Dr. EMMA WITKOWSKI
Bachelor of Design (Games) Program
School of Design
emma.witkowski [AT] rmit.edu.au
Emma Witkowski is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Design and the co-director of the Playable Media Lab at RMIT University. As a socio-phenomenologically informed ethnographer, her research explores esports cultures as networked media sports, networked careers in digital games, research methods for networked play, livestreaming & LAN tournaments from grassroots to mega-LANs, and high performance networked team practices. Emma teaches core games research courses within the RMIT Game Design program. She was a keynote speaker for Chinese DiGRA 2018, speaking on Esports and the Olympics, and has recently co-edited (with Torill Mortensen) a special edition for MedieKultur on Media-ludic approaches: Critical reflections on games and research practice. Her current research is with Essendon Football Club on esports ecosystems and multi-sports institutions. She is a board member of the Australian Esports Association. (Last updated September, 2018)
PhD in Game Studies. “Inside the Huddle: The Phenomenology and Sociology of Team Play in Networked Computer Games”. Dissertation, May 2012. IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. (Supervisor: T.L. Taylor) .
M.A., Design, Communication & Media, IT University of Copenhagen, 2004. (Supervisor: T.L. Taylor)
B.A., Studio Art, Arizona State University, 1997.
Senior Lecturer, RMIT University, Melbourne. B. Design (Games) Program. 2016 –
- Program Manager, B.Design (Games), RMIT. October 2014 – 2016
- Node leader (Media Methods) – Digital Ethnography Research Centre. 2013 – 2015
- Node leader (Playable Media) – Centre for Games Design Research. 2016 –
- Teaching & curriculum development 2013 –
- New program development (2014-2015)
- PhD supervison
Assistant Professor/Lecturer, RMIT University, Melbourne. B. Design (Games) Program. July 2013 – 2016
Research Assistant/Lecturer, Center for Computer Games Research. June 2012 – June 2013. (Teaching: Graduate degree – Media, Technology & Games.) IT University of Copenhagen. Rued Langgaards Vej 7, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Teaching & curriculum development 2012 –
- Thesis Supervisor
FUNDED PROJECTS & RESEARCH APPOINTMENTS
“Establishing Esports Value” Emma Witkowski. RMIT University Essendon Football Club funding, 2018.
“Developing Game Regions: Exploring regional growth in game cultures and gaming industries in Vietnam.” Emma Witkowski. RMIT grant (competitive/internal), 2017.
Post doc. with the Locating Media Lab – University of Siegen, Germany. October 2016 – March 2017.
Re-Figuring Esports: Diversity in play at mid-level competition with TL Taylor (MIT), Nick Taylor (NCSU) and Emma Witkowski (RMIT). Funding from ReFIG/Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 2016.
Visiting Researcher – Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. Hosted by Dmitri Williams. Autumn 2010.
Co-founder of the Letzplay Initiative: An initiative aimed towards improving young women and girls access to and engagement with ICTs, multimedia & computer games. Est. 2006. Grants and funding received: 400,000 DKK.
- Game Theory (Autumn 2009). Co-lecturer. Media, Technology & Games: IT-University of Copenhagen
- Computer Game Culture (Autumn 2012) – Course manager/lecturer. Media, Technology & Games: IT-University of Copenhagen
- User Experience & Prototyping (Autumn 2012) – Co-lecturer. Media, Technology & Games: IT-University of Copenhagen
- Thesis Writing. (2012-2013). Media, Technology & Games: IT-University of Copenhagen
- Qualitative Methods (Spring 2013) – Course manager/lecturer. Media, Technology & Games: IT University of Copenhagen
- Game Studies (Spring 2013/Spring 2014) – Course manager/lecturer. Games Program – RMIT University
- Media Cultures 2 (Autumn 2014) – Course manager/lecturer. Games Program – RMIT University
- Game Cultures (Autumn 2015/Autumn 2016/Autumn 2017/Autumn 2018) – Course manager/lecturer. Games Program – RMIT University
- The Play Society (Spring 2017/Spring 2018) – course co-manager/lecturer. Games Program – RMIT University
- Independent Videogames: Esports (Spring 2018) – course manager. Games Program – RMIT University
Esports & the Olympic Movement. Invited keynote for Chinese Digital Games Research Association, Shenzhen, China. September 8-9, 2018.
