Streamers have begun to enjoy new types of creative and collaborative play. But this play happens under techniques and technologies of control and surveillance, which orient users towards social connectivity, track and record player activity (both in games and out), and, building on top of a growing collection of stored data, open up new modes of corporate action, all while mediating and directing user action.
This opinion piece develops many of the ideas I suggested in my recent interview with Twitch execs. Ironically, I originally gave a version of this piece as part of a larger talk at the Canadian Game Studies Association conference in May, and submitted this for publication before I even spoke with anyone at Twitch. It was nice to see a lot of the ideas I put forth here supported by their own words!