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Nathan J Jackson | The future of social gaming

Nathan J Jackson

The list of the one hundred top-earning Twitch streamers included no more than three solo women streamers. Only one of whom was a woman of colour.

Nathan J Jackson

In the first few months of 2022, Twitch viewers watched a total of 6.13 billion hours of livestreamed content and fans are showing no sign of slowing down. Over the last decade, video game streaming has become big business. This success is due in part to the fact that streaming sites have become about so much more than just playing video games. They provide a sense of community, a social and cultural hub for people to come together and share their stories. But these platforms are also subject to the commercial whims of the corporations that own them. What do the video game services of the future look like? How do they profit from users without compromising relationships with them? And how can we make sure social justice and equity are keystones of this conversation? 

What comes next? is a UNSW Centre for Ideas project, with illustrations designed by Juune Lee, video production by dplr, podcast production by Bryce Halliday, and music composition by Lama Zakharia.

Nathan Jackson

Nathan J Jackson

Nathan J Jackson is a PhD candidate in the School of the Arts and Media, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture at UNSW Sydney. His ethnographic study of the platform Twitch combines performance, media, and games lenses to examine the construction and performance of persona in video game livestreaming. He is interested in the ways that streamers and spectators perform for and with each other, and the emergent social, cultural, and political value systems that accompany these performances. He has been published in Persona Studies and Convergence journals, with a forthcoming contribution in the first edited collection on livestreaming culture. 

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