Smack talk, teamwork, and playing for keeps: weighing in on some bodies that matter in the serious pursuit of Esports: Invited talk for Clash of Realities: International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games. Cologne Game Lab, Germany. November 15 -17, 2016.
Serious E-sporting Leisure: Invited keynote for the Swedish National Institute for Public Health symposium on “Gaming, Gambling and Gender”. December 10-11, 2010.
Articles/Chapters – Refereed
Witkowski, E., & Manning, J. “Player Power: Networked careers in esports and high performance game livestreaming practices.” Convergence (Under preparation, expected 2018).
Witkowski, E. “Counter-Strike: Spectatorship” in Huntemann, N. and Payne, M., eds. How to Play Videogames. NYU Press (Under preparation, expected 2018).
Witkowski, E. “Doing/undoing gender with the girl gamer in esports and high performance play” in Vossen, E., Voorhees, G., Taylor, N., and Adams, M., eds. Femininity and Games. Palgrave-MacMillan. (Under preparation, expected 2018).
Witkowski, E., “Sensuous proximity in research methods with expert teams, media sports, and esports practices” in Mortensen, T., and Witkowski, E. special editors of Media-ludic approaches: Critical reflections on games and research practice. MediKultur, Vol 34 (64), 2018.
Witkowski, E., & Manning, J. “Playing with(out) Power: Negotiated conventions of high performance networked play practices.” Digital Games Research Association conference Proceedings. Full paper. July 3-6, 2017. Melbourne Australia.
Witkowski, E. (2017). “Bodies that matter in the pursuit of esports.” Clash of Realities: International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games Proceedings.
Witkowski, E. “Networked Zombies: Running, Gender and Play with Zombies, Run!” in Hjorth, L., Horst, H., Galloway, A., and Bell, G., eds. The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography. (2017).
Witkowski, E. “Cooperative Play” in H. Lowood & R. Guins (eds.), Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon. (June 2016).
Witkowski, E. “Running with zombies: Capturing new worlds through movement and visibility practices with Zombies, Run!”, Games and Culture (OnlineFirst, November 5, 2015).
Witkowski, E. “Competition and Cooperation” in Perron, B. and Wolf, M. J., eds. (2014). The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies. New York: Routledge.
Witkowski, E. “Eventful Masculinities: Negotiations of hegemonic sporting masculinities at LANs”, in Sports Videogames, M. Consalvo, K. Mitgutsch & A. Stein (eds.), Routledge. 2013.
Witkowski, E. “Running from Zombies”, Interactive Entertainment Conference, Melbourne, Australia, September 2013. Proceedings link.
Witkowski, E. “On the Digital Playing Field: How We “Do Sport” with Networked Computer Games”, Games and Culture. Volume 7. Issue 5. September 2012 pp. 349 – 374.
Taylor, TL & Witkowski, E. “This is How We Play It: What a Mega-LAN Can Teach Us About Games”, Foundations of Digital Games conference proceedings, Monterey, CA, June 2010. ARTICLE LINK
Witkowski, E. & Lybaek, T. “Negotiating Game Cultures: Reflections on Women’s gaming experiences”, Game ’in Action conference proceedings, Gothenburg, SE, May 2007.
Works in Progress
Witkowski, E., and Nielsen, R. “It feels like a Sunday: Football, FIFA, and the digital play practices of at-risk youth in remand”.
Witkowski, E., Hjorth, L., and Richardson, I. “The Humbling of Data: Players, Playing and Play”.
“Grib Kontrollen!” – 8th of March, 2006. Edu-art happening. Takeover of the game consoles by Edu-art collective at the Danish IT giant “FONA”. LINK
CONFERENCES & PRESENTATIONS – Refereed
Taylor, Nick., Witkowski, E., Wirman, H., Egliston, B. & Karhulahti, M. “Esports Careers.” Digital Games Research Association conference. Panel (accepted). July 25- 28, 2018. Turin, Italy.
