Chris Young

Supervisor: Sara Grimes

Chris Young

Supervisor: Sara Grimes

I am a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Information, Knowledge Media Design Institute, and Semaphore Lab, University of Toronto. My research contributes to the disciplines of media and communication studies, cultural studies, and information studies. My research asks two questions: how are videogames made today? And, how do we analyze the material artefacts of videogames once they are released? The first question is the principal focus of my dissertation, where I researched a two-year ethnography of gamemakers in the Toronto game development scene, focusing on the resources and working conditions in which gamemakers develop their videogames and creator practices. My dissertation explores how local gamemakers make-do with industry-developed tools and resources to establish grassroots practices and norms that contribute to the development of the wider videogame industry. The second question draws on the disciplines of bibliography, computer forensics, critical code studies, media archaeology, platform studies, and software studies. The videogame industry is a secretive industry, hiding assets and code behind digital rights management (DRM) and copyright protections that make it difficult for researchers to understand how videogames are developed, manufactured, and published. My research develops bibliographical and computational methods for analyzing videogame artefacts, while adhering to the legal-rights of developers and copyright-holders.

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