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Gamer Live-Streams and Sexism

Gaming streams are often reported to be places where sexism can be freely exploited by the users. Researchers for a long time have been looking into the gendered conversations that are frequently spotted in these conversations, which reinforce women as objects under the “male gaze.”

Twitch.tv  is a live-streaming video platform that primarily focuses on video gaming. Women have noted how anti-feminist rhetoric in gamer culture can lead to harassment and exclusion in the gaming field.

Some of the popular comments on the Twitch stream identify the men by their skills, whereas with women it’s more on their appearance. Popular words like “babe” were used instead of skill based names like “shields.”

Twitch has been aware of these issues, and offers ways of dealing with harassment in chatrooms, including an ignore button or banning certain words from the chat.

Tonight also offers the first ever live stream of the first eSports Industry Awards which will start at 7pm GMT. After the broadcast, it will be available as a VoD on Twitch, which will allow users to watch it whenever. The eSports Industry Awards 2016 was supported by industries such as Domino’s Pizza and Gillette. More women competing in these types of competitions might start to change the perception in gamer culture.

The French government has considered methods of combating sexism in video games, such as banning games that portray a “degrading image of women” from receiving tax credits.

The question moving forward in this long-debate of gender and video-games is whether or not this issue mostly stems from the games themselves or from the users, and how can the stereotypes surrounding gamer culture fade away to open the doors for more acceptance towards new representation.

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