Game Studies is a growing research field within universities all over the world, especially in Europe, Asia, and North America. While UW-Milwaukee has yet to establish a stand alone Game Studies program, there are many students and faculty on campus that are interested in the topic. This has led to the creation of Serious Play, an interdisciplinary group that focuses on Games Studies, research, play, and more. One focus of Serious Play is their Twitch channel. The channel hosts a variety of gaming shows, each with their own theme.
The Arena, which is on the channel weekly from noon to 2pm on Thursdays, focuses on competitive games and eSports. This show is for people familiar with video games that have a basic understanding of video game terminology. It focuses on learning strategies and mechanics of different games each week. One week the focus was on a new battle royale game called Realm Royale. This game is currently still in beta but is quickly becoming a favorite in the growing battle royale genre. During the show, the hosts focus on learning the mechanics of the game, such as the different character classes and the layout of the game’s map.
Another, more casual show on the channel is Couch Surfing, which streams 1-2:30 p.m. every Tuesday. The focus of this show is local co-op games. Gaming can be even more fun with friends. Being able to work together to complete a game is a completely different experience than playing solo. On Couch Surfing, viewers watch the hosts talk about the game they are playing, but also talk about their experiences with co-op games and gaming in general.
A full list of all of the shows on the Serious Play channel can be found here: https://uwm.edu/c21/research/c21-collaboratory/current-collaboratory-groups/digital-culture-serious-play-collaboratory/
Battle royale: an emerging video game genre where a large number of players are put into an arena to fight to the death. Only one player or team can win.
Beta: An early version of a game before its official release. Games that are still in beta are unfinished and frequently have more bugs than a finished game.
Character classes: In certain games different characters have different skills, stats, and abilities
Co-op games: Multiplayer games that are played together, cooperatively, rather than competitively.
Local coop games are co-op games that are played together in person, rather than online
eSports: organized competitions for video games; eSports events are comparable to regular sporting events with teams competing and fans cheering for their favorite teams, however, instead of regular sports, teams are competing over video games.
By Bryce Stiemsma