How gaming achieves popularity: The case of The Smash Brothers

Elmezeny Ahmed Wimmer Jeffrey
2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference

Using a case example of the crowd-funded YouTube documentary The Smash Brothers, the study explores how digital game culture is represented in media. The units for a qualitative content analysis, as described by Krippendorf (2004), are defined through thematic distinction. The results refer to four major categories and compose digital game culture as a whole: game, gamer, gameplay and game community. The interaction between gamer and game (gameplay) is the most featured element in the documentary. Gamers were shown to be individuals, athletes, celebrities and artists. Gameplay was also depicted to be of varying nature and in opposition, considered both a sport and an art. The specific game community is portrayed as being a large, friendly and sociable community. Based on the findings, further research can be facilitated in order to study the representations of digital game cultures in other forms of social media, as well as mass media and public discourse.


The professional identity of gameworkers revisited. A qualitative inquiry on the case study of German professionals

Wimmer Jeffrey Sitnikova Tatiana
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

The phenomena of computer games and the plethora of game cultures have already been drawing attention of researchers for many years, whereas the people behind computer games – the gameworkers – undeservingly remained in the shadows until quite recently. The lack of information about this workforce and its professional identity makes this research object especially interesting. The analysis relies on a pilot study about the issue of the professional identity of gameworkers, which aimed to dig deeper with the means of qualitative research. During that project nine German gameworkers were interviewed and an attempt to give an in-depth description of their professional identity was made. The study shows that the respondents have a very strong coherence with their profession and perceive themselves as a part of their profession and the team/studio they work with/at. The most salient reason for this is the deep interest the respondents have in computer games (for both making and playing games).