Taylor, TL., Witkowski, E., Szablewicz, M., Stein, A., Partin, W. “The Grassroots Game: Players, Participants, and Infrastructures in Esports form the Ground Up.” Foundation of Digital Games conference. August 14-17, 2017. Cape Cod, USA.
Carter, M., Fordyce, R., Gibbs, M., Witkowski, E., “Esports Futures in Australia”. Digital Games Research Association conference. Panel (accepted). July 3-6, 2017. Melbourne Australia.
Consalvo, M., Grace, L., Altizer, R., Witkowski, E., “Navigating Status as a Department, Center or Program, While Working with Industry Partners.” Digital Games Research Association conference. Panel (accepted). July 3-6, 2017. Melbourne Australia.
Taylor, Nick., Taylor, TL., & Witkowski, E. “On Support: Volunteerism, Organizations, Parents, and Collaborators.” ReFIG Invited Workshop 2016 – Montreal, Canada. October 2016 [presented by Taylor & Taylor].
“eSports Spectatorship in Australia” – Marcus Carter, Martin Gibbs, Robert Fordyce, Emma Witkowski. DiGRA Australia, 2016 [presented by R. Fordyce].
“Livestreaming in theory and practice: Four provocations on labour, liveness and participatory culture in games livestreaming” Panel Talk: “Livestreaming, participatory culture, and gender politics at the edge of e-sports”. Panel participants Emma Witkowski, James Manning, Zhang Ge, Dan Recktenwald, ISEA conference proceedings, May 2016, City University of Hong Kong.
“Girl Gamer? Player and institutional orientations towards women’s participation in and around e-sports.” Witkowski, E. Association of Internet Research Conference – Daegu, Korea. (October 2014).
“Zombies Run! on Instagram.” Witkowski, E. Association of Internet Research Conference – Daegu, Korea. (October 2014).
“It’s My Game or Going Gaga as a performative practice of identity & gender on high performance gaming live-streams”. Witkowski, E. Doing Cultural Studies: Interrogating ‘Practice’ Symposium. Swinburne University of Technology. December 3, 2013.
“Running from Zombies”. Witkowski, E. Interactive Entertainment Conference, RMIT – Melbourne, Australia, September 2013. Proceedings link.
Conference Panelist/Talk/Organiser: “E-sports on the Rise?: Critical Considerations on the Growth and Erosion of Organised Digital Gaming Competitions”. Panel with Brett Hutchins (Monash University), Lalor McMahon (Silicon Sports), Marcus Carter (University of Melbourne), and Emma Witkowski (RMIT University) at Interactive Entertainment Conference, September 2013.
“Following Ms_Fabulous: Women, Live-Streaming, and DIY Visibility in E-sports”. Witkowski, E. Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Conference. August 2013.
“Gaming Under Pre-Trial Detention: At-Risk Youth and their Digital Leisure Practices During Remand”, Witkowski, E. & Rune Nielsen. Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Conference. August 2013.
Conference Panelist/Talk: “Sportspersonship”. Panel with TL Taylor (MIT), Todd Harper (MIT), Simon Ferrari (Georgia Tech), Davin Pavlas (Riot Games), and Emma Witkowski (RMIT University) at Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Conference. August 2013.
Out of Bounds: Exploring the Boundaries of Sports and Games. “LAN Masculinities: online/offline/local/tournament”. Witkowski, E. AoIR conference, Internet Research 13.0: Technologies. UK. Manchester, October 18 – 21, 2012.
“Breaking the boundary: The shifting codes of expert players”. Witkowski, E. Future Reality of Games (FRoG) Conference 2011. Vienna, Austria. October 21-23, 2011.
“Eventful Masculinities”. Witkowski, E. Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Conference 2011. Hilversum, Netherlands. September 14-17, 2011.
“Player Physicality in E-sports”. Witkowski, E. North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Conference 2010. San Diego, USA. November 3-6, 2010.
“Engaging Fields of Play: Considerations of Player Physicality in E-sports.” Witkowski, E. Poster presentation at the E-Sports and Cyberathleticism Workshop: European Edition. IT University of Copenhagen, May 2010. LINK.
