Vivian about ready to choke a b*tch! –
A cartoon character’s journey into a boundary-building resource and its perpetuating resemiotizations during Gamergate
Keywords:Gamergate, nexus analysis, Vivian James, image boards, resemiotization
Drawing on nexus analysis, this study seeks to analyse some of the discursive practices and visual material produced during the Gamergate controversy. This is achieved through examining the cartoon mascot Vivian James and the discussions related to the character. The treatment of the character is discussed through the resemiotizations the character faced. Initially the character was designed with clear goals in mind to serve as a resource to perform boundary work within the community. This was achieved through an easily definable process of resemiotizations. However, the character eventually became objectified and sexualized, showing resemiotizations that were not within the initial goals of the community. This process of further resemiotizations also documents how the community was unable to maintain control over the character, which is also symptomatic of the way Gamergate was not able to sustain its efforts.