Tactical Technical Communication and Player-Created (DIY) Patch Notes: A Case Study

Elizabeth Caravella, Steve Holmes

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Relying on rhetorical analysis, this article explores the rhetoric and ethics of a particular type of designer- and player-created technical communication genre, video patch notes, to further explore how various technical communication genres structure the experience of play. By providing a case study of official video patch notes for the game Overwatch in combination with Youtube user dinoflask's satirical fan made videos, the article examines both developers’ communication practices and the ways in which players creatively negotiate and re-purpose these practices in order to illustrate how such tactical technical communication remixes sustain a subtle dialogue between players and developers. This dialogue in particular illuminates pain points between stakeholders (in this case, discrepancies between developer intent and player experience) in ways that could potentially offer a means of persuading particularly ideologically fixed audiences, highlighting how practitioners might use tactical technical communication with activist intent.

Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationJournal of Technical Writing and Communication
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • activist technical communication
  • ethics
  • patch notes
  • satire
  • tactical technical communication


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