Curbing toxic game culture
April 13, 2016 9:28 AM   Subscribe

League of Legends has 67 million players and grossed an estimated US$1.25 billion in revenue last year. But it also has a reputation for toxic in-game behaviour, which its parent company, Riot Games in Los Angeles, California, sees as an obstacle to attracting and retaining players. So the company has hired a team of researchers to study the social — and antisocial — interactions between its users.
posted by latkes (47 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Note: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by ogooglebar at 10:10 AM on April 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


All precautions and research in the world will not make me even touch that game. I've seen enough twitch streams showing how horrible the players in that game and other MOBAs act.

Maybe i'm too old, but I remember a time when the only multiplayer were friendly games vs friends or siblings.
posted by 81818181818181818181 at 10:21 AM on April 13, 2016


in that game and other MOBAs
In all games, really. Even in games that don't allow you to verbally communicate with other players, like Hearthstone, it is possible to spam emotes. And, as far as friendly games versus friends or siblings are concerned, that might've been before they invented Mario Party.
posted by The arrows are too fast at 10:39 AM on April 13, 2016


Although Riot boasts that serious toxic behaviour infects only 2% of games, somehow I managed to experience it within a minute of playing for the first time. But immediately after “FA GO TT” popped up on my screen, something interesting happened.

Um. Alternate hypothesis: the 2% number is based on algorithmic analysis of chat logs, which is pretty easily defeated by weird spacing or 1337 speak, as the author himself experienced. They claim to have a team coding conversations by hand, but with 27 million active daily users, there's no undergraduate swarm in the world that can tally that much data manually.

This is very surprising to see published in Nature.
posted by Mayor West at 10:45 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been playing League of Legends since September 2012. I'm not particularly good, squarely in the "Silver" tier of play (roughly around the 50th percentile of skill in ranked play). There are still some folks who are bad, but it seems a lot better than it used to be. Fewer intentional AFKs, less awful, hateful language.

I'm not sure if it's because people are genuinely becoming more kind, if the player base is aging out of poor behavior, or simply that they're aware of punishments and curbing their worst behavior. I don't really care, the end result is a more fun game.
posted by explosion at 10:46 AM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


The online Final Fantasy games are known for having pretty great communities. WoW pve servers were pretty good until they took all incentives for polite interaction out of the game. Generally, if there's PVP gameplay, some people are going to be terrible.
posted by Huck500 at 10:46 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been a fan of RiotLyte's work on community management. It's unusual in that it's commercial work, firmly rooted in gamer culture, and yet data driven and well documented. A nice example of a corporate / academic research hybrid. I'm really curious to see the results of the university projects, this article just hints at them.

In my experience Riot's program has worked pretty well, at least in North America. When I started playing League in 2012 it was truly an awful cesspool of a place. "I hope you get cancer" was one of the more polite things you'd read during a game. Now you still occasionally see "get cancer" (and worse) but it's much less common. And the community as a whole now understands that kind of dialog is inappropriate, whereas before it was considered unavoidable or even somehow good. I think Riot has succeeded shifting the norm. It helps that it's easy to mute people in game and then report them afterwards.

I think the underlying results reported are probably more true than not. But they're definitely tinged by Riot's corporate goals. For instance early on they were hyping how great the Tribunal system was at beating toxicity. But the Tribunal hasn't run for 18+ months now, I think in part because it was too expensive for them to support. No comment on the removal of Tribunal nor statistics to back up that it was good to take it out though. I think corporate spoke.

External peer-reviewed research based on Riot's data would be really fantastic.
posted by Nelson at 10:47 AM on April 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


The resulting map of toxic behaviour was surprising. Common wisdom holds that the bulk of the cruelty on the Internet comes from a sliver of its inhabitants — the trolls. Indeed, Lin's team found that only about 1% of players were consistently toxic. But it turned out that these trolls produced only about 5% of the toxicity in League of Legends. “The vast majority was from the average person just having a bad day,” says Lin. They behaved well for the most part, but lashed out on rare occasions.

This was the most interesting bit of the article to me. I certainly held the common wisdom.

