The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The social function of toxic behaviour in an online video game

The social function of toxic behaviour in an online video game
The social function of toxic behaviour in an online video game
This thesis argues that toxic behaviour practices in the game League of Legends are structural and constructive. Using practice theory I demonstrate that social and play rules within the game are expressed, challenged, and re-created through actions and utterances which have been deemed problematic or otherwise ‘toxic’. In order to achieve this I have conducted an ethnographic study into League of Legends followed by a series of semi-structured interviews. The ethnography demonstrates a novel insight into the game and its community but also serves the purpose of explicating the relationship between League of Legends and Bourdieu’s conceptual model of practice. Informed by this context I discuss the rationale for and perception of disruptive, transgressive, or otherwise ‘toxic’ behaviours, challenging assumptions that they are fundamentally anti-social or destructive and proposing ways in which they contribute to a self-recognising online community. Finally I demonstrate that the formative conditions of play along with toxic play practices combine in League of Legends to create an environment which is problematically gendered.
University of Southampton
Rimington, Elzabi Meiring
7389b6e4-3df7-40c9-b386-1b4d29cc6812
Rimington, Elzabi Meiring
7389b6e4-3df7-40c9-b386-1b4d29cc6812
Leonard, Pauline
a2839090-eccc-4d84-ab63-c6a484c6d7c1
Weal, Mark
e8fd30a6-c060-41c5-b388-ca52c81032a4

Rimington, Elzabi Meiring (2018) The social function of toxic behaviour in an online video game. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 186pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis argues that toxic behaviour practices in the game League of Legends are structural and constructive. Using practice theory I demonstrate that social and play rules within the game are expressed, challenged, and re-created through actions and utterances which have been deemed problematic or otherwise ‘toxic’. In order to achieve this I have conducted an ethnographic study into League of Legends followed by a series of semi-structured interviews. The ethnography demonstrates a novel insight into the game and its community but also serves the purpose of explicating the relationship between League of Legends and Bourdieu’s conceptual model of practice. Informed by this context I discuss the rationale for and perception of disruptive, transgressive, or otherwise ‘toxic’ behaviours, challenging assumptions that they are fundamentally anti-social or destructive and proposing ways in which they contribute to a self-recognising online community. Finally I demonstrate that the formative conditions of play along with toxic play practices combine in League of Legends to create an environment which is problematically gendered.

Text
Elzabi Rimington final thesis - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Download (2MB)

More information

Published date: 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429745
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429745
PURE UUID: e8ae157a-7790-485e-b46e-5a77bc9cdad2
ORCID for Pauline Leonard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8112-0631
ORCID for Mark Weal: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6251-8786

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 05 Apr 2019 00:37

Export record

Contributors

Author: Elzabi Meiring Rimington
Thesis advisor: Pauline Leonard ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Mark Weal ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×