Research Paper

With the number of Youtubers and live streamers rises, the variety of content on the platform also rises significantly. There are people who would donate money to see a streamer sing their favorite song, eat their favorite food, or do a life-risking dare. Different people have different interest, therefore there is always someone who is willing to watch the oddest live streaming. Among all kinds of live streaming, gaming live stream has always been one of the most popular kinds of live streaming content since the invention of it. Until I actually started to watch streaming, I couldn’t imagine why would people want to watch other people play a video game, and sometimes even pay to watch a game they can easily access on their own. In Smith, Thomas “Live-Streaming Changes the (Video) Game.”, he described video game as an active entertainment. Without turning on the video game console, you will not have any fun with the black box. But nowadays, different ways of engagement for gaming has been developed and has also become one of the biggest commercial opportunities for investments. Develop from Thomas Smith’s research, I want to understand the phenomenon, how live streaming has shifted the activity and passivity of traditional entertainment like television and gaming.
Live-streaming refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real time. People who live stream either by hobby or profession, are known as streamers. Professional gaming streamers often combine high-level play and entertaining commentary, and earn income from sponsors, subscriptions, and donations. One of the most popular gaming live stream platform today is Twitch.tv. Twitch is a live streaming company owned by Twitch interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. Twitch primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of eSports competitions, in addition to music broadcasts, creative content, and more recently, “in real life” streams, like the more and more popular eating live stream. As of May 2018, Twitch had 2.2 million streamers monthly and 15 million daily active users, with around a million average concurrent users.
I started to watch the gaming live stream from 16 years old. More specifically, I was obsessed with League of Legend at that time and can’t sleep without thinking it. Spending an average of two to three hours watching limited youtube videos of game plays every day, I was not satisfied with the content I can find on Youtube. Most of the game plays on Youtube are outdated and not suitable for the current meta because the skill of each champion is modified by the game maker every week. In order to keep myself up to date with the newest update, I found a live stream service, Twitch, where a lot of League of Legend players streams on. From professional eSport gamers to amateur players that entertain people by their troll plays, Twitch has all I want to watch. From there, the average time I spent on watching Leauge’s content dramatically increased. Now, five years have passed, I still watch people play video games daily, but my intention of watching gaming live stream has shifted from trying to enhance my skill through observing elites gameplay to watching gaming live stream is a kind of entertainment on its own. Although I am not actively playing video games anymore, watching video gameplays are still a huge entertainment for me, just that the relation between me and video game has transitioned into a passive engagement as Thomas Smith would describe in his research. Strangely, watching gaming live stream has become more enjoyable than playing the game now. I start to wonder whether the content on my favorite gaming live streams has changed? Did the community force a change or other live stream services affect the development of gaming live stream? Am I the only one that loves watching more than playing games?
With this many streamers every day, different type of streamers slowly develop their own community. According to Smith, Thomas’s “Live-Streaming Changes the (Video) Game.”, within the gaming community, we can categorize the communities in the gaming live stream industry to E-sports, Speedrunning, and Let’s Play community. Each community has its supporter, but among the three groups, Let’s Play community is growing the fastest and it is also the one I enjoy watching the most. “Let’s Play” broadcasts are more informal than e-sports matches and much of the entertainment comes from the process of each game rather than how to play the game. This type of live stream focuses on entertaining rather than competitive skill play. Streamers not only talk about gaming knowledge but also their personal life to create connections with the audience. This type of live stream becomes more and more popular and starting to threaten the E-sport community which has always been the most popular type of gaming community. One of my favorite gaming streamer BunnyFuFu, who is a former professional League of Legend gamer, is one of the examples that transition his streaming content from competitive gameplay to entertaining gameplay for better engagement.
Bunnyfufu might not be the best player in the world, but his skill combined with his creative ideas that create insane gameplays is something that has never seen before. Here is one of his most famous and also one of the best play in League of Legend history from in 2014 season LCS regular game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8qZy5Ce5XA
From the videos Bunnyfufu upload to his youtube channel in the past two years, we can see a very interesting phenomenon.

