Kelly Bergstrom, Faculty, School of Communications, UH Mānoa

Kelly Bergstrom

Assistant Professor
Office: Crawford 330
Telephone: 1 (808) 956-3781

Browse My Publications:


As I was completing the last course required for my concurrent BFA in Visual Art and Honours BA in Communication at Simon Fraser University, I found myself at a crossroads. I had a stable job in non-profit arts administration and was slowly building my portfolio of abstract experimental videos. I had also just finished an honours thesis about social capital in World of Warcraft. I asked my mentor for advice, he suggested the following: “If you want to be an artist, walk to Mexico. If you want to be a teacher, go to graduate school.” I really wanted to teach and keep doing research, so I went to graduate school. I still have not yet made it to Mexico.


  • PhD, Language, Culture and Teaching, York University, 2016
  • MA, Communication and Culture, University of Calgary, 2009
  • BA Hons., Communication, Simon Fraser University, 2007
  • BFA, Visual Art, Simon Fraser University, 2007


My research focuses on digital cultures, with an emphasis on digital games. Previously I have investigated trolling and deception in online communities, whether social capital can be developed through online gameplay, and how romantic couples use games as part of their shared leisure time. Currently, I am interested in better understanding why some people quit playing games or never begin playing in the first place. I am a mixed-methods scholar who draws on theoretical frameworks from leisure studies and feminist STS. I am a member of the graduate faculty and I am open to supervising projects related to games, digital cultures, and other forms of computer-mediated communication.