The digital dualism between real and digital bodies : how esports media & culture represent race, gender and class



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In the past few years there has been a tremendous rise in the number of people who watch livestreamed video game content on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. One of the biggest consumers of livestreamed content are gamers watch live esports competition. This emerging type of content within the new media landscape opens up crucial questions about representations of race, gender and class in esports media. This two-part study uses ethnography and critical discourse analysis to study a major esports event, Evolution Championship Series 2019. Ethnographic participant-observation was used to study the lived-experience of attending EVO 2019, and critical discourse analysis was used to study how esports announcers report on-screen action mediated by digital bodies. The findings of this study contribute to a growing body of literature on gaming culture, sports culture, and critical theories of embodiment. The study points out how representations of race, gender and class are complicated by esports media and culture, and the implications this can have moving forward.


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