David Nieborg
David Nieborg

Homepage of David B. Nieborg

Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Toronto
Faculty Research Fellow, Jackman Humanities Institute, Toronto
Residential Fellow, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton

Currently, I am residing in: Princeton, NJ

Dr. David B. Nieborg is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Toronto. He teaches at the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and is cross-appointed with the Faculty of Information. He holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam and held visiting & fellowship appointments with MIT, the Queensland University of Technology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Amsterdam. David has a past career as a consultant, a newspaper journalist, and co-founded an award-winning game company. He published widely on the game industry, app and platform economics, and game journalism in academic outlets, such as New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, Internet Policy Review, and Media, Culture and Society. His research has been funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He is the co-author of Platforms and Cultural Production (Polity, 2021), which is translated into Italian and Chinese. His most recent book is Mainstreaming and Game Journalism (MIT Press, 2023).

  • Mainstreaming and Game Journalism is out now with MIT Press

    Why games are still niche and not mainstream, and how journalism can help them gain cultural credibility. Our book is out now with MIT Press in the Playful Thinking series. You can download a full, Open Access PDF here or buy the book at your fav bookstore.

    The book addresses both the history and current practice of game journalism, along with the roles writers and industry play in conveying that the medium is a “mainstream” form of entertainment. Through interviews with reporters, we retrace how the game industry and journalists started a subcultural spiral in the 1980s that continues to this day. Digital play became increasingly exclusionary by appealing to niche audiences. At the same time, this culture pushed journalists to the margins, leaving them toiling to find freelance gigs and deeply ambivalent about their profession.

    According to Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, this is a

    “A well-crafted book that exudes a passion for games and combines a healthy skepticism for the state of game journalism as a genre and its place within institutional journalism, with a set of prescriptive, provocative, and aspiration solutions for game journalism’s future… A must-read for journalism and game scholars, this book masterfully presents the complex dynamics that form and establish journalistic genres and their impact and influence on journalists’ practices and sensemaking and vice versa.”

    Published On: 22 November 2023