Blogpril April 11th – A Small Start at Reading the Academic Research behind Let’s Plays

As someone who, like millions of others around the globe, consumes YouTube and Twitch Lets plays as entertainment, I find the actual culture and cultural shift behind this phenomena (can it even be called a phenomena any more, as mainstream as it’s become?) fascinating. So right before starting this blog, I looked up rather there are any academic papers on the history, growth and social practices behind Let’s Plays.

I haven’t read many academics works since leaving University in 2014, and back then, despite the wealth of works looking at internet cultures, there was precious little available on gaming videos – research simply hadn’t caught up yet. I’m still not sure that it has. I’m about to link two papers which I’m currently reading on the subject, and will attempt to comment on and summarise in later blogs, and both of them are Master’s Theses, which just shows how far this field has still to go.

It’s likely that there are other works out there (I am aware of a few others, including a book that I’m going to try and get hold of) and when I find them I will try to blog about those too.

First work: From Jackasses to Superstars: A Case for the Study of “Let’s Play” by Thomas Hale.

Second Work: Interactional Practices In Lets Plays by Daniel Recktonwald.

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