The Abject Scapegoat: Boundary Erosion and Maintenance in League of Legends
In the wake of the qualification of the first woman (Remilia) to the professional tier of League of Legends, the North American e-sports community erupted with debates about what her presence might mean for League, e-sports, and women who play games. The debates reveal an obsession with maintaining boundaries that seem to erode easily in digital gaming spaces: between male and female, gamer and athlete, human and technology, for example. Focusing on her alleged transgender status, the gaming community shored up these boundaries through discursively abjectifying Remilia, using transphobic tactics to figure her as an insignificant spectacle. In this way, she became a scapegoat for the gaming community’s larger, unacknowledged anxieties about boundary erosion, a phenomenon which has the potential to challenge cisgender masculine privilege in gaming spaces.
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