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Bunny Fufu youtube channel in 2016
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Bunny Fufu youtube channel in 2019

Michael Kurylo, better known as Bunny FuFu, is an American League of Legends player who retired from his professional career in League of Legend from Cloud 9 and turns into a full-time streamer on July 17, 2016. Up until May 2nd, 2019, Bunny FuFu has uploaded 834 youtube videos since 2016 January 9th, 2019. At the beginning of his youtube/streaming career, he was still a professional gamer. Therefore most of his contents were the highlight reels of his competitive matches. But from a video he uploaded on 2016 August 4th a video titled as “Ganked by Gyazo”, he started to add in funny memes and edits to his gameplay. His channel blew up rapidly since then. His career in professional competitive gaming might have ended at that time, but his bright future in his streaming career officially took off. As people commented below, “This was the beginning of Fufu’s good content”. Watching Bunny fufu’s video becomes an entertainment itself instead of a tool to enhance one’s skill. Until this day, Bunny Fufu has six editors to help him edit his streaming content into short compacted daily uploaded Youtube videos. More and more YouTubers try to replicate Bunny FuFu’s succeed in streaming, from the click baited title to the funny memes in the video, Bunny Fufu’s unique style of gameplay and the sense of humor are still what makes him stand out from others.
Mehdi Kaytoue’s “Watch me playing, I am a professional: a first study on video game live streaming” inspired me to think deeper when watching Bunnyfufu’s Twitch live stream. In Mehdi’s research, the team collects data from Twitch TV every five minutes to gather the most accurate and responsive data of the behavior of both streamers and spectators. They found several interesting results like, streams are more followed at the end of the week, which highlights the entertaining nature of these videos, content popularity on Twitch is more skewed than on YouTube, audience growth is highly related to major tournaments which match the author’s belief. All of the results Mehdi came to conclusion were very easily testified from my experience in watching Bunnyfufu’s streaming. Lastly, an interesting conclusion Mehdi stated is that watching gaming live stream is a new kind of entertainment on its own and sometimes is more preferably than playing the game. This idea matches with Smith Thomas’s research on how people engaged with the video game.
After researching on how the audience interacts with game nowadays, I want to briefly talk about the risk of the gaming industry. During my research on gaming live streaming, one thing I couldn’t avoid is the constantly appearing tragic news. Playing a video game isn’t the healthiest activity, especially when you play a video game for long hours without taking breaks. In 2017 March 15th The New York Times, Daniel Slotnik wrote an article about the death of a gaming streamer and brought attention to the bad influences of live streaming. “Early on Feb. 19, Brian C. Vigneault was nearing the end of a 24-hour marathon of live streaming himself playing the tank warfare video game World of Tanks when he left his computer to buy a pack of cigarettes. He never returned.” – New York Times. According to what Daniel described, the audience’s reaction also encourages streamer to continue any psychopathic behavior. Although watching live streams is a passive engagement with a video game, our support to the live stream can lead to a un-returnable result. The regulation on the gaming industry is still immature, we should not overlook the health issue in the gaming live stream industry.

works cited:
Kaytoue, Mehdi. “Watch me playing, I am a professional: a first study on video game live streaming” WWW12: proceedings of the 21st annual Conference on World Wide Web Companion pp. 1181-1188., doi:10.1145/2187980.2188259.
Smith, Thomas “Live-Streaming Changes the (Video) Game.” EuroITV ’13 Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Interactive TV and Video, pp. 131–138. doi:10.1145/2465958.2465971
Daniel E. Slotnik, “Gamer’s Death Pushes Risks of Live Streaming Into View, New York Times”,  March 16, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/technology/personaltech/live-streaming-gaming-death.html
Mark R Johnson, “The impacts of live streaming and Twitch.tv on the video game industry”  doi: 10.1177/0163443718818363

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Website Self-Assessment

I did not change the look of the website, but I added some features and details like the sidebar on the home page and the icon on the page tab. These details help the viewers to navigate easily between my personal posts and the posts for this course. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the course, this website is more about the content and essays but not about showing off my projects and works. So during the semester, I made another website that would serve the purpose that did not serve on this website. http://www.hankchentennis.com

The website matched my expectation. I am satisfied with the number and quality of contents I upload to the website.

I have some experiences in making a website so making a website on WordPress is relatively easy for me.

I will keep updating this website with my random thoughts and perspective on media-related topics.

Since all the contents on the website are public, I am more careful with what I say. I would research on the topic that I am going to talk about first before I express my opinion and publish the post. This encourages me to dive deeper into the topic than I normally would.