“Mature, Efficient, Mad Skill Ethnographer Looking for World First!: Troubles and trails into ethnography with professional computer gaming guilds”. Witkowski, E. University of Tampere (FI) – Methods Seminar. April 2010.
“On the Digital Playing Field: An Ethnographic Study of How We “Do Sport” with Computer Games.” Witkowski, E. Sports and Society Conference 2010, Vancouver, Canada, 8 -10 March, 2010.
Roundtable presentation on pro-gaming and e-sports, TL Taylor, Emma Witkowski, Roger Alitzer and Sean Duncan. AoIR Copenhagen, October 2008.
Conference Panelist – “Theory and Practice: A Panel on Nordic Gaming Initiatives for Women”, a panel at the Women in Games Conference, Middlesbrough, UK, July 2006.
Conference Panelist – “Thinking Past Pink: Critical Considerations of Women and Gaming”, Women in Games Conference, University of Abertay, Dundee, Scotland, August 2005.
“Digital Media, Games, and Ethnographic Methods Seminar Series.” Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Witkowski, E. and Hjorth, L. November 2017.
“Regional esports; Growths and Barriers workshop”. Witkowski, E., Carter, M., Gibbs, M., Fordyce, R. Digital Games Research Association conference (workshop accepted). July 3-6, 2017. Melbourne Australia.
“Academic writing workshop”. Masterclass at “Locating Media”, University of Siegen. 2-day writing workshop, organised and run by Emma Witkowski – hosted by University of Siegen. January 2017.
“Livestreaming & Play”. Masterclass (invited lead-host Mia Consalvo, Concordia University, CA) and livestreamed event. Co-organized 2-day workshop/livestreamed event with Emma Witkowski & James Manning – hosted by the Centre for Games Design Research/Playable Media Lab, RMIT: December 2016.
“From “the player” to “the crowd:” Locating the subjects of a digital ethnography”. Masterclass (invited lead-hosts TL Taylor, MIT & Mary Grey, Microsoft Research). Co-organized 1-day workshop – hosted by the Digital Ethnography Research Centre , RMIT: December 2016.
“Playfulness in Methods” Co-hosted workshop between Digital Ethnography Research Centre/RMIT & IT University of Copenhagen. Co-organized by Emma Witkowski & Miguel Sicart. June 2014.
“Beyond Sports vs. Games Workshop”. Co-organized 2-day workshop/livestreamed event with Emma Witkowski & T.L. Taylor, February 2012.
“E-Sports and Cyberathleticism Workshop: European Edition/VOD”, co-organized with Emma Witkowski & T.L. Taylor, May 2010. LINK. (Witkowski – moderator for “The players panel/VOD”)
Editorship of special issue journals – peer-reviewed
Emma Witkowski and Torill Mortensen (eds.) Special issue in MedieKultur, Vol 34 (64), 2018. “Introduction to Special Issue: Media-ludic approaches: Critical reflections on games and research practice.”
Book Chapters, Book Reviews, Reports and invited talks – Non-Refereed
Panel: “Women in Sport: Should we be Creating Something Different?” Panelists: Lisa Sthalekar (National Cricketer), Dr. Jessica Richards (WSU), Dr Emma Witkowski (RMIT), Helen Tyrikos (FFV), and moderator Nikki Dryden (Olympic Swimmer). AIHL Scotiabank Women in Sport Summit 2018, September 1, 2018.
“Esports Spectatorship in Australia“. Gibbs, M., Carter, M., Cumming, D., Fordyce, R., & Witkowski, E. Research report for Networked Society Institute, University of Melbourne, 2018. ISBN 978-0-7340-5327-5.
Invited workshop talk/position paper: “Data and Play – Expertise, data, and networked teams“. Position paper by Sarah Pink, Emma Witkowski, Douglas Wilson, Jason Farman, Edgar Gómez Cruz, Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Fumitoshi Kato, Pilar Lacasa, Ingrid Richardson, Shanti Sumartojo. Digital Ethnography Research Centre hosted Data Ethnographies workshop, May 2016.
