“Let’s get this thing open”: the pleasures of unboxing videos

Mowlabocus, Sharif (2018) “Let’s get this thing open”: the pleasures of unboxing videos. European Journal of Cultural Studies. ISSN 1367-5494

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Digital videos depicting the unboxing of new objects have become a lucrative revenue stream in the YouTube economy and are beginning to attract critical interest from media scholars. Much of this work focuses on the economic and regulatory dimensions of this new digital form, but little has been written regarding the texts themselves or the pleasures they offer viewers. In this article, I contribute to recent scholarship on YouTube genres, by performing a critical ‘unboxing’ of this digital form. Following a brief introduction to this phenomenon, in which I outline the key narrative tropes found in these videos, I unpack the affective intensities and tactile pleasures that structure these texts, in order to consider how and why unboxing has become so popular.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Unboxing; YouTube; Smartphones; Affect; Haptic Visuality; Touch; Technology.
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Photography and Visual Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology > HM1176 Social influence. Social pressure > HM1181 Attitude > HM1206 Communication. Mass media
Depositing User: Sharif Mowlabocus
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2018 15:30
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 13:18
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/78712

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