Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member

Travers Scott, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Kristen Okamoto

Committee Member

Darren Linvill

Committee Member

Leland Fecher

Abstract

Twitch.tv is a growing platform designed or interaction, communication, and socialization. It is space for content creators and viewers can to interact and build communities. Although it is not exclusively video game streams, Twitch.tv has become a major player in the industry. This study is a thematic analysis of comments made during live streams of video game content. The questions guiding this research were: What do viewers comment about on streams? What do these comments reveal about their motivations for participating? What are the variations between content types? After analyzing 9084 comments across 10 streams, what was found was that a major motivation for Twitch.tv viewers is the creation and maintenance of social bonds. Additionally, the building of hype was a large motivator. There was a small but widespread number of toxic comments. This research shows that Twitch.tv acts as a center for communities to grow around unique streamers and the potential significance of the platform itself.

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