The Design Space of Interactive Live Stream Gaming
Long story short: I finished my studies in "Game Development and Research" at the Cologne Game Lab and wrote a Master Thesis about interactive live stream gaming. If you are interested, you can download it from the bottom of this page. To find out if it is interesting for you at all, just keep reading...
Last year I discovered games that offer extra features for streamers. If the streamer connects his/her twitch account with the game, viewers can interact with it directly and manipulate the game. They become part of the game, changing it as they see fit. Is this new? Is it even some new form of gaming? I wanted to find out and so, finally, I found a great topic for my Master Thesis and I never had second thoughts about it.
Here is the abstract:
Interactive live stream gaming is a new phenomenon. It combines playing a game, live streaming, and viewer interactions that directly influence the game. This phenomenon has not been studied in-depth yet and only a few games explore the potential of giving viewers direct control.
In this thesis, I investigate the design space of interactive live stream gaming in theory and practice. The investigation includes a look at the history of viewer interactions in media and draws a parallel between their origin and the idea of a ludic century. The thesis offers a detailed portrayal of live stream gaming and a closer look at live stream communities. I analyze existing games with viewer interactions and develop new viewer interactions by extrapolating from the collected knowledge. As a result, I present a catalog of five interactive systems: voting, direct control, representation, collaboration, and currency. These can be used as a foundation to build new interactions through variation and combination.
Turning theory into practice, I developed a prototype with several viewer interactions and tested it in a live stream. The thesis contains a documentation of the development with details about the game concept, design, and technical aspects, as well as a description of the test on the live streaming platform Twitch.
The investigation produced a comprehensive resource for the design space of interactive live stream gaming. It provides scientists with a basis for further research and enables game designers to create novel viewer interactions for this new form of entertainment.
To download, click on the link below and enter the following credentials. It is password protected to guard against bots collecting PDFs.
Do whatever you want with it, but do not publish this anywhere else without my permission!
Interactive Live Stream Games