Dmitri Williams


Associate Professor of Communication
Dmitri Williams researches technology and society, with a focus on games and community.
Dmitri Williams
Dmitri Williams researches technology and society, with a focus on games and community.
Business, Computation and Informatics, Data and Coding, Digital Media, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Gaming, Gender and Sexuality, Marketing, Groups, Organizations and Networks, Popular Culture, Social Media, Technology and Innovation
Research and Practice Areas: 
News and Media Industries
Organizations and Networks
Science, Technology and Innovation
Center Affiliation: 


Dmitri Williams is an associate professor at USC Annenberg, where he teaches courses on technology and society, games and data analytics. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2004. His research focuses on the social and economic impacts of new media, with a focus on online games. He works actively with game companies and startups. Williams was the first researcher to use online games for experiments and to undertake longitudinal research on video games. He continues to study the psychology of online populations, with projects involving community, identity, sexuality and economics.

He has published in the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Monographs and others. His work has also been featured in several major media outlets, including NPR, CNN, the Economist, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Sun-Times and others. Williams testified before the U.S. Senate on video games and has served as an expert witness and consultant in federal court cases.

Journal Articles

“Viral Vitriol: Predictors and Contagion of Online Toxicity in World of Tanks,” co-author (Computers in Human Behavior, 2020).

Racism, Responsibility and Autonomy in HCI: Testing Perceptions of an AI Agent,” co-author (Computers in Human Behavior, 2020).

Women Keep it Real: Avatar Gender Choice in League of Legends,” co-author (CyberPsychology and Behavior, 2019).

Third Places in the Ether Around Us: Layers on the Real World,” co-author (Dolley, J. & Bosman, C. Rethinking Third Places: Informal Public Spaces and Community Building, 2019).

For better or worse: Game structure and mechanics driving social interactions and isolation,” author (In Ferguson, C. Video Game Influences on Aggression, Cognition, and Attention, 2018).

Fall 2020

COMM 662: Video Games Research 

CMGT 537: The Industry, Science and Culture of Video Games