Playing with(out) Power: Negotiated conventions of high performance networked play practices


DiGRA '17 - Proceedings of the 2017 DiGRA International Conference
Melbourne, Australia: Digital Games Research Association, July, 2017
Number: 1
Volume: 14
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

In this paper, we explore how videogame ownership and notions of co-creation in videogames intersect with “high performance play” practices. From speedrunning communities to esports leagues, expert play cultures offer rich examples to consider the ongoing negotiations on the conventions of play itself, made through assemblages of creative forces, from performances (on and off screen, by players and spectators), ownership/governance (of the game, of third-party organisations and products), and through the expression of player rights. Via two cases, we look at how two veteran franchises (Counter-Strike and Super Mario) have engaged with the moving foundations and expressions of co-creation practices made by those engaged in high performance careers of play, specifically speedrunner GrandPOOBear and Counter-Strike esports Major tournament players, teams, and leagues.