Generation Analog 2022: Critical Role and Platformization

At the Generation Analog 2022 online conference (July 27-28), Jan Švelch presented a paper about Critical Role, Twitch, and platformization. This two-day event was organized by Analog Game Studies and Game in Lab and featured scholarship on various types of analog games, ranging from tabletop role-playing games, miniature wargames, collectible card games, or live-action role-playing games. One of the higlights of the conference was a keynote lecture by Jennifer Kretchmer about disability and accessibility in role-playing games. The entire event was recorded and can be watched on demand on YouTube.

In his presentation Resisting Platformization: Critical Role’s Privileged Position on (video above), Jan Švelch talked about the unique position of Critical Role on the live-streaming platform Twitch. This actual play show in which professional voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons every Thursday belongs among the highest earning channels despite rejecting many of Twitch’s platform logics. Currently, Critical Role broadcasts pre-recorded episodes once a week, focuses on a non-digital game, and effectively uses Twitch as temporary monetized VOD repository for its main show before it’s posted on YouTube on Mondays the following week.

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