de Montréal and focuses on the game design perspective of his discipline and is mostly concerned about the knowledge and the skills of the game master in tabletop roleplaying games. His master thesis was about the recent shift toward the use of digital hardware and software.

Karen Skardzius is a PhD Candidate in the Communication and Culture program at York University. Her broad research interests include digital game studies, gender and technology, and creative labour.

T.L. Taylor is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT and co-founder and Director of Research for AnyKey, an organization dedicated to supporting and developing fair and inclusive esports. She is a qualitative sociologist who has focused on internet and game studies for over two decades. Dr. Taylor’s research explores the interrelations between culture and technology in online leisure environments.

Jamie Woodcock is a Researcher at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the digital economy, the transformation of work, and precarious labour. Jamie completed his PhD in Sociology at Goldsmiths, and has worked at Goldsmiths, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Queen Mary, and Cass Business School.

Keying Yang is a fourth-year student at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences reading International Business Management Studies. She is originally from China and has been an enthusiastic live streamer.