Illuminating the Spectre

Challenging the Assumed Power of the Controller-Holder

  • Jessica Yuening Tang Massachusetts Institute of Technology


As video game streaming increases in popularity, the number of viewers spectating these streams has also increased. However, even while streaming seeks to develop more methods to include viewer participation, spectators are often viewed as passive or in the “backseat.” In this paper I focus on findings from the development and play of a software overlay that allows spectators to control what parts of the screen are visible to them. I argue that the labor of spectating not only generates valuable knowledge, but can be encouraged and highlighted without turning spectators into players.

June 9, 2020