Television as Play (research seminar)

256Karin van Es’ seminar on television as play introduces students to new modes of audience participation. Although audience participation in television is hardly new, social media and mobile/online apps offer new and exciting ways for engaging with and around television content. In attempts to bring about what Henry Jenkins (2006) has called “affective economies” we see how digital media are employed to strengthen the ties between a format and its audiences. In the age of Social TV we find, on the one hand, that applications such as The Voice HomeCoach and GetGlue have ‘gamified’ the television experience – creating competition between viewers through scoreboards and rewarding winners with items such as (virtual) badges and stickers. But also, on the other hand, that social media more generally solicit playful interactions with television formats. The aim of the research seminar is to explore the possible advantages of using concepts from game studies for the understanding of present-day television formats.