Streaming services like Twitch.tv are changing how researchers think of parasocial relationships –those experiences where we feel like we have a relationship with a media figure like a show host, an actor, or a character. Research has shown that these relationships can affect our consumption of media, our reactions to it, and what we get out of it.
Traditionally these parasocial relationships have been described as one-sided since the person on the TV or movie screen can’t respond to us or directly interact with us. But new types of media like streaming on Twitch are changing those ideas. It is really a one-sided parasocial relationship if the media figure can interact with individual members of the audience? What implications does that have for the whole concept? That’s what I’ll talk about with this episode’s guest experts.
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