Authentic portrayals of game culture? : a content analysis of the crowd-funded YouTube documentary The Smash Brothers
Using the case example of the crowd-funded YouTube documentary The Smash Brothers, this study explores how digital game culture is currently represented in social media. The units for a qualitative content analysis, as described by Krippendorf (2004), are defined through thematic distinction. The results refer to four major categories that represent digital game culture as a whole: game, gamer, gameplay and game community. The interaction between gamer and game (gameplay) is the most stressed element of game culture. Gameplay was depicted to be of varying nature and in opposition, considered both a sport and an art. The portrayal of the culture in our sample stresses both negative and positive aspects, remarking on features that increase the popularity of the game.