Title

The ESports Trojan Horse: Twitch and Streaming Futures

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This paper argues that one potential future in gaming and virtual reality can be found in streaming media and technology. The streaming space of Twitch.tv is both “real” and “virtual”, blurring the boundaries between the game space, social networks, and face-to-face communication. Streaming ruptures a hard distinction between the real and virtual worlds. Scholars of virtual spaces need to take seriously streaming media as a site of research, and the affordances of streaming as networked, mobile, and curated. Twitch represents a space for unpacking the social and commercial realizations of an emergent streaming culture. Virtual world research needs to continue to push the boundaries of research into games and gaming culture. We argue that an important part of that future involves the liminal space of streaming and eSports between the real and the virtual.