Chris J Young PhD Candidate

I am a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Information, Knowledge Media Design Institute, and Semaphore Lab, University of Toronto. My research interests include games and play cultures, information seeking and use practices, and cultural industries and labour. I am also employed as a part-time Librarian at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the Massey College Robertson Davies Library, University of Toronto.

For my doctoral dissertation I will conduct a year-long ethnographic study of hobbyist game developers in the Greater Toronto Area. My study will research the information seeking and use practices and informal “working” conditions of hobbyist game developers in Toronto’s game developer scene. The study will follow the development cycle of hobbyist game developers’ digital games from conception to release and maintenance.

Hobbyist game developers create digital games as an uncoerced activity undertaken in free time; more specifically, they create digital games as a leisure activity rather than a work activity, not relying on the potential monetary subsistence from the production of their digital games. Hobbyist game developers are individuals who have not worked in the mainstream games industry and do not have formal training in game development from a post-secondary institution.

My research will trace the emergence of the hobbyist game developer scene in Toronto, in concurrence with the rise and establishment of the broader, higher-profile “Toronto game developer scene,” from approximately 2009 to the present.


News & Updates


TAGLab visits Semaphore by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Jun 15th, 2013

On June 13th, 2013 the Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab (TAGlab) paid a visit to Semaphore. Over the hour-long lunch meeting, both labs...

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Games In Film - Get Lamp by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Mar 15th, 2013

5:00-7:30pm Tuesday March 12, 2013
Media Commons, Screening Room 2 (Robarts Library, 130 St. George St.)

Games in Film nights discuss issues surrounding games and...

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Games In Film - Playing Columbine by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Jan 25th, 2013

5-7:30pm, Tuesday February 12, 2014
Media Commons, Screening Room #1 (Robarts Library, 130 St. George St.)


Games in Film nights discuss issues surrounding...

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Games In Film - Tetris: From Russia With Love by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Jan 5th, 2013

January 22, 2014 @7pm
Media Commons Screening Room 1

For our first Games in Film event of the academic year we screened the BBC documentary...

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Research Groups


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