Associate Professor, Sociology and Legal Studies

professor headshotJennifer R. Whitson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology & Legal Studies and at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, both at the University of Waterloo. She is involved with University of Waterloo’s Games Institute and the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, and was an associate editor of Surveillance and Society. She has published in edited collections such as The Gameful World, published by MIT Press, as well as the journals First MondayEconomy & Society, FibreCulture, Games & Culture and New Media and Society. 

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Jennifer R. Whitson studies the secret life of software, mostly at the nexus of digital games and Surveillance Studies, and has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork with game developers since 2012. Her research centres on the shifting production models of the global game industry, tracing how both social and technological practices shape developers' creative work and the larger cultural role of games and play. More generally, she studies digital media surveillance, social influences on software development processes, gamification, and governance in online domains.

Recent Publications:

Whitson, J.R. “The New Spirit of Capitalism in the Game Industry”. Special Issue on Contested Formations of Digital Games Labour. Television and New Media, 20(8) 2019:789-801.

Whitson, J.R. “Voodoo Software and Boundary Objects in Game Development: How game developers collaborate and conflict with game engines and art tools”. New Media and Society, 20(7) 2018: 2315-2332.

Contact Information:

519-888-4567 x30259

Jennifer's Sociology and Legal Studies Department profile

Jennifer's Stratford Campus profile

Personal website

University of Waterloo

IMMERSe Network


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