David Kirschner

Dr. David Kirschner

Assistant Professor of Sociology

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Dr. David Kirschner earned his PhD in sociology in 2014 from Nanyang Technological University in sunny Singapore, where he lived for four years. His thesis, "Gameplay Socialization: Meaning-making, Player-computer, and Player-player Interaction in Digital Games," explores how novices experience socialization into the virtual environments of popular video games. How do they make sense of unfamiliar digital worlds and game rules? What stages comprise gameplay socialization? What roles do non-human interactants play in the learning process? How do players handle increasing complexity in digital gameplay? The answers to these questions outline an argument for the serious study of digital games, and digital media more broadly, in everyday life.

Kirschner has published research in various outlets, including the journals Symbolic Interaction and Simulation & Gaming, in edited books, and conference proceedings. He regularly presents at academic conferences, including annual meetings of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, Southern Sociological Society and Digital Games Research Association.

Currently, he is preparing for upcoming conferences, turning thesis chapters into publications, tutoring PhD students in theory, methods and writing, editing PhD theses, and working on a collaborative project called Healthcaring.

Kirschner has been teaching in various capacities for the past decade. After working in Georgia high schools in special education and social science and earning an M.Ed., he decided to apply his teaching expertise to the university level. While pursuing his PhD in Singapore, he taught Social Psychology, Environmental Sociology, Media and Society, and Culture, Self and Identity. Kirschner creates student-centered classrooms and utilizes a vast array of teaching methodologies and resources, aiming to relate the study of sociology to the everyday lives of students.


  • Doctorate – sociology – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Master’s – social science education with emphasis in history – University of Georgia
  • Bachelor’s – sociology – University of Georgia

Academic Interests

  • Human-computer interaction
  • Gaming
  • Media and society
  • Socialization
  • Qualitative research methods