The literacies of a competitive esports team
Livestreaming, VODS, and Mods
Keywords:esports, video on demand, livestreaming, moderators, digital literacies, teamwork, ethnography, literacies
This article explores a variety of literacy practices that exist with competitive esports, namely livestreaming, moderating/Mods, and VODs/VODcasting. Nearly two decades of research have indicated that videogaming provides rich experiences for developing multifarious and diverse literacy practices, but, to-date, little research examines the literacies born out of the rapidly growing and evolving videogaming market of esports. This study provides insight into the way a team functions to provide meaning-making experiences surrounding livestreaming, moderating, and VODcasting within the burgeoning esports culture. Drawing from a two-year snapshot of a larger five-year ethnographic examination of a competitive collegiate esports team, this study is guided by the theoretical perspective of distributed cognition. Data that inform this study stem from interviews, observations, and artifacts in both face-to-face and digital spaces. Findings indicate that the esports-related literacies of livestreaming, moderating, and VODs/VODcasting, transcend and overlap meaning-making experiences—in-the-moment and in reflectivity—suggesting that the role of the team is vital to the literacies found within the esports ecosystem.
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