Liberal & Fine Arts
Project: The Effect of Gender on Identity Indexing in the Gaming Community: A Study on Twitch Streamers KayPeaLoL & Dyrus
Presenter: Sydney Prather
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sage Graham, English
Abstract: The complex relationship between gender identity and the gaming community has been heavily discussed since the community was formulated. Now, thanks to popular video game streaming site Twitch.tv, these interactions are often recorded in real time for users to consume live from their own homes. As this platform grows, questions emerge surrounding the ways in which a streamer's gender identity can affect these environments both socially and linguistically. This study seeks to explore the ways in which two popular League of Legends streamers, Dyrus and KayPeaLoL, explore their various identities as men and women respectfully, as well as their shared identities as Twitch streamers and professional gamers, through their spoken language. Utilizing transcripts from recorded stream videos, references to each of these identities made by the streamers will be quantified and compared. This study will also analyze the nature of these references to determine what differences may occur along gender lines, and subsequently affect the overall stream environment. It is hypothesized that both streamers will reference their gaming identity the most, given the environment, there will still be significant differences in how many times they reference the community and the ways in which they do so. It is also believed that gender identity will be the least referenced identity comparatively, but will still vary heavily in regards to amount and quality of reference. These findings will help in creating a clearer picture of how men and women operate within gaming spaces, in order to achieve the same level of prestige through streaming.