As 2016 comes to a close, the closer we are to QGCon!

This week, we’re excited to share T.L. Taylor’s abstract for her academic keynote at QGCon 2017:

Play as Transformative Work

One of the most powerful lessons the qualitative study of digital gaming has afforded us is a deep look at how players encounter games and platforms and, rather than simply accepting them as given, regularly take them and create something else, something more. The overall pattern is one of transformation. Game communities are avid, dynamic interlocutors with the systems they engage. It could not be otherwise – this is fundamentally what culture does.

Live-streaming, where one broadcasts their gameplay in real-time over the internet to others via platforms such as Twitch, has grown tremendously in recent years. It has become one of our most potent current examples of this socio-technical dynamic. Through my research with variety streamers I have been struck by the level of attention, labor, resources, and creativity they put into making an entertainment product that extends well beyond the formal properties of the game being broadcast. Accomplished live-streamers create compelling performances and productions that capture viewers and keep them engaged for hours. They are transforming otherwise private play into public entertainment.

In this talk I will detail out the work of variety streams and present an accounting of this new form of productive labor. I will also present an argument that seeks to challenge current models of IP and fandom, suggesting the work of professional live-streamers is not easily captured by non-commercial frameworks nor simple work/play dichotomies. Generating new aesthetics, expressions, and cultural products and seeking to making a living off of them can pose deep challenges to otherwise narrow frameworks of authorship and ownership, as well as our understanding of what gaming is. This talk will argue that we must understand play as transformative work, warranting both cultural and legal recognition.

Reminder that there’s only a few days left to submit your game to the QGCon 2017 Arcade! Submissions close on December 22nd!