Games and Gaming

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    Who Stays in the Game? Similarities and Differences Between Current and Former Digital Games Players
    ( 2021-01-05) Bergstrom, Kelly ; Sherman, Jamie
    Former players offer important yet underutilized insights into the norms and expectations of game communities. Research to date has focused on players who have left particular games, but little is known about the broader forces that lead some players to ultimately quit games altogether. In this paper we report on the results of a nationally representative survey of the US adult population where respondents were asked about their leisure activities, including if they currently or have previously played digital games. By identifying patterns amongst people who quit as compared to people who remain active players, our goal is to better understand the factors that push or pull people away from gaming. Doing so contributes to the literature on digital game players broadly, while also potentially making it easier for game scholars to identify—and subsequently recruit—former players to participate in games-related research. Implications for future research recruitment are discussed.
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    Streaming into the Void: An Analysis of Microstreaming Trends and Behaviors Utilizing a Demand Framework
    ( 2021-01-05) Phelps, Andrew ; Consalvo, Mia ; Bowman, Nick
    This work introduces the concept of ‘microstreaming’ to describe individuals who livestream their hobbies to small audiences for little to no financial reward. Much research into streaming focuses on revenue and transactional costs from a labor/playbor perspective, but such approaches do not completely capture the largely intrinsic typical of ‘microstreamers.’ Recent research into microstreamers employing a range of methods across observational and laboratory settings pointed to a range of cognitive, emotional, physical, and social demands reported—some that detracted from and some that enhanced the experience. These examples suggest that a demand framework is another important model for examining microstreamers, which has implications for understating microstreaming behaviors and experiences across multiple platforms and interactions.
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    Less is More: Analysing Communication in Teams of Strangers
    ( 2021-01-05) Tan, Evelyn ; Wade, Alex ; Kokkinakis, Athanasios ; Heyes , Georgia ; Demediuk, Simon ; Drachen, Anders
    Teamwork is challenging in cooperative digital games, especially between strangers. In many online cooperative games, teams have a short-lived existence and ever-changing membership. Our study explores how short-lived ad hoc teams of strangers communicate and investigate its effect on team performance. We analysed 2256 text message instances produced by teams during a 45-minute interaction. Our findings show that team communication is negatively related to performance, and affects performance over and beyond prior experience. A content analysis shows that teams generally have higher task-related communication than socio-emotional communication. This pattern is consistent throughout the duration of the interaction period. The results are discussed in the context of previous research on team communication and performance, and we draw parallels with communication patterns in real-world groups such as aviation crews.
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    It is Not an Island It’s A World: Fortnite and “Worldness”
    ( 2021-01-05) Moore, Kyle ; Carter, Marcus
    Fortnite is a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter that grew rapidly in 2018 to become one of the world’s most popular games, with current estimates of 350 million active players. In this paper we argue that Fortnite’s success can – in part – be attributed to the affective sensation of worldness that it creates via its 10 week ‘seasons’. Via a study of children’s digital play cultures, we discuss the implications of this way of thinking about the spatial, social, and material structures of the gameworld for understanding Fortnite’s success, countering discourses of ‘videogame addiction’, and guiding future research.
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    Cultivating Community: Presentation of Self among Women Game Streamers in Singapore and the Philippines
    ( 2021-01-05) Alvarez, Katrina ; Chen, Vivian Hsueh Hua
    This study explored how women game live streamers in Singapore and the Philippines make sense of their presentation of self as performers and gamers in a medium dominated by Western games, performers, and platforms. We conducted six in-depth interviews guided by interpretive phenomenological analysis in order to understand their experiences, uncovering issues such as audience connection and maintenance, the difficulties of presenting their own femininity, and the influence of being Singaporean, Filipina, and Asian on their success as performers. We discuss directions for study that further explore gaming and streaming as a form of cultural labor in Asia.