Bo Ruberg on Women's Breasts in Online Streaming

02 Jan, 2020

Bo Ruberg on Women's Breasts in Online Streaming

Bo Ruberg published "Nothing But a 'titty streamer': legitimacy, labor, and the debate over women’s breasts in video game live streaming" in Critical Studies in Media Communication with Amanda Cullen and Kathryn Brewster on September 5, 2019!

From the abstract:

Since the mid-2010s, live streaming has become an increasingly prominent facet of the cultural and commercial landscape of video games. Twitch, the largest streaming platform, reports that more than two million streamers broadcast on their site monthly. This article addresses gender-based harassment in video game live streaming, a widespread problem, especially for women streamers. Here, we deconstruct the discriminatory discourse that surrounds the bodies of women streamers, with a focus on the term “titty streamer.” “Titty streamer” is a derogatory label applied by detractors to women streamers who are perceived as drawing undeserved attention from viewers by presenting their bodies in sexualized ways. To delineate and critique how this term is being deployed in the cultures that surround Twitch, we perform a qualitative analysis of comments in forum threads in the Twitch subreddit (r/Twitch). Our analysis reveals that the term “titty streamer” is far more than a dismissible, juvenile insult. The term serves as a window onto underlying cultural logics and anxieties from within gamer culture about labor and legitimacy in live streaming, as well as larger issues of how women’s bodies are perceived, performed, and policed in and through video games.

Read the full article here!