Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming

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A look at the revolution in game live streaming and esports broadcasting.

Watch Me Play book cover

Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming
T.L. Taylor
Princeton University Press, 2018

Every day thousands of people broadcast their gaming live to audiences over the internet using popular sites such as Twitch, which reaches more than one hundred million viewers a month. In these new platforms for interactive entertainment, big esports events featuring digital game competitors live stream globally, and audiences can interact with broadcasters—and each other—through chat in real time. What are the ramifications of this exploding online industry? Taking readers inside home studios and backstage at large esports events, Watch Me Play investigates the rise of game live streaming and how it is poised to alter how we understand media and audiences.

Through extensive interviews and immersion in this gaming scene, T. L. Taylor delves into the inner workings of the live streaming platform Twitch. From branding to business practices, she shows the pleasures and work involved in this broadcasting activity, as well as the management and governance of game live streaming and its hosting communities. At a time when gaming is being reinvented through social media, the potential of an ever-growing audience is transforming user-generated content and alternative distribution methods. These changes will challenge the meaning of ownership and intellectual property and open the way to new forms of creativity.

The first book to explore the online phenomenon Twitch and live streaming games, Watch Me Play offers a vibrant look at the melding of private play and public entertainment.

T.L. Taylor

About T.L. Taylor

T.L. Taylor is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT and co-founder of AnyKey, an organization dedicated to supporting and developing fair and inclusive esports. She is a qualitative sociologist who has focused on internet and game studies for over two decades. Dr. Taylor’s research explores the interrelations between culture and technology in online leisure environments. Her book about game live streaming, Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming (Princeton University Press, 2018), is the first of its kind to chronicle the emerging media space of online game broadcasting and won the American Sociological Association’s CITAMS book award. She is also the author of Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming (MIT Press, 2012) which explores the rise of esports and Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture (MIT Press, 2006), an ethnography of the massively multiplayer online game EverQuest. In 2012 Princeton University published her co-authored book on conducting ethnographic research in online multi-user worlds, Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method. Dr. Taylor is a highly sought after speaker. Both the White House and the International Olympics Committee have invited her to special summits focused on gaming. And journalists for the New York Times, PBS, the Los Angeles Times, BBC, CBC, and many others often reach out to Dr. Taylor for her expertise. She also currently serves as a member of Twitch’s Safety Advisory Council, Riot’s Scholastic Association of America Board of Advisors, and the editorial boards of Social Media & Society, Games and Culture, American Journal of Play, and ROMChip. For more information about Dr. Taylor visit tltaylor.com.

 
 

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