Discourse at play: Construction and professionalism of video-based game reviews

R.S. Jacobs, Zino Duyvestijn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


As a growing but already massive entertainment medium, games are discussed in all
social environments, uncovering an unexplored area of cultural criticism. YouTube in
particular acts as a vast library of game reviews that are posted by both consumer and
professional reviewers. The current study investigates how these reviews construct a
discourse of games. A quantitative content analysis on 150 randomly sampled videoformat reviews applied discourse categorizations found among film reviewers
complemented with a coding frame specifically designed for the gaming YouTube
format. Results show that high-art discursive styles typically found with professional
critics of traditional media now apply to a continuum of YouTube creators, while the
consumer-oriented popular aesthetic discourse is not mirrored as closely. Reviewers
can set themselves apart by offering interpretations of the games they play, for
example, or reviewing from a first-person perspective. Conclusions includes avenues
for further research on specific game reviewing discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventDiGRA 2019: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix - Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 6 Aug 201910 Aug 2019


ConferenceDiGRA 2019
Abbreviated titleDiGRA 2019
Internet address

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