Creative Project

After researching on live stream for a semester-long, I decided to give live stream a try on Sunday, April, 21st. My first ever live stream were on both Instagram and Youtube and it lasts for an hour. I hope to experience the live stream from the streamer side and see if it is true that everyone can become a streamer and live a life in front of the camera. Moreover, finding interesting topics and keeping audience engagement is another main focus I want to practice in the live stream. Prior to the live stream, I tried to use a plugin called StreamLabels, which is the biggest live stream plugin every gaming streamer use. The plugin allows the users to customize their live stream interfaces from the placement of notification, the color and the fonts of the comments, to the donation method. The night before the live stream launched, I even tried to set up the live stream with my DSLR and external audio recorder that will largely improve the quality of my streaming, which requires another web socket and secret key connection between my social media accounts and StreamLabels. After trying to set up everything for two hours, I gave up on the method and decided to stream in the simplest way and focus more on the content of the live stream.

However, after all the hardware and software was settled, getting my mindset ready for my first ever live stream was another hard task that I did not expect. I was supposed to start half an hour earlier, but I was nervous and I struggled to hit the “Go live” button. I moved the camera angle around, change the set up of my desk, and change several shirts, just to avoid to start the live stream. In the one hour long live stream, I spent the majority of time answering questions about school and projects I have been working on and also shared my thoughts on some major events that happened at Emory recently. 10 minutes after I started the live stream, I started to feel that I am running out of word to speak. My sister who is in Shanghai came in clutch. She joined the live stream and live streamed with me for almost an hour. She helped me on finding interesting topics and also became the person I can actually talk to, instead of responding comments to the lens. Her joining the live stream demonstrates how easily people on the other side of the world can engage with streamers despite the distance and the time difference. I streamed to a crowd I couldn’t see for 10 minutes and that is more than enough to prove the point that everyone can become a streamer is wrong.

I definitely have a better understanding of how the live stream work and the mindset behind a streamer after this practice. With this experience, I might consider doing a weekly live stream now, just to talk to people outside my friend group or I rarely talk to.

Instagram + Youtube streaming:

Strongly recommend to view it on Youtube so you can click on the time marks from the description.

Major talks:
2:41 Reasons for live streaming
5:13 When am I going back to Taiwan and plans for summer
10:41 Sharing my anxiety to live stream
11:39 Talk about my initial plans for this project
17:12 Claire taking over the live stream and share about her typical Saturday
18:31 Thorough introduction of my food
19:29 Talk about the protest that recently happened in Emory
25:54 Sharing what I did on Saturday
27:50 Comparing the price of the food in the U.S to that of Asia
29:17 Talk about one of my recent project, Dooley’s week highlight reel
34:25 Answering a friend’s comment: “Are transfer students isolated?”
38:48 Talk about another project I have been working on
45:14 Talk about the tradition Emory has for all sophomore students

Constantly updating the captions on Youtube

News Response #5

On April 14th, the long-awaited season eight of Game of Thrones has finally started. As the last season of one of the biggest budget series comes to an end, Game of Thrones not only set a high standard for other series to look up to but also opens up the “ginormous series” era of American series, says the author of the article.

Ginormous series not only means the budget of the series, which Game of Thrones has an estimated budget at around one hundred million in the final season, but also the size of the set and the complexity of the story. In the news, the author compared the miniseries Band of Brothers(12.5 million) and Rome(10 million) to Game of Thrones. Each episode of the two series has a bigger budget and larger story than each episode of the first season of Game of Thrones, but none of it was as successful as Game of Thrones in terms of the profit. Did the taste of the audience change over the years? Or Game of Thrones is just better than the others? The author of the article says that the success of Games of Thrones did not come overnight. The budget grew larger and larger as HBO started to realize that the series has become the hit. Instead of traditional realism stories, audience nowadays is more likely to watch fictional stories, which makes a lot of sense when we compare Band of Brothers and Rome to Game of Thrones.

After eight years of its prime time, Game of Thrones is not coming to an end says HBO. Five other spin-offs of Game of Thrones will take on the trend and so do many other Ginormous series. The author believes that the era of ginormous series has begun. And I am also looking forward to witnessing a transformation of the T.V industry.

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https://36kr.com/p/5194946

Research Paper Rough Draft

With the number of Youtubers and live streamers rises, the variety of content on the platform also rises significantly. There are people who would donate money to see a streamer sing their favorite song, eat their favorite food, or do a life-risking dare. However, gaming live stream has always been one of the most popular kinds of live streaming content since the invention of it. Different people have different interest, therefore there is always someone who is willing to watch the oddest live streaming. However, what fascinates me the most is the idea of watching people play a video game. Traditionally, video game is an active entertainment. Without turning on the video game console, you will not have any fun with the black box. But nowadays, different ways of engagement towards gaming has been developed and has also become one of the biggest commercial opportunities for investments.