The caution at the end is interesting too. League may be able to make strides to improve the environment of their game but they have a very effective punishment they can mete out: banning you from playing this game you want to play. Other online communities don't necessarily have such an effective stick. Also uniquish to gaming: a ban is more effective because you have to be using an account that you have poured lots of time into. On twitter you can create an egg to harass people, in League you are playing with an account you have spent 100 hours + on.
posted by macrael at 10:49 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


My only real knowledge of League of Legends is that an acquaintance from law school went on to become a team owner of a pro LOL team, get banned from the league for poaching, somehow get back into the league and be buds with Martin Shkreli. He's also a relentless womanizer, PUA and MRA.

So yeah, that the culture there might be a bit misogynistic and hostile doesn't surprise me much.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:01 AM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


The biggest problem is that when the toxic, abusive, hateful people are permabanned they have to start from scratch. This means when you first join league it has a higher than normal amount of toxic shits.

However, this also means the algorithms can quickly clear them out. On my level 22 smurf that I level from time to time I get the occasional person using a racial epithet. I just report, click hate speech and then a few minutes later I get the "A person has been punished thanks to you! Feel the warm embrace of justice!" notification.

On my main account which is currently Gold II I had someone call me a faggot for the first time in months. It was honestly a whatyearisit.jpg moment for me because to actually use that word and being reported is an instant two weeks off. It is so much better than when I first started in 2013. Ridiculously better.

Um. Alternate hypothesis: the 2% number is based on algorithmic analysis of chat logs, which is pretty easily defeated by weird spacing or 1337 speak, as the author himself experienced. They claim to have a team coding conversations by hand, but with 27 million active daily users, there's no undergraduate swarm in the world that can tally that much data manually.

Reporting trains the system and they have some major deep learning shit on the reporting system. If someone tries to work around the system by using alternate methods just report them. The system recognizes and will start to integrate it into the naughty words list. Hell, even "gg ez" is seen as toxic by the reporting system because enough people report it as bad sportsmanship.
posted by Talez at 11:08 AM on April 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think Riot has succeeded shifting the norm.

I think they have, too. I faded out of playing LoL some time last year, but I noticed a gradual but very steady improvement in my in-game experience across the two or three years I spent playing regularly.

The biggest sea change was the addition of "chat restrictions", which allowed players who committed certain chat-based infractions to keep playing but limited the number of times they could use chat during a game. That simple step of making people think about what they're about to say and whether it's worth using one of their precious few allotted chat messages made a really big difference. It doesn't stop the committed toxic-jerks, but it definitely seemed to help the normal-person-occasional-ragers rein in their behaviour.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:09 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


My only real knowledge of League of Legends is that an acquaintance from law school went on to become a team owner of a pro LOL team, get banned from the league for poaching, somehow get back into the league and be buds with Martin Shkreli. He's also a relentless womanizer, PUA and MRA.

Chris Badawi? He was forced to sell his stakes in REN and TDK and is banned from ownership of any team until the end of the 2016 season. When did he get back in?
posted by Talez at 11:13 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


In fact, I'd love to see the "chat restriction" idea implemented in other places. Because not only does it make you think about how you're using your limited number of messages, it encourages you to keep playing on your restricted account, rather than just dodging an outright ban by creating a "smurf" account and playing through a VPN.

Analogise LOL's "smurfing" issue to Twitter's "egg" problem, and you can see why I'd like Twitter to at least try something similar for a while.

The other other nice thing about chat restrictions is that, because it's considered a "light" punishment, you can apply it for borderline cases of toxicity, whereas I think there's a natural inclination to only dish out "serious" punishment like bans to the true, dyed-in-the-wool assholes. So, where warning->temp ban->permaban might seem extreme for someone who's "only" doing lightly unsportsmanlike stuff like typing "gg ez" or "Ezreal, y r u trash?", a series of escalating chat restrictions is very easy to justify.

Sticking with Twitter as an example, consider a world where sending "go kill yourself" to a woman who's being visibly womanly elicited from @support an automatic, machine-learning-driven restriction limiting you to sending only 5 tweets per day for a week, rather than a "well, that's not THAT bad" shrug from some undertrained intern.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:19 AM on April 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


One place where this bad behaviour has moved to is Twitch chat. Some of the female streamers take ungodly amounts of abuse and it's really difficult to curb it. Some, like Kaceytron, have brilliantly turned it on itself into a shtick where she plays a character who channels the attention, negative and bad, into moolah for herself. People pay to insult her on stream and on the flip side, she has people who pay to support her.

