The game of performing play: Understanding streaming as cultural production

Anthony Pellicone, June Ahn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Live streaming has become pervasive in digital game culture. Previous work has focused largely on technological considerations in streaming platforms. However, little is known about how streamers enter the practice, gain skills, and operate as content producers. We present a qualitative study of an online forum dedicated to streaming. By observing the conversations between veterans and newcomers to the practice, we develop an understanding of how streamers must tie together technological, social, and gameplay-based skills to craft an appealing performance of play. We find that a key skill in streaming is the development of a unique attitude and persona as a gamer, which permeates into every element of a streamer's performance. As individual identity becomes important in streaming practice, design considerations for platform features such as community moderation and stream metrics may help improve equitable participation in this increasingly important aspect of game culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI 2017
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
StatePublished - May 2 2017

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