Led by
APRU Games and Esports Webinar Series - December 2023

Date & Time:

December 5 (Tue) 4:30pm to 5:30pm (Pacific Time UTC-8 hours)
December 6 (Wed) 8:30am to 9:30am (Hong Kong/Singapore Time UTC+8 hours)

Check your local time

Speaker: J. Patrick Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Topic: Esports Ecosystems, Learning Ecologies, and the development of a model of domain expertise.

Esports participation involves a complex set of activities in which the development of participants’ expertise is of major importance. Expertise, conceptualized as special skills or knowledge that are acquired by training or practice, has cognitive, emotional and behavioral components that include communicative and collaborative skills, critical thinking, emotional control, digital literacy practices, and creative and productive competencies, among others. In this talk, I discuss findings from an interview-based study of how participants in the Singapore esports ecosystem—including players, coaches, streamers, shoutcasters, event organizers, and others—experienced expertise development. I situate esports expertise conceptually within a learning ecology model and empirically within an esports ecosystem. The esports ecosystem refers to the collection of institutions, meanings, and practices that constitute esports. The learning ecology model is explicitly built around recognition that expertise develops over time across a variety of contexts and involves a variety of resources, activities and social relationships. In the talk, I will focus specifically on some aspects of the ecosystem that enable or constrain the development of expertise, including cultural meanings around play, social relations within the ecosystem, the availability of various resources, and everyday practices.

Moderator: Professor Yupei Zhao, Media and International Culture, Zhejiang University.

Professor Patrick Williams
Associate Professor of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University

Patrick Williams (PhD) is Associate Professor of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His primary areas of research are culture and identity, wherein he splits his time between the study of subcultural identity and authenticity on the one hand, and game-related experiences and identities on the other. Among his many publications, he has authored and edited several books on culture, identity and/or games, including Gaming as Culture: Essays in Social Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games(2006), Subcultural Theory: Traditions and Concepts(2011), and Studies on the Social Construction of Identity and Authenticity (2020). His current research focuses on the significance of DIY culture and identity in the growth of esports in Singapore.

Professor Yupei ZHAO (Moderator)
Professor, Media and International Culture, Zhejiang University.

Dr Yupei Zhao (PhD in University of Leicester, UK) is an “Hundred Talent Program Young Professor” and doctorial tutor in college of Media and International Culture in Zhejiang University. She is currently vice chair-elected of International Communication Association Popular Media and Culture Division, vice dean of Chinese Society for Science and Technology Jounalism in Game and eSports Communication Research Professionals. Co-founder of UK-China Media and Communication Association. Before joining ZJU, she was working as a senior research associate in school of Communciation and Design in Sun Yat-sen University. Meanwhile, Yupei Zhao has been invited as senior researcher in Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies, China Policy institute at University of Nottingham (UK), and the Eurasian Sport Industry at Emlyon’s Shanghai Campus, visiting professor in Xi’an-Liverpool University and Beijing Institute of Technology.

Her research interests widely includes mixed-methods use to examine digital culture and platformalization, global communication, media culture and industry. Particurly, she pays more attentions on eSports culture and industry, digital music and culture, fandom culture, media and platformalization. She has a PhD and MA focusing on Political Communication and New Media in University of Leicester (UK) since 2010 to 2016. Thus far, she is PI for twelve research funding projects, and her research has appeared in International Journal of Cultural Studies, Journal of Cultural Economy, International Journal of Communication, Social Science Quarterly, Sage Open, Social media + Society, Media International Australia, popular music and society etc. She got “The Best Paper” Paper Award in both 2020 and 2019 International Communication Association Popular Media and Culture Division, and 2019 European Association for Sport Management.



Ms. Adriana Rojas

Senior Director, Networks and Students Programs

[email protected]