Games and Gaming

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Item
    When a Pandemic Enters the Game: The Initial and Prolonged Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Live-Stream Broadcasters on Twitch
    ( 2022-01-04) Scerbakov, Alexei ; Pirker, Johanna ; Kappe, Frank
    The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the popularity of video games and online-gaming platforms. However, little research is devoted to understanding how the pandemic has affected gamers, especially live-stream broadcasters. Therefore, our study aimed to evaluate the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on established streamers on Twitch. By using a longitudinal time-series design and focusing on a large sample (N = 23,019) of broadcasters, we were able to determine the initial as well as prolonged effects of the pandemic on their streaming behavior. Our results suggest that the pandemic was a "game changer" for the target group, especially in regard to their choice of game settings and their focus on non-gaming content. Relating the data obtained from the target group of established streamers to the general platform data, we discuss the pandemic-related platform dynamics.
  • Item
    The toxicity of our (virtual) cities: Prevalence of dark participation in games and perceived effectiveness of reporting tools
    ( 2022-01-04) Kowert, Rachel ; Cook, Chrissy
    Dark participation in games (i.e., trolling and toxic behavior) have been gaining ever-increasing academic attention as a negative aspect of online gaming. Much of the literature in this area has focused on the personality and identity of the perpetrators, but this has been largely outside of the gaming context. The present study aims to explore the prevalence rates of dark participation in the online gaming community, the reporting function to punish deviant players, and the importance of dual identities (troll and gamer) in the perpetration of deviant in-game behaviors. Our results indicated that nearly all players in our sample had been victims of dark participation or witnessed in-game victimization, suggesting that it is a major problem in the community, but that many players also use the reporting function. Troll identity was predictive of these behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
  • Item
    The Political Turn of Twitch – Understanding Live Chat as an Emergent Political Space
    ( 2022-01-04) Ruiz-Bravo, Nadia ; Selander, Lisen ; Roshan, Maryam
    Research and media have all emphasized the importance of digital platforms such as Twitter and Facebook in contemporary political activism. Yet, little is known of the politicization of other digital platforms, such as Reddit, Twitch, and Discord, and how such politicization is manifested. By politicization, we refer to the emergence of political messages in a “decidedly a-political” space. In this paper, we explore a case of politicization on Twitch, a live streaming platform associated with the gaming community. We focus on the live chat, a central feature of Twitch. Our analysis illustrates rapidly emergent actor roles and their respective use of different features in posting (and objecting to) political messaging. We develop a model that illustrates the dynamic between actors and conclude with implications for research and practice.
  • Item
    The Effect of Intergroup Contact in Gaming on Improving Empathetic Feelings and Reducing Stereotypes Toward Immigrants
    ( 2022-01-04) Chen, Vivian Hsueh Hua ; Koek , Wei Jie Dominic ; Ibasco, Gabrielle C. ; Beatrice, Fidelia ; Chib, Arul
    Video games have been designed and studied in the context of intergroup relations. Past studies have shown that overall gaming experience may induce empathy and reduce prejudice, however, the mechanism that leads to such an effect is not fully understood. The current study utilizes intergroup contact theory as a foundation to design a 2D game that allows mediated contact to occur through hiring and dialogue choices. It examines how perceived positive vs. negative contact valence with outgroup immigrant workers influences empathetic feelings and stereotypes toward immigrants. A user study of 81 adult players was conducted. Results showed that overall gameplay reduced negative stereotypes. Perceived positive contact predicts increased empathetic feelings and reduced negative stereotypes toward immigrants. However, there is no significant finding with regards to the influence of negative contact in the game. Implications and directions for further research are discussed
  • Item
    Shared Spaces as Authenticity: Exploring the Connectedness of the Physical Environments of Microstreamers and their Audience
    ( 2022-01-04) Phelps, Andrew ; Bowman, Nick ; Consalvo, Mia ; Smyth, Samuel
    This work examines how the on-camera environments of small streamers with extremely limited audiences (i.e. microstreamers) generate a form of authenticity and charm directly from the unstaged nature of said environments, and through the multi-purpose nature of these locations. While much of the current research on streaming has focused on larger, more professionalized (and monetized) activity, the microstreams explored here are significant in that they create a very different sense of audience engagement. The combination of (a) the unstaged nature of microstreaming environments, combined with (b) unscripted and unplanned actors and interruptions (pets, other members of the household, etc.) as well as (c) widely varying production values that range from nonexistent to low-budget mimicry of more professionalized streamers work together to generate a kind of intimacy that is consciously or unconsciously leveraged by the streamer themselves. In their failure to successfully demarcate frontstage and backstage efforts, microstreamers successfully engage audience members in the messiness of life.
  • Item
    Online communities as a source of innovation: A netnographic study on Crusader Kings 3
    ( 2022-01-04) Walther, Kevin
    Video Game development is driven more and more by the input from player communities – both prior to release and post-release. This study focuses on a particular game community using a netnographic approach and applies the theoretical lens of free innovation. Data stems from analyzing 1,798 forum threads based on players’ ideas and suggestions, 9 interviews with active forum contributors and 2 community managers. NVivo software was used to code the suggestion threads into themes. Subsequently, the themes were analyzed based on the extent to which they were implemented into the game within the timeframe of the first four months post-release. This study thus sheds light on community management in the video games industry and players spending their free time on idea generation. Moreover, through thematic coding, the article offers a potential method on how to converge the vast amount of qualitative data stemming from player communities’ suggestions.
  • Item
    Mental Health, Illness, Crunch, and Burnout: Discourses in Video Games Culture
    ( 2022-01-04) Anderson, Sky ; Orme, Stephanie
    This study investigates how video games culture addresses mental health and illness. Through a discourse analysis of eighty-three articles from four popular video games news websites, this paper describes the primary conceptions of mental health and illness as created in games culture. The study also targets how the news articles address the notions of burnout and crunch time in the games industry and how they relate to mental health and illness. The findings reveal seven thematic categories for how games journalism discourses address mental health and illness, with over half of the articles showcasing issues of game character portrayals. Only seven of the articles described burnout and crunch time as being related to issues of mental health and illness. An analysis of the findings suggests an overemphasis on both celebrating and critiquing video game portrayals of mental illness and an under-emphasis on advocacy and work-related issues in the games industry.
  • Item
    Comparing Social Media Reactions to Early Game Songs and Final Boss Music in Single Player Adventure Games
    ( 2022-01-04) Laato, Samuli ; Rauti, Sampsa
    Single player video games unite players through shared experiences, passion and knowledge about the game. We investigate the role of video game music in this setting. We analyse comments (n=1893) on 20 popular single player adventure game songs on social media sorted into four clusters based on the following two variables (1) age of the game; and (2) whether the song appears early on in the game or at the end. We discovered that there are more similarities in the types of comments and sentiments between early game songs across games than between songs from the same game. Early game songs had more comments related to nostalgia, sadness and "feeling of home" compared to late game songs. Comments on late game songs were more focused on players' experiences while playing. Overall, all 20 songs had overwhelmingly more comments on associations (both game and life related) than on the actual song itself.
  • Item
    Introduction to the Minitrack on Games and Gaming
    ( 2022-01-04) Gray, Kishonna ; Bergstrom, Kelly ; Poor, Nathaniel