Chatfield took a doctorate and taught at St John's College, Oxford, before beginning work as a writer and editor.
His first book, on the culture of video games, Fun Inc, was published worldwide in 2010, followed by four further books exploring digital culture. He is an associate editor at Prospect magazine, Fellow at The School of Life and guest faculty member at the Said Business School, Oxford, as well as a fortnightly columnist for the BBC.
A frequent speaker and consultant on games and new media, he spoke at TED Global 2010 on "7 ways games reward the brain", was lead content designer and writer on Preloaded's game The End, and appears regularly in the British and international media as a commentator.
Italian think tank LSDP named him among its 100 top global thinkers in 2010 for his work.
Fun Inc was published in 2010 by Virgin Books in the UK and by Pegasus Books in the US. An investigation of the business, cultural significance and larger lessons to be learned from the video games industry, it addresses popular concerns such as the debate over violence in games, as well as the questions of games as art, as a fundamental human activity, and as an index of ongoing transformations in the social sciences, economics and 21st century life.
Activism or Slacktivism?
Activism or Slacktivism? was published in July 2011 as a short eBook by Vintage Digital, and examines the impact of new media on politics and political activism.
50 Digital Ideas You Really Need to Know
50 Digital Ideas You Really Need to Know was published in September 2011 by Quercus, and introduces 50 key ideas for understanding the digital age, ranging from the basics of email and markup languages to location-based services, virtual goods and the semantic web.
How to Thrive in the Digital Age
How to Thrive in the Digital Age was published in May 2012 by Pan Macmillan in association with The School of Life, as part of a six-book series of guides to modern living edited by Alain de Botton. Chatfield's book examines the implications of wired life for contemporary lives, society and culture - and offers practical advice on what it means to prosper in a digital century.
Netymology was published in March 2013 by Quercus, and tells the stories behind 100 of the digital age's most terms and ideas: from the @ and Apple symbols, to grokking, Trojans and zombies.
- Tom Chatfield's website featuring a selection of his articles and material from Fun Inc
- Tom Chatfield at TED
- authors@Google Tom Chatfield's lecture at Google on games as learning engines
- Review of Fun Inc for the Guardian newspaper by Steven Poole
- Review of Fun Inc for the Observer newspaper by Naomi Alderman