Introduction: ASIA.LIVE: Inaugurating Livestream Studies in Asia

In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
Ge Zhang College of Media and International Culture, Zhejiang University

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Gabriele de Seta Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies, University of Bergen Norway

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This introduction to the special issue ‘ASIA.LIVE: Inaugurating Livestream Studies in Asia’ briefly summarizes the virtual workshop at which it originated and describes its contributions to the central concept of liveness. After reflecting on the increasingly constitutive role of liveness in digital media, we argue that research on livestreaming should move beyond its focus on gaming and its Eurocentric approach to platforms, drawing on extensive debates over liveness and expanding its scope to the thriving digital economies in the Asian region. To understand how practices such as livestreaming are changing digital cultures in Asia and beyond, it is necessary to account for the ephemeral phenomena and under-documented practices that emerge from these regional contexts. By bringing together articles about China and Taiwan and relating them to workshop contributions about Hong Kong, Indonesia, and South Korea, we inaugurate livestream studies in Asia and offer some directions for future research in this field.

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