Guild Wars 2 is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) with a playerbase of 11 million as of April 2019. The game has been critically acclaimed and has garnered many awards for its graphics, hypernarrative story, and dynamic gameplay. This fantasy MMORPG developed by ArenaNet allows players to experience the game as individuals or while interacting with or teaming up with online players whenever they login and play the game. Let’s Plays and playthroughs have grown significantly throughout the past decade yet are still relatively unexplored. This study adds to the existing literature by focusing on WoodenPotatoes, a medium sized Guild Wars 2 YouTuber, and his playthroughs of the Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire expansion. The study examined how WoodenPotatoes related gameplay, design, and narrative in his videos and how he commented on his playthroughs. The findings of this study showed how YouTube gamers such as WoodenPotatoes have dimensions of coauthorship. This co-authorship operates on three levels: as a gamer, as a fan, and as a YouTuber. As Guild Wars 2 is a theme park type of MMORPG with a branching hypernarrative, the research also explored a player’s mental schema through WoodenPotatoes commentary. Due to both in-game and external influences, the mental schema of WoodenPotatoes was affected and thus contributed to influencing his playthrough experience and commentary as a co-author. Finally, the findings of this study show that player values and experience are affected by the levels of co-authorship and vise-versa.
Jasper Camille Go, De La Salle University, Philippines
Stream: Social Media & Communication Technology
This paper is part of the MediAsia2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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