Call for Papers: Celebrities of Gaming

Call for Papers

The 5th Jyväskylä Autumn Seminar

Celebrities of Gaming

University of Jyväskylä, Finland

November 21-22, 2019

Over the past decades, a variety of celebrities have emerged from gaming cultures (Aarseth 2004, Jin 2010, Newman 2016). These celebrities range from veteran developers (Roberta Williams, Sid Meier, IceFrog), cherished characters (Super Mario, Lara Croft, Pikachu), and influential critics (Anita Sarkeesian, Emily Short, Thorin Shields) to the more recent content creators (SSSniperWolf, Pewdiepie, iHasCupquake), live-streamers (Ninja, Pokimane, Shroud), and esport stars (Scarlett, Boxer, Faker), among others (see Lamerichs 2018, Abidin 2018, Baym 2018, Taylor 2018). We invite you to join a two-day seminar organised by the Department of Music and Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä, in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies. The seminar will address questions such as what does celebrity mean in game cultures? What are the politics of visibility and celebrity afforded by gaming platforms and their wider ecologies of digital connection? What are the differences between fictional celebrities and the fiction of celebrity as they relate to shifting notions of authenticity in online cultures? How does controversy circulate and how are celebrity and notoriety monetized in gaming’s infrastructures and discourses? What are the life cycles of gaming celebrities and how do they relate to legacy media and popular culture more generally? Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Fan practices and platform affordances in relation to gaming celebrities
  • Parasocial relationships and mediated intimacies with gaming celebrities
  • Esports stars as celebrity athletes
  • LGBTQI+ celebrities of gaming
  • Intersectional approaches to celebrity in gaming cultures
  • Celebrity in non-western gaming cultures
  • Philosophical issues related to celebrities and celebrity
  • Political economy of gaming celebrity
  • Aspirational and relational labour of gaming celebrities

We welcome submissions using a variety of approaches, including but not limited to:

  • game studies
  • celebrity studies
  • internet research
  • fan studies
  • sports sociology
  • production studies
  • cultural and creative industries
  • media and cultural studies

Please send an abstract of 500 words to http://r.jyu.fi/zkW by August 1, 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be sent to the authors by August 15. After the conference, selected abstracts will be invited for special issue journal publication as full articles. For questions, please contact Raine Koskimaa (raine.koskimaa@jyu.fi) or Veli-Matti Karhulahti (vmkarhwu@jyu.fi).


Aarseth, Espen. (2004). The game and its name: What is a game auteur? In Torben Grodal et al. (Eds.) Visual authorship: Creativity and intentionality in media, 261-269.

Abidin, Crystal. (2018) Internet celebrity: Understanding fame online. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Baym, Nancy (2018). Playing to the crowd: Musicians, audiences, and the intimate work of connection. NYU Press.

Jin, Dal Yong (2010) Korea's online gaming empire. The MIT Press, 2010.

Lamerichs, Nicolle (2018). Productive fandom: intermediality and affective reception in fan cultures. Amsterdam University Press.

Newman, James. (2016). Stampylongnose and the rise of the celebrity videogame player. Celebrity Studies, 7(2), 285-288.

Taylor, T.L. (2018) Watch me play: Twitch and the rise of game live streaming. Princeton University Press.