Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Sage Graham

Committee Member

Rebecca Adam

Committee Member

Ronald Fuentes

Committee Member

Romy Ghanem


Though there has been a good deal of research on digital discourse and online gaming, there has been relatively little research on 1) the social structure of specific groups within the large online gaming community, 2) the multimodal structure of the online gaming live stream, and 3) the impact that these structures have on the final communicative event. One noteworthy component of the social characteristics of online streams is the streamer gender and size of the stream’s audience. In addition, one difference that sets the live stream apart from other online communications is its intense technological complexity. This study then, will examine both of these social and technological characteristics, in an effort to understand how the participants themselves influence language use and how that language use is further impacted by the availability of multiple mediums, each of which houses multiple modes for communication. The data for this study consists of a corpus of 32,397 messages posted in the public chat area of 12 League of Legends live streamers, collected between July and September of 2019. Once collected, however, there was no prior convention in place for organizing and transcribed the data for analytical purposes. Therefore, this study also examines multiple transcription vi protocols and outlines the model developed by Graham and Arendall for an online gaming digital corpus. For this study, I take an interactional approach to explore the communicative strategies employed by participants in a complex multimedium-based multimodal event. Using quantitative analysis, I examine patterns of communicative strategies as related to streamer gender and stream size (participant population). In addition, I examine the qualitative characteristics of those patterns, as well as the influences that multiple available mediums and modes have on those patterns. The results of this analysis indicate that both social and technological characteristics of the live stream heavily impact the communicative strategies employed by participants and is often tailored to the specific needs of each community, especially where the use of graphic images is concerned. These results have implications for the further study of online gaming, live streams, and visual communications within multimediumbased multimodal events.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access