Playing with the news on Reddit: The politics game on r/The_Donald

Robert Topinka, Cassian Osborne-Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research into online forms of far-right, alt-right, populist and supremacist politics has raised questions about the extent to which social media enables or constitutes extremist affects and ideologies. Building on this research, and through a case study of how a pro-Trump community on Reddit made sense of news events and sought to contest their representation, this paper explores the relationship between games and politics, arguing that digital platforms encourage people to apprehend, interpret and contest political ideas and information as if engaged in a kind of video game. We show how the group sought to manipulate platform affordances, waging a kind of Info War rooted in an understanding of politics as a pure space of conflict. We show how social media orients people to politics, phenomenologically, through the logics, structures and narratives of online games and argue that this affects not only online behaviours but more general apprehensions of politics.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Political Sociology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Gaming, Reddit, politics, ideology, Trump, social media

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