I am an Assistant Professor of Media Industries at New York University, specializing in historical, cultural, and economic analysis of the video game and computer industries.
My expertise has come from the ground up: for the past 5 years, I have traveled across America interviewing dozens of past employees from the U.S. computer game industry.
This oral history research contributes to my current book project, Before We Were Gamers: Remembering and Forgetting an Industry's Dawn, which charts the rise, demise and unexpected resurgence of the flagship computer game company Sierra On-Line, beginning in 1980 and weaving a forty-year trajectory through a turbulent industry whose most profitable commodity has turned out to be our own nostalgia. Before We Were Gamers will take readers beyond the congratulatory epics and celebratory childhood longing that dominate our accounts of the video game industry, offering instead an intricate portrait of the 20th century origins of a truly 21st century medium.
I am an Assistant Professor of Media Industries in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Prior to NYU, I was an Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Media and Communication at Georgia Tech, and held a postdoc through the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing.
As part of my long-standing interest in expanding historical study of the game industry within the academy and beyond, I have co-founded ROMchip: A Journal of Game Histories, alongside Henry Lowood and Raiford Guins. ROMchip is an open access, hybrid-audience, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to fostering the historical study of games. Our first issue launched July 2019.
I have a successful background coordinating events that build community across industry and academic divides. I've made my mark producing events like the first Different Games Conference, Mistakes Were Made, and Command Lines. Additionally, I am an advisor to the Softalk Apple Preservation Project, the Vice-Chair of Meetings for SIGCIS, and served the Journal of Visual Culture in varying capacities, including Managing Editor, for 9 years.
In past lives, I was a C-List Internet celebrity, received a medal for my writing as a graphic design critic, worked in newspaper and book design, and had a stint as a short-order cook. I carry a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Stony Brook University, a M.A. in Cultural Studies from Kansas State University, and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Dayton.
Hobbies include motorcycles, trumpet, and tugboats.
[email] laine [dot] nooney [at] gmail.com
Photo credits | Laine Nooney (top), Kette Thomas