Professor Esther Maccallum-Stewart


School of Digital, Technologies and Arts

I am an Associate Professor in Game Studies. My work examines the ways in which players understand the worlds around them – as players, fans, producers and consumers. I have written widely on aspects of gaming including gender in games, representation and diversity, the ways in which players tell stories and understand narratives in games, and on types of games which are typically overlooked. My work extends beyond the digital to examine gaming worlds such as roleplaying, boardgames, fan communities and conventions. I have consulted for gaming companies about playful experiences and players including Candy Crush (King Games) and Sony Playstation.

I am a Hugo award finalist and organise large science fiction conventions, including the Glasgow 2024 Worldcon .

Professional memberships and activities

Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA)

  • Member (2016 – present)
  • Distinguished Scholar (2018 – present)
  • Vice President – (2012 – 2016)
  • Chair, UK chapter (2016- present)

AHRC – peer reviewer

ESRC – peer reviewer

World Science Fiction Society (WSFS)

  • Chair, Glasgow in 2024 (2016 – present)
  • Member (2011-present)

British Science Fiction Association (BSFA)

  • Member (2014 – present)

HEA – Senior Fellowship (2021).

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, The University of Sussex
  • BA, The University of Sussex


  • Videogames
  • Digital Games
  • Play and Playfulness
  • Gender and Representation
  • Narratology
  • Roleplaying Games
  • Boardgames

Research interests

  • Game Studies
  • Videogames
  • Digital Games
  • Play Studies
  • Gender and Representation in Games
  • Narratology
  • Roleplaying Games
  • Boardgames
  • Fans and Fandom


Rerolling Boardgames (with Douglas Brown). 2020. Macfarland Press. 147667079X.

The Science Fiction of Iain M Banks. (with Nick Hubble and Joe Norman). 2019. Canterbury: Gylphi Press 9781780240541

Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Fantasy Fiction (with Jude Roberts). 2016. Routledge. 9781472447531

The Game Love Reader (with Jessica Enevold) 2015. Macfarland Press. 0786496938

Online Games, Social Narratives. 2014. Routledge. 0415891905

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

6th for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020