Games and Gaming

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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Games and Gaming
    ( 2023-01-03) Poor, Nathaniel ; Orme, Stephanie
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    That Birdie Feeling: Understanding the Role of LAN Organizers in Maintaining a Gaming Community
    ( 2023-01-03) Mccauley, Brian ; Scholz, Tobias ; Tierney, Kieran
    This paper presents the initial findings of a longitudinal study examining the role and experiences of LAN organizers in managing player communities pre, during and post the Covid 19 pandemic. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyze interviews with organizers of the Birdie LAN, Sweden’ s longest running LAN event. Five key themes were identified reflecting the roles of organizers and their experiences pre pandemic. (1) building and maintaining the culture, (2) encouraging inclusivity and community building, (3) negotiating professionalism, (4) learning, adapting and evolving, (5) creating sustainability through a future orientation. This paper presents the results of the first data collection to examine the impacts of the pandemic on grassroots gaming communities. The findings here represent a foundation in understanding the role of community leaders in maintaining a culture around gaming. These initial findings add value to our understanding of grassroots esports and player communities and the social practices of gaming in the modern era.
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    Fame! I wanna stream forever! Analysis and Critique of Successful Streamers' Advice to the Next Generation
    ( 2023-01-03) Consalvo, Mia ; Boudreau, Kelly ; Bowman, Nick ; Phelps, Andrew
    This paper examines the practice of large-scale and successful streamers in creating ‘how-to’ videos with advice for smaller streamers and content creators. The goal of this study was to investigate how successful streamers encourage newcomers and/or smaller streamers to “grow” on Twitch, examining such factors as the advice they offer, the evidence that such advice works, and their reasons for sharing such information. More critically, how do their materials invoke rhetorics of meritocracy, and how does the creation of such videos further entrench those creators as successful, able to deploy “streaming capital” to buttress their claims? While the initial focus was on Twitch, this research led to a wider ranging exploration as the advice of successful streamers was to employ other platforms in combination, as the field of live streaming has extended far beyond Twitch itself.
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    Information Milieu and Play in Lockdown: The Cute, the Ugly, and the…
    ( 2023-01-03) Hajibayova, Lala
    his study is an investigation of young children’s information needs and their seeking and discovery behaviors in the context of playing the popular Nintendo Switch life simulation game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons (AC:NH). The children in this study perceived AC:NH as an ideal escape from the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown, and effectively utilized the affordances of AC:NH and other related platforms to play, interact, and learn. The appealing AC:NH kawaii design, coupled with the anthropomorphized behaviors, minds, and emotions of the animal characters, encouraged the children to interweave perceptions and expectations, which led them to play out scenarios relevant to their own experiences and lives.
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    Online Gaming and Personality: Explaining Gamers’ Cheating Intention
    ( 2023-01-03) Menzel, Johannes ; Meier, Marco ; Maier, Christian
    Cheating in online games poses a risk to game publishers, as it deters other gamers and reduces revenues. These facts make it essential for game publishers to understand ‘who’ in the sense of gamers with what personalities have cheating intentions. Building on psychology research, we draw on (a) the big five personality traits and (b) the dark triad personality traits to explain how these reflect gamers’ personalities and together lead to cheating intentions. Following a configurational approach (N=192), we reveal two configurations explaining high cheating intention and one explaining low cheating intention. We contribute to online gaming research by revealing that gamers with cheating intentions have specific personalities. We advance information systems (IS) personality research by combining broad and dark triad traits to explain divergent behavior like cheating.
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    Reimagining “True Gamers” via Twitch Platform Tool
    ( 2023-01-03) Garvey, Kevin
    The live streaming platform Twitch hosts thousands of streamers vying for the attention of users. Previous studies have identified the salience of parasocial relationships and emotional labor for understanding the work of streamers (Johnson & Woodcock, 2019) as well as the presence of toxic geek masculinity (Ruberg et. al., 2019) and gendered differences in streaming labor (Jenson & de Castell, 2018). Twitch has grown steadily since its start in 2011 (Taylor, 2018) and saw a massive increase in growth in 2020, maintaining its position as the number one game streaming site, ahead of YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming (Partis, 2021). As a visual platform where gamers of all kinds broadcast their gameplay, Twitch is a valuable site for research into the ongoing intersections of gender roles and gaming culture. Via thematic analysis of in-depth interviews, this pilot study examines how platform tools for discoverability and moderation influence female Twitch streamers’ presentations of themselves as game players. Findings suggest that active ‘anti-gate-keeping’ is widespread among streamers who wish to build inclusive, sustainable channels in which to play, socialize, and earn. Keywords: gender and gaming, live streaming, geek masculinity, anti-gatekeeping, thematic analysis