Professional gaming and work: Challenges, trajectories, and labour market impacts amongst professional gamers

  • Overview

  • Progress

  • Project Team

Over the past two decades video games and ‘gamers’ have become an increasingly trendy topic both in the academy as well as in the media. This focus has shed considerable light on the violent consequences and controversies (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Anderson et al., 2010; Gee, 2003) as well as questions of social connectedness (Caplan, Williams, & Yee, 2009; Cole & Griffiths, 2007; Hussain & Griffiths, 2009). While work in these areas on professional gaming has emerged, a body of research on professional video games and the labour market has not developed.  The first and most apparent contribution to the literature is the insight into professional gaming and esports, a recent and developing industry. While there has been considerable research on the social and health consequences of playing video games, comparatively little research on the labour and work implications of professional gaming exists. This research can contribute by examining professional gaming as a form of work or source of income (Taylor, 2012).  A current study is especially valuable because the gaming landscape and industry has changed significantly in the past decade.  Additionally, this research will expand on our understanding of school-work transitions and the challenges that exist for those in the gaming industry. Specifically focusing on the precarious nature of the labour, and the trajectories that youth attempting to earn a living playing professional gaming go through. Lastly, the proposed research will take into consideration the consumption of said labour. This will be done through an analysis of the relationship that exists between professional gamers and their viewers.


The project is funded by 2014-2017 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship- Doctoral.

Principal Investigator

Tracey Adams, Professor and Chair of Sociology


Anabel Quan-Haase, Professor, Department of Sociology and Faculty of Information and Media Studies

Michael Haight, Co-Investigator and Lead Researcher

Currently Working On:

Research participant intake: Lead researcher, Michael Haight, is actively contacting experienced professional gamers to ask for interviews. 

If you would like to participate in this study, please contact: 

Michael Haight
PhD Candidate
Department of Sociology
Western University 

Papers and Publications

As soon as Discussion Papers, Conference Presentations, or Publications are ready, they will be summarized and linked here.

Principal Investigator:

Tracey Adams, Professor

Tracey Adams
  • Work
  • Professions
  • Regulation of professions in Canada
  • Social inequality
  • Gendered professions
  • Health professions
On Leave - January 1 to June 30, 2023
SSC 5328
519-661-2111 x85120
Faculty Profile


Michael Haight

Michael Haight

Research Topic: Digital Inequality in Canada: Understanding Differentiated Use of the Internet

Supervisor: Anabel Quan-Haase

Anabel Quan-Haase, Professor
Rogers Chair in Studies in Journalism and New Information Technology

Anabel Quan-Haase
  • New media and social change
  • Digital activism
  • Social media
  • Social networks
  • Digital social capital
  • Scholarly digital communication

SSC 5413
519-661-2111 x86952
Faculty Profile