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Joyce Bennett

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In 2009 League of Legends was created by Riot Games. By 2016 it became the world’s most popular video game with a vibrant international professional scene. However, the only woman to ever compete professionally stepped down after two months because of the harassment she faced from members of the community. This thesis investigates how Riot developers reproduce sexism in the creative process of the game through their presentation of female characters. It investigates the impact of the patriarchal structures on the experience of women streamers and cosplayers through semi structured interviews and participant observation over the summer of 2017. Placing this work in larger discussion of digital anthropology, this thesis explores a video game that has yet to be studied. Furthermore, I use this information to provide feedback for Riot games, in the hopes that they dismantle the sexism built into their game.



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