There’s a conference taking place in Manchester today (August 16th), titled: ‘The Future of Esports: Challenging Work and Gender Issues in Pro Gaming’.
This event is supported by The Sociological Review Foundation, and has been coorganised by researchers Tom Brock, Mark Johnson and Jamie Woodcock.
You can watch the conference live via YouTube and view the full schedule below.
The event description reads: “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.”
09:30 Registration and coffee/tea
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
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.