Joshua Jarrett

Senior Lecturer

Digital, Tech, Innovation & Business

I’m a Senior Lecturer with a background in digital media and game studies. I have acted as a module leader across many BA and MA modules, as well as acting as interim course director for BA Esports. I also supervise a variety of MA and PhD students working across a range of esports and games related projects.

I welcome PhD candidates seeking to carry out games or esports related research projects, particularly in the fields of fan, game, and Internet studies.

I’m a qualitative researcher with experience carrying out online ethnographic fieldwork into various games cultures. These include the co-creative cultures of games such as League of Legends, as well as the modding culture of DotA and audiences on streaming platforms such as Twitch. I have also been an active collaborator in the organisation of several esports events, both student run and external. For example, I assisted the organisers of the SSBM event Fête 2022.

My past research has won funding from several scholarship and external bodies, and I have personally been involved in research council funded research projects.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Advance Higher Education Fellow (FHEA)
  • Digital Games Research Association (member)
  • British Digital Games Research Association (member)
  • Esports Research Network (member)
  • The Fan Studies Network (member)

Academic qualifications

  • Academic Professional Apprenticeship (Distinction), Staffordshire University, 2023.
  • PgCHPE (Distinction), Staffordshire University, 2021.
  • PhD, ‘From DotA to MOBA: The Emergence and Crisis of Playful Co-creativity in Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games’. University of the West of England, 2019.
  • MA Online Cultures via Independent Study (Distinction). De Montfort University, 2011.
  • BA Film and Media (First Class Honours). De Montfort University, 2010.


  • Game Studies
  • Internet Studies
  • Fan studies
  • Cultural studies
  • Online Ethnography
  • Critical Political Economy
  • Co-creativity
  • Affective Economies
  • Gift Economies

Research interests

  • Game studies
  • Internet studies
  • Fan studies
  • Cultural studies
  • Esports research
  • Gift Economies
  • Co-creativity
  • Game/platform governance
  • Critical political economy
  • Online ethnography
  • Affective economies



  • Community Management
  • Esports Ecosystems
  • Competitive Gaming Culture
  • Contemporary Issues in Esports
  • Event Planning and Strategy
  • Single Player Esports Events
  • Driving Digital Traffic
  • Esports Expo



  • International Esport Policy and Planning
  • Managing Arena Strategies
  • Esports Ecosystems
  • Dissertation and Dissemination
  • Negotiated Project 1
  • Negotiated Project 2
  • Negotiated Study Masers Project


Journal Papers & Book Chapters 

Jarrett, J. (2021) ‘Gaming the Gift: Affective Economy of League of Legends’, Journal of Consumer Culture, Volume 21, (1).

Jarrett, J. (2021) several entries in Wolf, M. (2021) Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and the Art of Gaming, second edn, Greenwood Publishing Group Inc: London. These entries are:

‘Activision Blizzard’ (500 words)

‘Fortnite’ (500 words)

‘Global Games’ (1000 words)

‘Gold Farming’ (1000 words)

‘Mario Kart’ (1000 words)

‘Open Source Software’ (500 words)


Conference Papers & Proceedings

Jarrett, J., and Murphy, D. (2023) ‘Genealogy of a Hate Raid’, DiGRA 2023 Proceedings, 15th June 2023, Sevilla.

Jarrett, J. (2022) ‘Mind the Gap: The Unsustainable Value Derived from Esports by its Publishers’, Esports Research Network Conference, JönköpingNovember 2022.

Jarrett, J. (2020) ‘The Ongoing Product Lifecycle of a Games as Service Model: a League of Legends Case Study’, DiGRA 2020 Proceedings.

Jarrett, J. (2020) ‘Balancing a Game: Controlling a Global Industry: How Riot Games Have Expanded their Influence from Playful to Political Economies in the Form of Commercially Governed International Esports’, Fourth International Conference on Cultural Political Economy, 10th January 2020, Staffordshire University.

Jarrett, J., and Law, Y. (2020) ‘Resistance, Play and Esports Chants: A Smash Bros. Melee Case Study’, DiGRA 2020 Proceedings, forthcoming.

Law, Y., and Jarrett, J. (2019) ‘More Than a Tournament: Grassroots Play and Participation at Esports Events’, Proceedings of the UCI Esports Conference, pp. 1-6

Jarrett, J. (2018) ‘Game Balance as Creative Destruction’, paper to be presented at British DiGRA 2018 Conference, 14th – 15th June 2018, Staffordshire University.

Jarrett, J. (2017) ‘ESports Ecologies and their Discontents: A League of Legends Case Study’, paper presented at The Future of ESports: Challenging Work and Gender Issues in Pro-Gaming, August 16th Manchester.

Jarrett, J. (2017) ‘Towards Comparative Game Industry and Production Studies: The Role of Regions in MOBAs’, a UK Case Study’, paper presented at DiGRA UK 2017 Conference, 5th May 2017, University of Salford.

Jarrett, J. (2016) ‘Paidia to Ludus, Non-Commodity to Commodity: Uncovering the Residue of Player Developed Custom Game Modes in ‘Zombies’ and ‘ARAMs’’, Proceedings of 1st International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG, 1- 6th August 2016.

Jarrett, J. (2016) ‘Critically Approaching the Playful and Participatory Genealogy of MOBAs’, Proceedings of 1stInternational Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG, 1- 6th August 2016.

Jarrett, J. (2015) ‘Regulating Playful Ecosystems: Critically Exploring the Dynamics of Balance in the MOBA Genre’, paper presented at MeCCSA PGN Conference, 2nd July 2015, Coventry University.

Jarrett, J. (2015) ‘Gaming the Gift: The Paradox of Pay-to-Win and Why a Free and Fair Game Reciprocates Participation and Creates Value’, paper presented at Ludic Economies: Value & Exchange in Contemporary Game Cultures, 30th June 2015, University of Southampton.

Jarrett, J. (2015) ‘Playing with MOBA Affect’, paper presented at the Third Annual Fan Studies Network Conference, 27th June 2015, The University of East Anglia.

Jarrett, J. (2015) ‘Playing Between Rules: Negotiating the Ludic Innovations of the MOBA Genre’, Proceedings of 'DiGRA 2015: Diversity of Play: Games – Cultures – Identities, May 16th 2015, Lüneburg.

Jarrett. J. (2015) ‘The Connective Play of MOBA Spaces: How Player Streams Speak to, Influence, and Direct the Actions of Wider Play Spaces’, paper presented at Rutgers Media Studies Conference: Extending Play the Sequel, April 18th 2015, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Jarrett. J. (2014) ‘Fountain Hooks, Emergent Exploits and MOBA Games’, paper presented at Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment 6th Global Conference, July 19th 2014, Oxford.

Jarrett, J. (2014) ‘Critically Exploring Playful Co-creativity in Online Games, ACE Postgraduate Research Symposium, 25th June 2014, University of West of England, Bristol.

Jarrett. J. (2014) ‘The DotA Paradox: A Critical Insight into Playful Online Innovation’, paper presented at Creating Cultures: Postgraduate Conference in Culture, Media, and the Creative Industries, 12th June 2014, King’s College London.

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

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

Research Excellence Framework 2021

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

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021