Staging tele-presence by embodying avatars: evidence from Let’s Play Videos


  • Axel Schmidt Leibniz-Institut für deutsche Sprache
  • Konstanze Marx Universität Greifswald



Let’s Play, computer game, conversation analyses, tele-presence, embodiment


In so-called Let’s Plays, video gaming is presented and verbally commented by Let’s Players on the internet for an audience. When only watched but not played, the most attractive features of video games, immersion and interactivity, get lost – at least for the internet audience. We assume that the accompanying reactions (transmitted via a so-called facecam) and verbal comments of Let’s Players on their game for an audience contribute to an embodiment of their avatars which makes watching a video game more attractive. Following an ethnomethodological conversation analytical (EMCA) approach, our paper focusses on two practices of embodying avatars. A first practice is that Let’s Players verbally formulate their actions in the game. By that, they make their experiences and the 'actions' of avatars more transparent. Secondly, they produce response cries (Goffman) in reaction to game events. By that, they enhance the liveliness of their avatars. Both practices contribute to a co-construction of a specific kind of (tele-)presence.




Schmidt, A., & Marx, K. (2021). Staging tele-presence by embodying avatars: evidence from Let’s Play Videos. Journal für Medienlinguistik, 4(2), 52–84.