How gaming achieves popularity: The case of The Smash Brothers


DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference
Digital Games Research Association, May, 2015
Volume: 12
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

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.