As part of Mark and Jamie’s Crucible funded research, they attended TwitchCon conference in San Diego. TwitchCon is an international conference to bring together leaders in gaming and streaming to discuss cutting-edge research and collaborations. Mark and Jamie attended TwitchCon to understand the careers and practices of Twitch’s streamers, by interviewing a large number of leading professional streamers from all around the world. Here are some thoughts from Mark and Jamie on the trip:
We interviewed over 60 people, ranging from short one-or-two-minute interviews exploring what they liked about Twitch and why they came to TwitchCon, to longer interviews lasting up to 30 minutes with professional streamers which examined their lives and backgrounds, how they first heard about Twitch, how and why they started broadcasting on the platform, when they became a “partnered” streamer (someone who works with Twitch to build their channel), and how they view the future of the platform and the future of their careers. The data in particular from these longer interviews yielded fascinating data about Twitch has been transforming the lives of its users, how streamers navigate tensions of a precarious career and the balance between work and play when broadcasting gameplay, and what kinds of future career plans they were developing. These streamers ranged from the world-famous to the newly professional, and were generally very willing to offer us their time for the research.