Why gaming podcasts?

Gaming culture has always been eager to utilize new media technologies. This can be seen in the recent explosions of gaming content creation on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and – most relevant to this site – podcasting.

But while streamers on Twitch and Let’s Plays on YouTube have a robust academic discipline dedicated to examining them, games podcasts have had no research dedicated to them. The field is one which is ripe for study, combining many elements important to both academia, and those working in the field. There are many questions to answer including: what is the effect that platforms have on these podcasts, who is making them, who is listening, why are they listening, and many more. Unfortunately, the research field in the area remains fallow.

This is what this project aims to rectify. Through a combination of interviews, surveys and content analysis, this project will not only provide answers to some of these key questions, but also further cement the importance of this area as a valuable field of study by highlight its connections to other academic sub-fields, and its possible future directions.

Who are we?

Ryan Stanton

Ryan Stanton is a PhD Student at the University of Sydney. A Media and Communications Graduate, he completed his honours thesis working with Dr Mark R Johnson to examine the audiences of Actual Play podcasts – a type of podcast which turns the gameplay of Tabletop Roleplaying Games into serialized narrative adventures. This project – analysing games podcasts – forms the basis of his PhD thesis, which he is once again working under the supervision of Dr Johnson on. He’s a lifelong gaming enthusiast, who grew up playing games on the Super Nintendo gifted to him by his Uncle. Nevertheless, he is still very bad at games.

Dr Mark R Johnson

Dr Mark R Johnson is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures at the University of Sydney. His work focuses on content creation in and around digital games, particularly Twitch and game live streaming, on which he has published extensively in top-ranked media studies journals such as “Information, Communication and Society”, Media, Culture and Society”, and “Games and Culture”. This project is an exciting new direction for the study of gaming content creation that both connects to, and builds upon, Mark’s expertise. Like Ryan, Mark has been playing games since the moment his tiny baby hands could manage a controller, and he is also a game developer and regular games blogger, podcaster, and commentator.