Christopher A. Paul, PhD

PhD, Rhetorical Studies

Professor, Communication and Media

Phone: 206-296-2034

Building/Room: 1103 Building #310

Christopher Paul CV (PDF)


Christopher A. Paul joined the faculty at Seattle University in 2008 after teaching for three years at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He got his M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Studies with a focus on rhetorical analysis from the University of Minnesota.

His research focuses on applying the tools of rhetoric to aspects of digital media, most frequently video games. He has published five books: Optimizing Play: Why Theorycrafting Breaks games and How to Fix It(MIT Press, 2024), Free-to-Play: Mobile Video Games, Bias, and Norms(MIT Press, 2020), Real Games: What’s Legitimate and What’s Not in Contemporary Video Games(with Mia Consalvo, MIT Press, 2019), The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games: Why Gaming Culture Is the Worst(University of Minnesota Press, 2018), and Wordplay and the Discourse of Video Games: Analyzing Words, Design, and Play(Routledge, 2012). He’s given talks about his work around the world and videos are available about his book on toxic meritocracyand his first book.

Professor Paul teaches a range of classes focused on rhetoric and digital media, including Introduction to Communication Studies, Research Seminar, Project Capstone, and special topics classes on topics in digital media and video games. He also teaches a university core class addressing video games and their role in society. He has also served as department chair, president of the college faculty staff senate, and is the faculty advisor for SU E-sports and Gaming.