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Streaming into the Void

Is there an audience for mobile rhythm games?

The media niche I want to focus on is rhythm games, primarily mobile based games. Some of the games I’m looking into are Deemo, Love Live! School Idol Festival, Rhythm Hive as well as nostalgic games like Tap Tap Revenge. There is a varying audience for each of these games, primarily based on the specific song selections provided within the game, the series the game is based on or gameplay features. This however does generalise the audiences, as other fans of the genre, may choose to play these (or other games) for a variety of reasons.

Members of TXT playing Rhythm Hive – TO DO ep.44

In terms of the specific audience, it has been hard to narrow down influencers on streaming services such as twitch. Unlike popular VR title Beat Saber, mobile rhythm games do not have nearly as large of an audience. Deemo is the game with the biggest Twitch following, heavensarmy is one of the more popular streamers however, he plays the ps4 version of the title. There have only been 6 clips uploaded under the mobile game, similarly rhythm hive does not have many uploads.

osu! gif – tenor

 osu! Seems to be quite popular, but again this popularity is based on the computer version – I am also considering playing computer-based games provided they can play on a mid-range laptop, so this would be something to look into.

 For older games, such as Deemo which was released in 2013, there are a lot of playthrough videos on YouTube. However, since the game has been completed for a few years, YouTube may not be the best platform as most of the popular videos are older and the majority of the songs already have complete playthroughs.

Deemo II teaser

Twitter is another potential platform, Rhythm Hive is very popular since a lot of the Kpop fan base is active on the app. Deemo also has had a new resurgence on the platform as they have recently released news of a sequel to the original game.

Why I want to focus on rhythm games
zelda BOTW unlocking map – TheTozotube

There are several ethnographic skills that will be essential when it comes to learning more about this niche. Some key skills include perspective and reflexivity, as I need to remember that while I have a lot of experience with the genre (and sentimental memories of playing older games that may skew my perspective), others do not, and I may have to focus on or explain concepts that I take for granted. The skill of mapping will also prove useful, as I aim to contextualise the relationships between the specific rhythm games and their source materials, as well as other games within the genre.

Narrowing will also be something to focus on, as I need to work to make my focus area more refined and specific, rather than just choosing games I enjoy playing. Linking with this, it will be essential to define what Burrell (2009) considers to be the ‘field site’ – the exact area where I plan to focus my research and studies.

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