Invited symposium/talk: “Women, zombies, running: Interrupting vulnerability in public space with Instagram”. Ambient Play Symposium hosted by COST1202 and the Digital Ethnography Research Centre. Barcelona (June 21, 2015)
Panel/Talk: “Methodological challenges in networked games research”. Talk: Researcher as spectacle. Panel participants Emma Witkowski, Larissa Hjorth, Torill Mortenson. Digital Ethnography Symposium hosted by the Digital Ethnography Research Centre. Barcelona. (16-17 June, 2015).
“Zombies, Women, Instagram – Oh My!”. Presentation @ “Locating the Mobile” workshop. Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT. December 13, 2013.
Review of Jenny Sundén and Malin Sveningsson’s Gender and Sexuality in Online Game Cultures: Passionate Play (Routledge, 2011). KVINFO – The Danish Centre for Information on Gender, Equality and Ethnicity. LINK
“Probing the Sportiness of eSports”, in J. Christophers and T. Scholz (eds.), eSports yearbook 2009, Norderstedt, Germany: Books on Demand GmbH, 2009. pp. 53 – 56. LINK
Independent research for IBM Denmark: “Soft Reboot: Young Women and Technology in Denmark”, 2006.
POPULAR PRESS/INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT
“On esports participation, audiences, and spectatorship.” Emma Witkowski (RMIT) & Ben Sellenger (Bastion Collective), invited talk for Visit Victoria, 20 August, 2018.
Emerging games industries in SEA panel series: Local Game Development; Playing in Public: Mobile Games & Net Cafes; Emerging Esports Industries. Hosted by Emma Witkowski. December 1, 2017.
“Level Up: The Rise of Esports”. Academy Xi invited panellist – A panel discussing the practical and theoretical concepts of esports: the revolutionary gaming platform. Panellists: Emma Witkowski (RMIT), Michelle Mannering (Hackathon Queen), Lachlan McAllister (Founder of GG EZ), Shamila Gopalan (BlinkAsia). Melbourne Australia. November 22, 2017.
“Future of eSports in Australia”. Invited moderator for the Australian Sports Analytics & Sports Technology Conference. Melbourne, Australia. August 4, 2017.
“PAX 2016 – Australian ESports Athletes Committee” – panel with Emma Witkowski (RMIT), Jonny Roses (IGEA), Sarina Bruno (Team Immunity), Kelson Barber (SYF Gaming), Hayden Dunn (Scylla esports) and Darren Kwan (AESA) – panel audio link
“Esports 2020” (Sept. 6, 2016), Medium.
SELECT MEDIA APPEARANCES
EXAME (Brazilian technology and news site). May 2, 2018. “Deixou De Ser Brincadeira” [trans. “No Joke”]” – Thiago Lavado.
ABC Radio. February 24, 2018. “Level up: how esports could take over the world” – On Overnight with Rod Quinn. (available as podcast).
Futurism. October 28, 2017: “The future of eSports is in the hands of the players. Can they take it?”
ArtsHub, July 21, 2016: “The world’s biggest creative industry”
GQ Australia, October 15, 2015: “Esports: Inside the billion-dollar gaming industry”
ABC News, September 2015: “Professional e-sports tipped to flourish in Australia despite low internet speeds”
Dailyreview.com.au, October 2014: “Gaming: The Question of Esports in Australia”
Politiken.dk, September 2014: “Cyberfeminister er udskældte og får sågar dødstrusler i USA”
RMIT teaching essentials & transnational education. January 2016.
Diploma: Feedback on Written materials workshop. Held by TeachIT, IT University of Copenhagen, December 2011.
Diploma: How to Activate Students in a Large Classroom. Held by TeachIT, IT University of Copenhagen, May 2013.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS & ACTIVITIES
Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) track chair (Game Spectatorship & Audience Cultures), Kyoto, Japan 2019.
Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) track chair (Meta-play), Turin, Italy 2018.
Advisory Board for Ashton Media, Esports Industry Conference, 2018
Board member of the Australian Esports Association (AESA) 2016 –
RMIT Centre for Game Design Research (CGDR) – Playable Media Node Leader 2016 –
RMIT Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) – Media Methods Node Leader 2013 – 2015
Member of Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), and International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA).
