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The Emotional Impact of Engagement on Twitch


How does Twitch make you feel? As a viewer or broadcaster, what emotions do you experience while engaging on Twitch? Are you inspired and encouraged to create? Or perhaps a bit frustrated...

For my first analysis summary of my research on creative engagement on Twitch, I'm going to share some of the emotions that were associated with being engaged on Twitch, both from the viewer and the broadcaster perspectives. Survey and interview responses displayed a range of emotions experienced and while they were mostly positive, multiple interview participants expressed a sense of discouragement or struggle as a result of their efforts in creating and growing a channel on Twitch.

A feeling of creativity or an inspiration to create was most prominent in analysis of findings. 67% of survey respondents said that they felt average or above average creativity while watching creative streamers on Twitch, and 78% of survey respondents said that watching creative streams on Twitch inspired them to make art.

Further analysis of interview responses supported feelings of creativity and inspiration to create as a result of engagement on Twitch. When asked about what had been created as a result of engagement, respondents spoke about creating both physical and digital works.

  • P6: Probably a bunch of cat drawings, since there’s a lot of streamers who like cats. It sort of inspired me.

  • P10: After I did a few livestreams though it boosted my confidence and inspired me to start putting together a YouTube channel.

When asked about their favorite creative broadcaster, one survey respondent spoke about how a particular community regularly impacted their artwork:

  • S75: Her style of art inspires me. I've been watching her works for years now and the fact she keeps up on twitch and does critiques for subs to help improve their art really helps me constructively as an artist.

Screenshot of fan art background from http://www.twitch.tv/sodapoppin

Through the observation of one popular Twitch broadcaster's channel, it was observed that hundreds of fan art creations had been collected and were being used as background images by the broadcaster. Fan art based creations were also referred to in multiple interview responses:

  • P3: I have created Photoshop parodies of the streamer Brotatoe. I tweeted it to Brotatoe, who viewed it on stream and retweeted it to his followers.

  • P5: Everything was created in Photoshop or premiere pro. It was mostly short videos or fan drawings, though i have created a layout or 2. Also created emotes for 2 people.

Another indicator of the emotional impact of engagement on Twitch was an increase in confidence and self esteem, which was noted most prominently during analysis of interview responses.

  • P1: I'd still say I'm pretty young in the grand scheme of Twitch, but I feel confident that I'm making positive steps to continue to grow and impact more people.

  • P4: It’s a self esteem booster that people come to watch me work and give me real time feedback.

  • P8: Those who liked who I was stuck around, and those who didn’t went to other channels. And those that tried to harass me...I guess I felt a lot safer in most cases, on Twitch than I do in person. Simply because they are on the other side of a computer. All I have to do is ban them and they are gone. Which empowered me to let go of it more and be me, and not care what other people thought. So...you know that I am transgender...it was really big for me because I could control the camera angle, the lighting, and the effects that were on, so people got to see me how I wanted them to see me. No one there knew my past, I was literally able to just be me. Everyone knew me for who I was there, and didn’t question the identity I presented to them. In real life, for the longest time, people had always been questioning my identity. It was really nice to have a place for me to just be me.

These responses are just a snapshot of the diverse and rich responses collected from the survey and interviews. Stay tuned for future posts breaking down the main themes uncovered in my research. In the meantime, tell me: How does Twitch impact you emotionally?


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