Next UM President’s Lecture Features Esports Expert on Nov. 15

November 05, 2019

T.L. Taylor MISSOULA – The next installment of the 2019-20 President’s Lecture Series at the University of Montana will feature a scholar who studies the emerging cultural phenomenon of esports and online computer gaming.

T.L. Taylor is a professor of comparative media studies at MIT. She will present “Esports in the Age of Networked Broadcast” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in the University Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

As a qualitative sociologist, Dr. Taylor has studied the internet and game studies for over two decades. Her research explores the interrelations between culture and technology in online leisure environments.

“Dr. Taylor is a highly sought-after speaker,” said Robert Saldin, a UM political science professor and co-organizer of the lecture series. “Both the White House and the International Olympics Committee have invited her to special summits focused on gaming.”

Twenty years ago she placed herself at the forefront of research into digital communities, writing in the journal American Behavioral Scientist about the nature of the internet and issues of “plural existence, anonymity/disclosure, online and offline selves/bodies and multiple modes.”

Her 2018 book about game live streaming, “Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming,” is the first of its kind to chronicle the emerging media space of online game broadcasting.

She also wrote “Raising the Stakes: Esports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming," which explores the rise of esports, as well as “Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture,” a comprehensive study of the massively multiplayer online game “EverQuest.”

In addition, Taylor is the co-founder and director of research at AnyKey, an organization dedicated to supporting and developing fair and inclusive esports. She will host a Q&A to discuss her current project “Inclusion 101” for college campuses, which aims to increase accessibility and inclusivity in gaming programs. This event will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in UC Rooms 332-333.

Michael Cassens is a media arts faculty member and director of the fledgling UM esports program.

“Our esports team is delighted that T.L. Taylor is willing to share her experience, research and work with AnyKey on campus, as it closely aligns with our mission to create a new community on campus,” he said.

For more information about Taylor, visit http://tltaylor.com/.

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Contact: UM Office of the President, 406-243-2311, thepresident@umontana.edu.