Building off of my BLOG 1, I want to address the issue of female streamers using their body inappropriately to garner views; this encourages and increases male viewership while also forcibly discouraging female participants who have no desire to accommodate that standard. This is further explained by girlgerms in their article Lady Gaming Streamers – we really don’t need to see your boobs… If these women choose to promote themselves by showcasing their body, how does it affect the already misogynistic views of women and their place within video game culture. The struggle of women being taken seriously within gaming communities and video game design through the backlash that was GamerGate, creates the issue that some women are promoting themselves as “sexual objects, for someone else’s viewing and gratification” (girlgerms, 2015). By them displaying their attributes, it creates a struggle for other women to be taken seriously on streaming platforms such as Twitch.tv. The issue is that some female streamers choose to promote themselves using their body, objectifying themselves for views, which isn’t helping with the backlash of Gamergate. “Because guys see you doing it – and believe it’s okay to then objectify ALL women. Especially women streamers” (girlgerms, 2015).
This argument is prominent within Twitch channels such as pink_sparkles, and other female streamers like Kaceytron who use their body as a means to draw attention to their channel, get more views, and donations. They use their body for views such as squatting and dancing in front of the camera whenever they gain a follower or someone donates. This in turn creates a standard, because its been normalized that this is how female streamers should be, and therefore those who stream on Twitch to simply play video games are subject to the same standards as those who put on provocative attire for views. They cater to their male audience, making it a lot harder for other women to get onto the platform without being subject to the standard of “this is what a female streamer should be”.
Interestingly Kaceytron doesn’t use her body the same way pink_sparkles does. She doesn’t dance for views or donations, instead she plays into the toxicity of her viewers. She allows her viewers to donate money to her stream in order to post a toxic message that will be displayed in the centre of her stream for a few seconds. These posts usually entail a sexual message directed at her, name calling, as well as misogynistic comments degrading her. She plays into the stereotyped persona of what a female gamer should be, ditzy and sexualized. She creates a satirical representation of the female gamer, this is present with how she has designed her stream logo, mimicking the logo of a porn site known as Brazzers.
Her ditzy persona although satirically representing the female gamer stereotype feeds into the issue of the toxic gaming culture as well as the perceived ideology of women in gaming. This can be seen as perpetuating an image and standard of women that not everyone can achieve and that many don’t want to. For the women who do not fall under this standard in Twitch, they’re not ignored, instead they’re harassed and hated upon by their viewers, as they do not play into the hyper-sexualized standards of women on Twitch. Yes, Twitch is a platform for you to express yourself, and if streamers such as pink_sparkles and Kaceytron want to showcase their body go for it, but I feel it’s the community perceptions that have been warped to believe this is what female streamers should do to become popular.