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Title: The social function of toxic behaviour in an online video game
Author: Rimington, Elzabi Meiring
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 7322
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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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.
Supervisor: Leonard, Pauline ; Weal, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available