Chris J. Young

I am the Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto, and the Council of Library and Information Resources. My research examines the cultural production of digital objects through ethnographic fieldwork of contemporary cultural workers and bibliographical analyses of media artifacts. My doctoral dissertation examines the emergence of everyday gamemakers and how they make-do with industry-developed tools and resources to establish grassroots practices and norms. Some of my research has been published in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America and the Journal of Games Criticism.

My research asks two questions: how are digital objects made today? And, how do we analyze the material artefacts of digital objects 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 games 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 game industry. The second question draws on the disciplines of bibliography, computer forensics, critical code studies, media archaeology, platform studies, and software studies. The game 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 games are developed, manufactured, and published. My research develops bibliographical and computational methods for analyzing game artefacts, while adhering to the legal-rights of developers and copyright-holders.

If you wish to contact me you can email me here.