Masters Thesis

Pass the salt: an observational analysis of twitch streamers

Previous research has shown violent video games can lead to temporarily heighted aggressive states and desensitization to violence in gamers. Within video game communities, there exist elevated levels of overt toxic behaviors and standards, including sexism, racism, and heterosexism. Most often these behaviors and standards are normalized by the dominant group within the gaming community – white men. In addition to violent video games, heightened masculinity also correlates with increases in aggression. Those considered outsiders within the video game community – women, people of color, and homosexuals – often experience aggression from the dominant group. Previous studies have focused on the correlation between aggression and playing violent video games, typically through laboratory experiments to measure aggression. Little research has been conducted on the new media Twitch.tv, however. This study addresses the gap in literature regarding streaming broadcasts of video game play. Attention is paid to sexist, racist, and homophobic comments made by male Twitch streamers, while playing violent video games.

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