Uncovering the (Hidden) Co-Creativity: Ethnographic Streaming for a Game Design Praxiology Research Project


  • Annakaisa Kultima
  • Riina Ojanen
  • Niklas Nylund


streaming, Noita, indie games, Twitch, game development


In this paper, we reflect on a research project in which streaming gameplay on Twitch was utilized as part of data collection for a game design praxiology study. The project was conducted in Spring 2021 as a collaboration between Aalto University and The Finnish Museum of Games. It involved various sources of data collection to gain a comprehensive understanding of the development of the PC game Noita. The research project employed journalistic interviews, developer notes, sketches, early prototypes, multiple builds of the game, interviews with the development team, and community engagement activities. One of these activities was publicly streaming the gameplay of Noita on Twitch. This ethnographic streaming had a multi-faceted impact on the research project. It deepened our understanding of Noita as a streamable game, and provided insights into the game without requiring extensive playtime. It also uncovered the co-creative part of the development process: content creators, community managers and modders within the Noita community all impacted the designed experience of Noita. As one of the ethnographic approaches utilized in this game design praxiology study, streaming turned out to be in an important epistemic role. However, the process was also time consuming and involved several technical challenges as well as created an interesting gameplay experience bias.





@Conference{digra1938, title ="Uncovering the (Hidden) Co-Creativity: Ethnographic Streaming for a Game Design Praxiology Research Project", year = "2023", author = "Kultima, Annakaisa and Ojanen, Riina and Nylund, Niklas", publisher = "DiGRA", address = "Tampere", howpublished = "\url{https://dl.digra.org/index.php/dl/article/view/1938}", booktitle = "Conference Proceedings of DiGRA 2023 Conference: Limits and Margins of Games Settings"}