David Cumming

Course Director - Esports

Staffordshire University London

I joined Staffordshire University London in late 2020 after completing a PhD from the University of Melbourne, where I researched how esports fans construct authentic experiences of spectatorship.

I come from a media studies background, having studied Screen Arts and Journalism (BA Hons). I continue my research here at SUL, where I employ ethnographic methods to understand lived experiences of esports spectatorship as a form of fan labour.

Some of my recent publications include an article in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography and a chapter in Global esports: Transformation of Cultural Perceptions of Competitive Gaming.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, “Constructing Authentic Esports Spectatorship: An Ethnography”, The University of Melbourne.
  • BA(Hons) Screen Arts and Journalism, Curtin University.

Research interests

  • Spectatorship experience
  • Audience labour
  • Authenticity in digital games and esports
  • Perceptions of digital games and esports
  • Human-computer interfaces in esports

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • Esports Events Experience
  • Driving Digital Traffic and Social Media
  • Esports Integrity Regulation and Risk
  • Esports Broadcasting
  • Competitive Gaming Culture

Postgraduate

  • Dissertation and Dissemination

Publications

Cumming, D., Gibbs, B., Smith, W. (2021). Constructing Authentic Spectatorship at an Esports Bar. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. 51(2).

Cumming, D. (2021). Esports, Australianness and beating New Zealand: Portrayals of esports in the mainstream Australian news media. In D.Y. Jin (Eds.), Global eSports: Transformation of Cultural Perceptions of Competitive Gaming.

Cumming, D. (2020). How User Modified Controllers Overcome Design Limitations to Create Competitive Advantage in Super Smash Bros. Melee. In Proceedings of the Digital Games Research Association International Conference: Play Everywhere. Tampere, Finland.

Cumming, D. (2020). The game of watching games: gamifying and monetising esports spectatorship. In Proceedings of the 2020 Digital Games Research Association Australian National Conference. Brisbane, Australia.

Cumming, D., Rogerson, M. (2019) The Situated Hinterlands of Online Gaming Practices. In Selected Papers of #AoIR2019. Brisbane, Australia.

Gibbs, M., Carter, M., Cumming, D., Fordyce, R., Witkowski, E. (2018). Esports Spectatorship in Australia. Networked Society Institute

Cumming, D. (2018). Understanding the experience of Australian eSports spectatorship. In Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message. Turin, Italy.

Top 5 UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

87% of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Top 10 for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

Top 15 for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

68% of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

6th for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022