Hype Source: G Fuel’s Contemporary Gamer Persona and its Navigation of Prestige and Diversity
G Fuel, an energy drink marketed towards gamers, performs a ‘contemporary’ gamer persona to interact with its audience, drawing upon an array of gaming influencers to appeal to fans of these figures. Specifically, this contemporary gamer persona builds upon the ‘geeky’ male gamer identity that has been constructed by marketers and adopted by players, utilising elements of esport such as skilfulness and focus. However, this persona also reimagines the gamer identity in alternative ways, such as gaming as an athletic activity – one that requires much mental and physical energy—and as an activity that connects players to others, and is exciting and glamourous, evocative of the lifestyles of gaming influencers. Thus, the contemporary gamer persona signals that there has been a shift in the popular discourses surrounding the ‘gamer’ identity in specific gaming micro-publics. The energy drink company G-Fuel is aware of this shift and strengthens this persona by forming partnerships with gamer microcelebrities and influencers. In this article, we find that in G Fuel’s construction and maintenance of the contemporary gamer persona, they seek to appeal to the wider gaming audience, but must constantly negotiate a balance between popular but controversial influencers and a commitment to diversity.
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