Gaming and toxicity in Overwatch

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragMuntlig presentation

11 Nedladdningar (Pure)


The phenomenon of toxicity, which in this context refers to aggressive, harassing and/or insulting communication and behavior in online gaming, is a well-known problem in the gaming industry. The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze the discourse about toxicity in online forums about the first person shooter game Overwatch. How is toxicity described in the online forums? What themes can be identified in the forums? What experiences of toxicity are discussed, and what explanations are offered in the forums? Thus, it is a qualitative study of the discourse about toxicity in Overwatch in the online forums about the game. The empirical material consist of approximately 150 pages of downloaded forum discussions, from the period 2017-2018. In the forum discussions, several analytical dimensions may be discerned. The concepts of anonymity and social deindividuation are often highlighted and regarded as important explanative factors by the participants in the forums. Due to the inherent anonymity in online gaming, it is argued that players may engage in aggressive and harassing behavior, which they normally would not do in face-to-face interaction. Another important dimension concerns what may be conceptualized as the normalization of toxic behavior. Sometimes, toxicity is described in the forums simply as a fact that players must learn to deal with: “Welcome to the internet” as one forum participant wrote. Other times, it is described as a problem that toxic practices are so widespread that they have a negative impact on the gaming experience. Finally, gender aspects of toxicity in online gaming are also discussed. Female gamers may sometimes be harassed by players using words with sexual connotations, and by calling female gamers “bitch” or similar gendered derogatory remarks. 

StatusPublicerad - 2019
EvenemangStockholm Criminology Symposium - Stockholm, Sverige
Varaktighet: 2019-juni-102019-juni-10


KonferensStockholm Criminology Symposium

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Sociologi (504)


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