Laboring Artists: Art Streaming on the Videogame Platform Twitch

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Phelps, Andrew
Consalvo, Mia
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Abstract
The relationship between labor and play is complex and multifaceted, particularly so as it relates to the playing of games. With the rise of the online streaming of games and play these platforms and activities have expanded the associated practices in ways that are highly nuanced and dictated in part by the platform itself. This paper explores the question as to whether the types of labor practices found in games hold across other non-game activities as they engage with streaming through an observational study of art streamers on Twitch. By examining art streamers and comparing their labor to that of games and game streaming, we find that not only are they similar in practice, but that that the structure of Twitch and platforms such as YouTube push this conformity. Thus, play and labor are not opposed and are in fact intermingled in these activities, in ways that are becoming highly platformized.
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Games and Gaming, artists, labor, live streaming, twitch, work
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