Black Gamers’ Resistance

Gray, Kishonna

While we commonly think of video gamers as individuals who play video games, in recent years another form of engaging with video games has emerged—the use of live-streaming platforms that allow mass audi-ences to watch others play video games. Digital platforms like Mixer, YouTube, and Twitch connect gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat with one another from everywhere they play. Twitch has been the most successful, attracting over 34 million unique viewers a month (Edge 2013). Most live-streamers are afforded the opportunity to make money from streaming and connecting to other game fans, but their most valuable assets are the spectators. These are the individuals who follow in-game, live-streaming experiences but are not themselves currently immersed in game play. Because of this deep engagement, video game live-streaming has the potential to promote participatory engagement and alternative forms of community