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Assistant Professor

University of Central Oklahoma


Matt Knutson (he/him/his), Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communication at UCO. He teaches classes on esports, media studies, and streaming media production. His research focuses on competitive gaming and he has published on temporality in esports as well as inclusivity and diversity in collegiate esports spaces.

Pronunciation: Sounds like "Canoe"-tson

Knutson plays games with his two kids - Autumn and Quentin - such as Uno, Pokémon Shield, Smash Bros. Ultimate and Untitled Goose Game. His partner, Emily, has patiently stayed with him despite his longtime fixation on games.

His most played esports are Rocket LeagueMagic: Arena and Super Smash Bros. Melee. 

Education and Certifications

Knutson earned his Ph.D. in visual studies from the University of California Irvine (2020). Prior to that, he earned a Master of Arts in English from Boston College (2014) and a Master of Education in secondary language arts instruction from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (2009). He previously taught high school English in Minnesota before returning to graduate school.

Office Hours

Knutson regularly streams his office hours on Twitch during the academic year. You can typically find him streaming once a week at

For students currently enrolled in one of his classes, please see your syllabus for information on one-on-one office hours, via Zoom.

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities


Knutson's work has been published in Game Studies here:

And you can find the essay he coauthored on inclusivity in collegiate esports in the proceedings for the 2019 Esports Conference here:

If you'd like to read his brief essay on Squid Game in In Medias Res, it is available here: 

Knutson's dissertation, Frame-Perfect: Temporalities in Competitive Gaming, analyzes the temporal experience of play in esports such as Super Smash Bros. Melee and Rocket League. He is currently preparing a book proposal based on this manuscript.

Selected Papers Presented

2022 Society for Cinema & Media Studies 2022 annual conference, “Wasn’t in the Cards: The Proto-Esport of Professional Magic”

2021 Society for Cinema & Media Studies 2021 annual conference, “‘Golden Age’ Pros: An Archival Study of the Pre-History of Esports”

2020 Queerness and Games Conference, “He/She/They: The Risks of Being Outed on Stream” (conference cancelled due to COVID-19)

2020 Society for Cinema & Media Studies 2020 annual conference, “‘Golden Age’ Pros: An Archival Study of the Pre-History of Esports” (conference cancelled due to COVID-19)

2019 Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts annual conference, “The Distributed Ethos of Melee Netplay”

2019 UCI Esports Conference 2019, “Living By the Code: Drafting and Enacting Community Guidelines for a More Inclusive Esports Environment”

2019 Game Developers Conference 2019, “Diversity and Inclusion in Esports: Where It Is, Where It’s Going, and How It’s Being Done”

2018 Society for Cinema & Media Studies 2018 annual conference, “Buffered Time: Connected Asynchronicity on Twitch” (presented remotely)

2017 Society for Cinema & Media Studies 2017 annual conference, “Frame Perfect: Optimization in the Micro-Temporality of Skillful Play”

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