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Wednesday, October 10 • 9:00am - 5:30pm
Going live: Exploring live digital technologies and live streaming practices

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Preconference Objectives

This preconference workshop, Going Live, will bring together game studies scholars and social media researchers to discuss the increasing popularity of live digital technologies. These technologies include features on social media sites such as Facebook Live, standalone smartphone apps (e.g., Periscope), and websites dedicated to live streaming, such as the gaming platform Twitch.tv.

Although live streaming has been possible for more than a decade (e.g. Senft, 2008), the evolution of recording devices, data transfer speeds, mobile apps, and other digital technologies has contributed to a recent proliferation of live media. Social media plug-ins, such as Facebook Live, encourage spontaneous sharing, but controversial incidents raise questions about what should be shared in a live context. Live streaming game platforms showcase modes of self-presentation and promotion (Consalvo, forthcoming; Consalvo & Altizer, 2017; Consalvo & Sugiarto, 2016), which social media influencers also adopt when broadcasting content to adoring fans (Abidin, 2016; Duguay, forthcoming). Gamers and influencers alike benefit from the commercialisation of these practices, generating revenue from brand promotion and boosting attention to advertisements. It is clear that live streaming and live digital technologies have social, political, economic, and cultural impacts. However, research into these areas is still developing and there have been few opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue among scholars researching live streaming. This event will consolidate current research and develop future directions.

This full day workshop will consist of paper presentations and a keynote speaker. Via a Call for Proposals, scholars can submit “works in progress” and present these during the workshop followed by detailed feedback sessions. We have confirmed Dr. TL Taylor, Professor of Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as our keynote speaker. Dr. Taylor is an internationally recognized scholar in game studies, having written field-defining books about online games, the rise of competitive esports, and the business of live streaming. Her participation and all workshop expenses will be covered by our own research funds and confirmed funding from Concordia’s Department of Communications Studies. We have sufficient funding to run the event as described, and have applied for funding from Concordia University and will apply for funds from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to expand the event further, bringing in a plenary panel of experts.

Since this event aims to showcase local research expertise and resources while engaging graduate students, early career researchers, and established scholars in these interdisciplinary fields, we will be holding the workshop offsite at Concordia’s Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology. Milieux houses the Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) centre, which is at the forefront of research and creation in games studies, digital culture, and interactive art.


8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:30 Welcome

9:30-11:00 Keynote: Dr. T.L. Taylor

11:00-11:15 Coffee

11:15-12:30 Paper Session 1

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:15 Paper Session 2

3:15-3:30 Coffee

3:30-4:30 Plenary panel (budget allowing) or additional paper session

4:30-5:00 Wrap up

5:00-7:00 Networking reception

Lunch, reception, and refreshments will be provided through secured funding. If there is an AoIR event in the evening, we will shorten the networking reception and adjust our schedule accordingly.


Abidin, C. (2016). “Aren’t these just young, rich women doing vain things online?”: Influencer selfies as subversive frivolity. Social Media + Society, 2(2), 1-17.

Consalvo, M. (forthcoming). Kaceytron and transgressive play on Twitch.tv. Chapter in Transgressions in games and play, K. Jørgensen and F. Karlsen, Eds, MIT Press.

Consalvo, M. & Altizer, R. (2017). Livestreaming and disability: Reconfiguring play on Twitch.tv. Paper presented at the Association of Internet Researchers annual conference, Tartu, Estonia, October 2017.

Consalvo, M. & Sugiarto, M. (2016). Game over? Not really: Spectating failure on Twitch.tv. Paper presented at the Association of Internet Researchers annual conference, Berlin, Germany, October 2016.

Duguay, S. (forthcoming). “The more I look like Justin Bieber in the pictures, the better”: Queer women’s self-representation on Instagram. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), A Networked Self: Platforms, Stories, Connections, Routledge.

Senft, T. M. (2008). Camgirls: Celebrity and community in the age of social networks. New York: Peter Lang.

avatar for Mia Consalvo

Mia Consalvo

Concordia University
Mia Consalvo is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design at Concordia University in Montreal. She is the co-author of Real Games: What's Legitimate and What's Not in Contemporary Videogames (2019) and Players and their Pets: Gaming Communities from Beta to Sunset... Read More →

Wednesday October 10, 2018 9:00am - 5:30pm EDT
Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology 1496, rue Saint-Denis, Montréal