It's sort of like porn. You hope nobody has to feel obligated to actually do it but if it works for them more power to them.
posted by Talez at 11:28 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Let me know when someone has enough money to hire researchers to study bad tabletop RPG behavior, because that's the one study I really want to see. Then they can expand it to conventions and really shoot for the moon.

I love my hobby, but man, I hate the way some folks treat women and/or LGBT RPG'ers and then try to rationalize it.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 11:52 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I love online games, and have been involved with the scene since when my computer would scream BE-BONG-BE-BONG-AHHHH-SHHHHHHHH at me every time I logged on, but god I hate the LOL crowd. Never before have I encountered such a sophomoric group of petulant whiners. The entire community is toxic in the extreme. I really wish there was a NON-anonymous mode, or a over 20 year old server or something so I could actually play the game. It looks like fun, but I refuse to support anything with that level of vitriol.

This is a known issue since the game launched, and a failing by the Riot engineering team. This is something that can be handled technically by adding real consequences to players actions, but Riot is more concerned with taking player money then making the play experience enjoyable.

The LOL community is so bad that when people tell me they play I just stop hanging out with them. If you can experience an average game of LOL and be like, "Ya, that was fun I want more," then you're really not the kind of person I want to spend time with.
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 12:17 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Talez, yep— Twitch chat just makes you despair for humanity.

It depresses me the majority of female gamers who might enjoy streaming likely just nope the hell out of there, and it bums me out when you see the more 'male-gaze' crafted ones taking the views. It's playing the system to make it work for them, but it doesn't fill me with hope in the same way as the excellent Annemunition does.

For instance, heres a recent stream from Kaceytron with her chat open (often streamers will close the chat so only subscribers can talk to keep the noise down, but you generally get more viewers to help grow your channel if you open your chat) and scroll to anywhere in that 4 hour broadcast and see the shit being spewed, and that's just the stuff that gets through her filters.

How does anyone have the mental fortitude to deal with that shit.
posted by Static Vagabond at 12:26 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Streaming comments are awful: both Twitch and YouTube Live. I truly don't understand why they allow them.

I was (am?) a big fan of Remi, a LoL support player. She's the first woman to play pro LoL in North America, as the support for Renegades. (To complicate matters she is widely assumed to be a trans woman, although she herself has never said so.) For the longest time she didn't stream, was too private, and also said she didn't want to play pro because she had anxiety about being on stage in public. It was a big deal for her to get over that hurdle, to stream live and play on stage.

And there was a lot of nasty shit slung at her. But even better, a lot of moderation that came in and made the space at least somewhat bearable. Both on Twitch chat and, impressively to me, on the 800,000 member subreddit that is the center of the English-speaking world of LoL players. A huge number of deleted comments but the line was held, and the community norm was that it was not OK to post blatantly sexist or transphobic things about Remi.

Unfortunately Remi's team didn't do well and she personally didn't do very well. She ended up stopping playing after a few weeks. (Not just her; I think the whole team's roster changed over the course of this season). So she's not so visible, at least right now, but I hope she comes back. She plays a mean Thresh.
posted by Nelson at 12:38 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


(Not just her; I think the whole team's roster changed over the course of this season)

Only people left on the starting REN lineup are Crumbzz and Freeze.
posted by Talez at 1:00 PM on April 13, 2016


This is a known issue since the game launched, and a failing by the Riot engineering team. This is something that can be handled technically by adding real consequences to players actions, but Riot is more concerned with taking player money then making the play experience enjoyable.

You use an epithet and get reported and you automatically get two weeks off. Next time you do it the holiday is permanent.

What more exactly do you want? Iron maidens? Wheels? Flaying until they bleed?
posted by Talez at 1:03 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is a known issue since the game launched, and a failing by the Riot engineering team. This is something that can be handled technically by adding real consequences to players actions, but Riot is more concerned with taking player money then making the play experience enjoyable.

I'm sorry, what? TFA is entirely about Riot taking serious action to make the play experience less toxic. At least try to engage with the material before tearing off on a rant.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:05 PM on April 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


"I'm a white male gamer, and I'm standing up."