When I was 16 years old, each day, I would play multiple hours of my favorite online video game, League of Legend. Five years have passed and my intention of watching gaming live stream has shifted from trying to enhance my skill through observing elites gameplay to now, watching gaming live stream is a kind of entertainment on its own. Strangely, watching gaming live stream has become more enjoyable than playing the game now. I start to wonder whether the content on my favorite gaming live streams has changed? Did the community force a change or other live stream services affect the development of gaming live stream? Am I the only one that loves watching than playing games? Through this research project, I want to compare my passive engagement with video games to other live stream users, get a better understanding of the different purposes of live streaming for different people, and also the rapidly growing “Let’s Play” gaming community.

Live-streaming refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real time. People who live stream their video game play, either by hobby or profession, are known as streamers. Professional streamers often combine high-level play and entertaining commentary, and earn income from sponsors, subscriptions, and donations.

“Let’s Play” broadcasts are more informal than e-sports matches and much of the entertainment comes from the process of each game rather than how to play the game. This type of live stream focuses on entertaining rather than competitive skill play. Streamers not only talk about gaming knowledge but also their personal life to create connections with the audience. This type of live stream becomes more and more popular and starting to threaten the E-sport community which has always been the most popular type of gaming community. One of my favorite gaming streamer BunnyFuFu is one of the examples that shifts his content from competitive gameplay to entertaining trolling gameplay.

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works cited:

Kaytoue, Mehdi. “Watch me playing, I am a professional: a first study on video game live streaming” WWW12: proceedings of the 21st annual Conference on World Wide Web Companion pp. 1181-1188., doi:10.1145/2187980.2188259.

Smith, Thomas “Live-Streaming Changes the (Video) Game.” EuroITV ’13 Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Interactive TV and Video, pp. 131–138. doi:10.1145/2465958.2465971

Nascimento, Gustavo “Modeling and Analyzing the Video Game Live-Streaming Community” 2014 9th Latin American Web Congress, doi: 10.1109/LAWeb.2014.9

Daniel E. Slotnik, “Gamer’s Death Pushes Risks of Live Streaming Into View, New York Times”,  

Mark R Johnson, “The impacts of live streaming and Twitch.tv on the video game industry”  doi: 10.1177/0163443718818363

Creative Project Rough Draft

Planned to live stream the three most popular types of live stream next week.

  1. Mukbang live stream
    • Cook my favorite dish from Taiwan and eat it in front of the camera and chat with the audiences
    • Planned to go on live at 4/9 9:00pm on Instagram and Youtube
  2. Gaming Live stream(TBD)
    • Play League of Legend with my friends for an hour
    • Planned to go on live at 4/10 10:00pm on Twitch
  3. Beauty live stream
    • Have my friend who is the master in makeup teach me how to put on my first makeup
    • Planned to go on live at 4/12 9:00pm on Youtube and Instagram

 

Extra Credit #1

Tournées Film Festival is a program of the FACE Foundation, in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, which aims to bring French cinema to American colleges and university campuses. In the opening of this year’s Tournées Film Festival, we watch the R18 French movie BPM by Robin Campillo. The movie is about members of the advocacy group ACT UP Paris demand action by the government and pharmaceutical companies to combat the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s. Throughout the movie, audiences are closely connected to the two main characters Nathan and Sean.  Nathan is a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by Sean, a radical militant, who throws his last bits of strength into the struggle of AIDS. Through small talks and long casual takes, I feel like I am also in the situation with the characters. The struggle of the couple and the hype of the parade, I could feel it all. The sad ending not only gave me a hard time to digest but also gave most of the participants a hard time to leave the screening without talking through it. Although the film was long, all of the participants remain at their seats after the credits. Even though Professor Giguere already picked up her bag and was ready to leave, she leads an unplanned discussion of the screening after seeing all of us not leaving the screening. We mainly discuss the lack of awareness in HIV and AIDS in all levels of the institution and how the movie has impacted our understanding. Some people also pointed out that the HIV infection rate in Georgia is almost as high as in that of South Africa which gave me a shock.

This is my first time watching a movie that shows explicit gay sex scenes. By exposing to the huge amount of raw emotions and day-to-day scenes of the gay people, I gained a lot of understanding for people who are struggling with similar issues. This is one of the best screening experience I had this semester.