T. L. Taylor

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For the English cricketer, see Tom Taylor (Yorkshire cricketer)

T.L. Taylor is a sociologist who specialises in researching the culture of gaming and online communities, in particular, e-sports and MMOGs such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft.


She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University. Her dissertation, Living Digitally: Embodiment in Virtual Environments, explored design and embodiment in MUDs and graphical virtual worlds.[1][2] Taylor is currently an Associate Professor in Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3] During 2012-2013 she was a Visiting Researcher with the Social Media group at Microsoft Research New England.[4] Previously, she was an Associate Professor at the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen.[5]


Taylor has been noted as providing insight into professional e-sports,[6] the dynamics of ethnic stereotyping in virtual worlds,[7] the relationship between the self-expression of players in a virtual world and designers' imperatives,[8] and as challenging the perceived dichotomy between online and offline experience.[9] Taylor's book, Raising the Stakes, examines professional computer gaming. She visited the World Cyber Games, as well as a number of other tournaments and did interviews with a variety participants in professional competitive gaming. The book looks at a number of topics in e-sports, including if they "should even be considered sports."[2]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Taylor, T.L. (2012). Raising the Stakes: E-sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 
  • Taylor, T.L. (2012). Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method (co-authored with Tom Boellstorff, Bonnie Nardi, and Celia Pearce). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 
  • Taylor, T.L. (2006a). Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 
  • Taylor, T.L. (2006b). "Does WoW Change Everything?: How a PvP Server, Multinational Playerbase, and Surveillance Mod Scene Caused Me Pause". Games and Culture. 


  1. ^ Taylor, T.L.. Living Digitally: Embodiment in Virtual Worlds. 
  2. ^ a b Tucker, Staci. "Books Aren’t Dead: Staci Tucker with T.L. Taylor". Books Aren't Dead. Fembot. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "MIT Comparative Media Studies: Faculty". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  4. ^ "New England Lab Current Members' Bios - Microsoft Research". Microsoft Research. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  5. ^ "MIT Comparative Media Studies: CMS News (January 2012)". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  6. ^ "Review of Raising the Stakes". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  7. ^ Hammer, Rhonda; Kellner, Douglas (2009-04-21). Media/Cultural Studies: Critical Approaches. Peter Lang Publishing. p. 598. ISBN 0820495263. 
  8. ^ Lister, Martin; Dovey, Jon; Giddings, Seth; Grant, Iain; Kelly, Kieran (2009-01-29). New Media: A Critical Introduction. Routledge. p. 212. ISBN 0415431611. 
  9. ^ Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Simon; Smith, Jonas Heide; Tosca, Susana Pajares (2008-02-15). Understanding Video Games: The Essential Introduction. Routledge. p. 168. ISBN 0415977207. 

External links[edit]