More of us should.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:08 PM on April 13, 2016


As a non gamer, non fandom, non convention going adult it amazes me how many threads and how much time goes into discussing young male misbehavior in those circles a d the general feeling of helplessness about it. I've just never ever been part of any kind of community where that's remotely tolerated for a second. It's like watching a trump rally (I suspect there is significant overlap in the communities tbh).

Do these people end up in games/ comic books because the behavior is tolerated there and not elsewhere or is it something inherent to this hobby that creates the misbehavior? Obviously the belief in anonymity and tendency to get caught up in groupthink plays a role. Again, lots of parallels to the more outrageous events at Trump rallys.

There's a fascinating study in human behavior there but I think it's important to remember that this kind of behavior is not inevitable and is not tolerated in the wider world. A lot of these threads seem to treat it as inevitable.
posted by fshgrl at 1:14 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


While the chat on League is, in fact, better than it was, that doesn't actually mean the community's improving. It just means they're expressing their BS in other ways. (Demonstrable nicely on the aforementioned Twitch chat of any League stream)

On a side note: Twitch really isn't so bad in quite a few channels outside the League streams. Honest. Admittedly, I say that as a dude who moderates a stream, and is debating starting his own soon, and there's some games that people just don't stream to avoid attracting jerks.
posted by Archelaus at 1:45 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Honestly the champ select change probably did away with more toxic behavior than the Tribunal or the player tips. I can't remember the last time I've seen "mid or feed" un-ironically.
posted by anti social order at 1:57 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, at this point, I sorta feel like boys just shouldn't get toys until they learn how not to be utter knobs.
posted by qcubed at 2:11 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm not too familiar with LoL, except by reputation, but the documentary on it in MeFi Projects funded by Riot was nice and seemed to be aimed at a thoughtful audience.
posted by Wobbuffet at 3:10 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


scroll to anywhere in that 4 hour broadcast and see the shit being spewed, and that's just the stuff that gets through her filters.

The stream title is an invitation to 4chan hackers, and the part I randomly skipped to had Kaceytron in the middle of a deadpan "marijuana is bad, kids" routine, generally trolling the chat, when her channel donation sound sang out "smoke weed every day."

At least on the few channels I sometimes watch (no LOL), I think even twitch chat is better than it was a couple years ago.
posted by sfenders at 4:09 PM on April 13, 2016


My daughter is getting a Master's on this subject, and been documenting her experiences in DotA2 for this purpose. Sadly now, her data will be anecdotal, rather than host-supplied.
posted by Windopaene at 4:16 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Human behavior is just a mirror for the environment they're in. Identical twins will have very different behavior and personality, if one grew up in Gaza and the other in Australia, say.

You can try enforce good behavior by laying down the law and using jail time as a punishment but that doesn't solve the problem.

Fundamentally, the mechanics of League create the conditions for toxic behavior. The whole idea that there are roles where no one might want to play (support) but are forced to anyway, yet some roles that get all the glory (mid / adc) which everyone cheers for after a multi-kill. The whole concept of where a teammate's bad performance negatively impacts you in a huge way by feeding the enemy gold and experience. The concept of you losing personal rating points due to the under-performance of 4 other strangers you have no control over.

There are certainly ways to do design the game better. For example, what if player score (kills / deaths) was made less relevant to the game design and thus no longer tracked? Then you couldn't single out an under-performing player for bullying. What if some game rewards were awarded based on your relative performance to your teammates? Then having a less skilled team would be a blessing, not a curse.

The most radical one I've seen implemented well - What if games were shorter, but held players in the lobby for multiple rounds and reshuffling the teams each round to maximize the chance that each player has the chance to at least win one game against the same players (enemy and allied), and breaking up the lobby once that occurred: so this provides the players a sense of closure. For example, within the same lobby and roughly same players with minor shuffling, a player losing game 1 and game 2 but winning game 3 and then the lobby breaking up is just as satisfying, or even more so, than a player on the opposite side of things who won game 1 and game 2 but lost game 3. Doing it this way actually provides everyone a positive experience, both the players who won 1 game and those who won 2 games. Compare this to players who play 3 games with completely random teammates and opponents: a person who loses 2/3 games will feel more negative about the experience than the example given. It could be something as easy as a minor learning algorithm: team A lost, and one person left, we'll replace him by putting a stronger player in his spot and matching team A and B again and see how we go. Standard MMR calculations could go in the background (it's no big deal as teams are never evenly matched anyway: the algorithm could be weighted not to produce a 50/50 coinflip each time, but to actively "test" how good players are by matching them against harder opponents if they win)
posted by xdvesper at 4:38 PM on April 13, 2016


sfenders, so you're saying that toxic chat doesn't count? How about this one is that a better representation of unacceptable general toxicity?