Program Committee (Social & Behavioural Sciences), Digital Games Research Association Conference, 2013.
- Paper reviewer for Designing Interactive Systems conference, 2018
- Reviewer for The MIT Press, 2017 –
- Reviewer for Temple University Press, 2017 –
- Reviewer for Convergence journal, 2017-
- Paper reviewer for Foundations of Digital Games conference, 2017
- Reviewer for Journal of Games and Virtual Worlds, 2017-
- Reviewer for New Media & Society journal, 2016
- Paper reviewer for Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2016
- Paper reviewer for CHI Conference, 2015
- Reviewer for Game Studies journal, 2013-
- Paper reviewer for Digital Games Research Association Conference, 2013
- Reviewer for Loading… journal, 2013
- Reviewer for Philosophy & Technology journal, 2013
Natasha Shelvey (2013). RMIT University. “How Gender is Constructed in Massively Multiplayer Online Games.”
MASTERS THESIS SUPERVISIONS
Jacob Rindom Bertelsen. (Spring 2013). Digital Design & Communication – IT University. “Gaming culture at Danish internet cafés.”
Stine Hansen (Spring 2013). Media, Technology & Games – IT University. “How Social is Famville?”
Thomas Rousse (Fall 2013). Co-supervisor. Media, Technology & Games – IT University. Working on “Online Governance & League of Legends”
Ben Schäfer (Summer 2013). Co-supervisor. Media, Technology & Games – IT University. “The Magic Circle”
Aikaterini Prevelianaki (2013). Media, Technology & Games – IT University. “Women & Football: Research into the discrimination of women in football related games – FIFA & Foosball.”
Anders Lystad Brevik, Kayode Shonibare-Lewis & Samuel Walz (Co-supervisor. 2013). Media, Technology & Games – IT University. “Game Jams.”
Emil Hansen & Annika Holme (Co-supervisor. 2013). Media, Technology & Games – IT University.Working on “Can a story be told through a game landscape?”
Zhia Zariko. (2016). RMIT University. Assoc. supervisor (with Larissa Hjorth). “Let’s Play: Observations of videogame spectatorship and shared embodied play experiences.”
Sarojini Maxwell. (2018-). RMIT University. Assoc. supervisor (with Helen Stuckey). “play, place and possessive logics in contemporary Australian games.”
Amani Naseem. Face to Face: From Designing Games to Making Play. RMIT University. Assoc. supervisor (with Larissa Hjorth & Christian McCrea). (Started 2013).
William Goddard. Designing for Social Play Around Digital Games. RMIT University. Primary supervisor (with Douglas Wilson). (Started 2015).
Ge Zhang. The Future Games of the televisual: An ethnographic study of the Chinese live steaming douyu.tv. RMIT University. Assoc. supervisor (with Larissa Hjorth). (Started 2015).
Michael McMaster. Examining the Contemporary Position of Videogames in the Museum. RMIT University. Primary supervisor (with Douglas Wilson). (Started 2017).
Timothy Snowdon. Meaningful movement: engaging dance as an artform through game design. RMIT University. Primary supervisor (with Douglas Wilson). (Started 2018).
Accepted but withdrawn peer reviewed workshops/papers
“Live-Streaming Practices for Games & Play Workshop“, OzCHI 2015, University of Melbourne, Australia, December 2015. WORKSHOP WEBSITE. Workshop accepted but withdrawn.
Co-founder & lead designer of Audiowalks.dk: Digital audio guides for Copenhagen, Denmark. Est. 2007.
Learning Lab Denmark. Game Design Internship – Games for Health. Danish School of Education, Copenhagen Denmark. Winter 2006.
Head coach of Amager (Denmark) elite division Women’s basketball team. 2007 – 2008.
Pro player/asst. coach at Falcon (Denmark) & Virum (Denmark) elite division Women’s basketball teams. 2002 – 2007.
Pro player & youth coach at Falcon (Denmark) basketball club. 1997 – 2000.
Fluent in Danish.
Runs from Zombies.
Thinks Kawhi Leonard is a superstar.
Last updated December 19, 2011