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Video games and the crowdfunding ideology: From the gamer-buyer to the prosumer-investor

Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


Digital convergence and Web 2.0 have led to the emergence of new forms of involvement and participation of consumers in the game industry. Prosumers are now participating in productive and decision-making structures at the highest level using collective financing model or crowdfunding. In this system, the traditional business relations based on hierarchy have undergone a major change repositioning the creative focus on the player. The top-down culture of game business becomes bottom-up participatory culture intervening mainly in game genres, topics, and mechanics. This research frames crowdfunding in the participatory culture and the conversion from consumer to prosumer-investor to later analyze the 10 most funded games on Kickstarter. A qualitative analysis focused on the ideology of crowdfunding discourses concludes that positive arguments for video games collective financing model develop an emancipatory-utopian framework, which is critical with publishers, libertarian with users, and melancholic-postmodern with the content developed in the past.