Watch a featured stream when a woman talks or hell even just walks by on screen and tell me chat's got better. That there are some good busy channels is a testament to how good those moderators are for that streamer-- login to the Twitch IRC and you'll see the unfiltered feed.
posted by Static Vagabond at 4:52 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fundamentally, the mechanics of League create the conditions for toxic behavior

I completely 100% disagree with this. There are lots of competitive environments where sportsmanship and teamwork are not only encouraged but expected as a fundamental skill.
posted by fshgrl at 4:57 PM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


How about this one is that a better representation of unacceptable general toxicity?

You appear to have linked to another Kaceytron broadcast. Not saying it doesn't count as toxic. Just that it doesn't count as an example of twitch chat doing anything other than exactly what it's told to do. Where most channels would have chat rules saying not to be sexist, racist, and rude, hers literally says "Freedom of speech for everyone!" She deliberately draws attention to whatever objectionable things come up in chat and says "don't do that, please, think of the children that might be watching," or sometimes "shut the fuck up, cunt" or whatever will provoke more. It's quite a schtick, and is perhaps illustrative in some grotesquely exaggerated way of the ability of text chat to imitate a slavering mob, but doesn't seem particularly representative of more normal twitch chat insanity.

But then, yeah, it's true the channels I've seen that come to mind as being almost never offensively toxic at all are either small or have a team of moderators.
posted by sfenders at 5:24 PM on April 13, 2016


What more exactly do you want? Iron maidens? Wheels? Flaying until they bleed?

something something encourager les autres, yes.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:47 PM on April 13, 2016


I linked Kaceytron because Talez spoke to how she's rolled with the toxicity and turned it into something that somehow works for her, but to me is still beyond comprehension because of the mental fortitude it would take to cope with that.

But lets roll with the idea that in her case she's promoting, wanting even asking for (a familiar bell rings) toxic, perverse, and hate-filled vitriol towards herself because it brings in more donations. Do you think that on her first day of streaming she did? Or do you think that after the two thousandth slur, she clocked on that instead of trying to keep wiping the shit from her smock, she should just immerse herself in it and profit from it?

I would like to think that she saw the full battlefield before she ever streamed— she knew the base instinct of anonymous stupid men would be to act in a pathetic way and built a stream to profit from them, but that very expectation speaks to the toxic problem we have as a community, and sadly, we have to include those shitty examples of humans as part of it.

For every changed survivor of the battlefield, like Kaceytron, how many women gamers try live streaming and only get burnt and quit or just never try. I'm not a fan of her stream either (non LoL, don't like loud personas) but I don't doubt for a second she does something I mentally couldn't and I hope she somehow does have that supernatural ability to shrug off all of it.
posted by Static Vagabond at 6:09 PM on April 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Do you think that on her first day of streaming she did?

Given that it probably came after substantial experience online gaming, seems possible. I don't think it's merely some kind of calculated scheme for donations. If we're just guessing here, I'd say she probably got into the habit of slinging nasty insults around pretty much the same way most of her audience did.
posted by sfenders at 6:42 PM on April 13, 2016


Honestly the champ select change probably did away with more toxic behavior than the Tribunal or the player tips

Yeah, I agree, and that was one of the explicit design goals for Team Builder and now the new champ select UI. Turns out if people get to play the role they want they have a better time. RiotLyte and the behavior team were involved in that decision, predicting and measuring toxicity.

There's another related thing which is with the new dynamic queue, you're seeing a lot more 3 and 4 person premades. Riot has known from past experience that a 4 person premade is one of the worst social experiences for the 5th sucker who got queued with the 4 buddies. At best the foursome ignores the fifth player; at worst they gang up on him and blame him. Riot's also found that in games where some poeple are using voice chat, the people not in the voice chat tend to get abused more often. Similar effect presumably.

