Games and Game Studies

Taylor, T. L. (2012). Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Chapter 3, “Professionalizing Players” is particularly interesting. She includes a couple of research areas in the discussion of boundary blurring between work and play: serious leisure, lifestyle sports, and unconventional work e.g. bike couriers. Further useful discussion on the topic of gender brings into play the idea of geek masculinity and its complicated intersection with hegemonic masculinity. Masculinities are constantly being negotiated and the image of the nerd or geek is likewise being reformulated. So mastery of technology can display masculinity and the image of the nerd can be rehabilitate into hegemonic masculinity [the heroic Silicon Valley CEO]. For professional gamers there is an overlap between athletic and geek ideals of behavior and self-fashioning. Homophobic language and other behaviors may align players with hegemonic masculinity but their physical appearance which does not conform to traditional masculine models, technical skills, and desire for intimacy and community indicate a more complicated relationship with masculinity.