DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Streaming lab
By Mary Hansen /
September 30, 2022 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
Close, an assistant professor in the College of Communication, has transformed a small office in DePaul’s Daley Building into the Streaming Lab. The lab is equipped with three stations where students can livestream on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Its setup includes monitors, microphones and professional lighting, as well as gaming consoles from the original Nintendo to the newest Play Station and the popular games to go with them.
She used the Streaming Lab’s Twitch channel for her "Introduction to Mass Media" course over the summer, streaming herself playing a game related to the content she was teaching and talking about related concepts. The goal is two-fold, she says.
“On the one hand, we want to make our own content that is what I call 'popular intellectual.' Essentially, it is what you read in a magazine, such as essays and op-eds,” Close says. “The second charge is to give students a place to experiment."
Students may not have their own money or space to livestream like pros, but at the lab they can try it out. For the coming winter quarter, she is teaching "Topics in New Media: Streaming and Esports," during which students will use the lab for assignments. They’ll discuss the barriers to participating in the medium and ways to lower those barriers.
The lab is part of the Center for Communication Engagement’s Media Commons, which includes the Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab and the Media Engagement Lab. Paul Booth, an associate dean in the College of Communication, calls the Streaming Lab the “perfect encapsulation” of the center’s goal.
“It brings state-of-the-art technology to students and faculty who want to engage with contemporary media activities,” Booth says. “Like its neighbors the VARC Lab and the ME Lab, the Streaming Lab's commitment to social innovation highlights the importance of new and engaging communication practices, and demonstrates the CCE's continued exploration of hands-on, practical applications of research in new technologies.”
The Media Commons will host an open house on Oct. 27, 2 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Daley Building, 14 E. Jackson Blvd.
Close is a cultural studies researcher and focuses her work at the intersection of three areas: digital media, labor and identity. She produced a documentary on the largely invisible work of Etsy makers, “I Am Handmade: Crafting in the Age of Computers.”
She says the growth in popularity around streaming and DePaul’s investment in esports programs piqued her interest in how to bring an academic lens to the new media. Funding to set up the lab came from an Academic Growth and Innovation Fund grant, Esports at DePaul: An Opportunity for Advancing Vincentian Values & Establishing Academic Leadership in a Cultural Phenomenon.