What I love is that Riot is measuring data on all this and sharing some of it with researchers. And then in theory designing their game to try to work around toxic behavior. The last part doesn't always work but sometimes does.

(As for game design encouraging bad behavior; I love the stereotypes for which champions poeple choose to play. Can we all just agree that all Master Yi mains are the worst? Riven and Vayne players are suspect too. TY.)
posted by Nelson at 7:14 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


But lets roll with the idea that in her case she's promoting, wanting even asking for (a familiar bell rings) toxic, perverse, and hate-filled vitriol towards herself because it brings in more donations. Do you think that on her first day of streaming she did? Or do you think that after the two thousandth slur, she clocked on that instead of trying to keep wiping the shit from her smock, she should just immerse herself in it and profit from it?

It was a first day thing. Kaceytron has said in interviews that her character is a caricature and she's putting it on. It's like the Stephen Colbert of Twitch streaming.

It's honestly why I don't watch her but find her endlessly fascinating.
posted by Talez at 8:13 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't personally enjoy what she does, but I'm impressed by both her canniness and her fortitude.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:49 AM on April 14, 2016


I can say that I have taken part in a networked team game over the Internet with players from all over the world, a robust chat system (personal, team and all messages), and a reputation for trash talk. In fact, I once was a member of an intercollegiate league team called SO'S YOUR MOM! dedicated not to winning every game but to crushing every opponent's morale through invective. Certain players (like the legendary MUCUS PIG) helped win games by agitating opponents so much that they typed responses back at him instead of fighting.

And the year was 1992. Some things never change.

(Or do they? Maybe it's because the player base was 99% sausage party, but the few girls who played were treated pretty well, and the epithet of choice was generally maggot, not faggot.)
posted by delfin at 11:00 AM on April 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey, I played Netrek back in the day too. From reed.edu, comin' at you with a blazing 56kbps connection to the world. (It sucked). My memory was the community was actually pretty good and friendly. Certainly rec.games.netrek was mostly alright. Wasn't it?

I've done the "crush your opponent's morale via chat" a couple of times; not so much by being rude as just taunting them. It actually can work if you can turn two opposing teammates against each other. I felt like such shit after that though that I turned off all chat entirely and never did it again.
posted by Nelson at 11:23 AM on April 14, 2016


People have, in fact, described and encouraged this strategy within League of Legends as well. I dunno about recently, but I definitely saw a highly-upvoted post on the League of Legends subreddit encouraging people to play psychological games by maneuvering your opponents into yelling at each other.

Unsportsmanlike, and arguably against the rules as well. The only saving grace there is that your garden variety LoL asshole is probably not clever enough to pull it off without getting caught up in the machine learning punishment dragnet.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:43 AM on April 14, 2016


KT: I think that it definitely is easier for a female streamer to get the initial viewers, it’s true. Guys will simply just watch you because you are a female. Although I think that the streaming community is beginning to get oversaturated on the female side as well. The presumption that “boobs get you views” I think is silly.

Can someone help me unpack this? I'm not understanding why "boobs get you views" is silly.
posted by butterstick at 1:21 PM on April 14, 2016


While boobs may be the initial hook to get some viewers, they don't keep them there. Kaceytron's detractors would say that she has the numbers just because she has her rack on display, and she's countering, "no, there's more to it than just boobs = viewers. You have to actually be entertaining."
posted by explosion at 1:42 PM on April 14, 2016


The problem here isn't talking shit and psyching out your opponent. That is a completely normal part of any sport and people who can do it well are admired and generally quite emotionally intelligent. This is about not knowing the difference between game related shit talking and being an actual asshole. It's about not being able to draw the line between fantasy and reality. Any teenager or older should be able to distinguish and stay mostly within the commonly accepted bounds. Of course coaches, older siblings and older players are there to enforce those bounds. The state of these gaming communities seems to mirror total societal breakdown in many ways: adolescents having too few limits, minorities and women being targeted, casual criminality, poor law enforcement. It's interesting but yeah, most normal well adjusted adults don't want anything to do with it I think.
posted by fshgrl at 2:44 PM on April 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks explosion. Clearly I understand neither Kacytron nor her viewers.
posted by butterstick at 6:28 AM on April 15, 2016


Really good section on the latest Ken & Robin about this.

Actually I was looking for a *different* toxic taking thread. Sigh.
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on April 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


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